Institute News

New IWitness Activity Published: Kristallnacht Information Quest

IWitness has published a new activity about Kristallnacht just in time for its 77th anniversary this November.

On November 9 and 10, 1938, the Nazis unleashed acts of terror and violence across Germany, Austria and the Sudentenland that became known as the Kristallnacht pogrom, or the "Night of the Broken Glass." Government sanctioned destruction targeted Jewish homes, synagogues and places of business. Over 30,000 Jews (mainly men) were arrested and sent to concentration camps.

In the Kristallnacht Information Quest, students will engage with testimonies of individuals who experienced the Kristallnacht pogrom. They will learn about the experiences of these individuals, as well as the larger effects on Germany, Austria and the Jewish community in Europe. Additionally, students will gather their information from both primary and secondary sources related to this event.

The activity was authored by Jennifer Goss, who teaches AP U.S. Government and Politics, Virginia/U.S. History and a Holocaust and Genocide Studies elective at Robert E. Lee High School in Staunton, Va. Goss also leads teacher training sessions for the multimedia Holocaust education program Echoes and Reflections.

Goss will lead the next monthly #IWitnessChat on Twitter Oct. 28 at 4 p.m. PST. All educators are welcome to participate in the discussion or follow along using the hashtag #IWitnessChat. This chat will specifically focus on using testimony to teach Kristallnacht.