Kristall­nacht, The Night of Bro­ken Glass: Ignit­ing the Nazi War Against Jews

Stephanie Fitzger­ald
  • Review
By – February 15, 2012
Short­ly after the events of Kristall­nacht, Hugh Car­leton Green, a cor­re­spon­dent who worked for London’s Dai­ly Tele­graph wrote: Mob law ruled in Berlin through­out the after­noon and evening and hordes of hooli­gans indulged in an orgy of destruc­tion. I have seen sev­er­al anti-Jew­ish out­breaks in Ger­many dur­ing the last five years, but nev­er any­thing as nau­se­at­ing as this.” Part of the Snap­shots in His­to­ry” series, Kristall­nacht, The Night of Bro­ken Glass, por­trays the hor­rif­ic events in Ger­many and Aus­tria lead­ing up to, dur­ing, and fol­low­ing the night of Novem­ber 9, 1938. Fitzger­ald encom­pass­es a great deal of mate­r­i­al into one flow­ing nar­ra­tive. Lit­tle-known, slight­ly bizarre facts should intrigue the teen read­er. For exam­ple, it took six months to replace all the glass that had been smashed dur­ing that one night of vio­lence, loot­ing, and destruc­tion. With its gen­er­ous mar­gins, appro­pri­ate side­bars, and black and white pho­tos, Kristall­nacht is a use­ful book for stu­dents who are research­ing this dif­fi­cult sub­ject. A detailed time­line, glos­sary, source notes, bib­li­og­ra­phy, and index con­tribute to an acces­si­ble and read­able text. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, one fac­tu­al error and sev­er­al copy­writ­ing errors mar what is oth­er­wise an effec­tive treat­ment of a heart-wrench­ing top­ic. Ages 12 – 14.
Anne Dublin is the teacher-librar­i­an at Holy Blos­som Tem­ple in Toron­to, Cana­da and an award-win­ning author of books for chil­dren and young adults. Her lat­est book is June Call­wood: A Life of Action (Sec­ond Sto­ry Press, 2006).

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