The 'Night Of Broken Glass' Marked The Start Of The Holocaust

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — This weekend marks an ugly historic event in European history.

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Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, happened 75 years ago this weekend.

As CBS 2’s John Slattery reported Friday, two survivors of that night recounted the beginning of the Holocaust.

“I was there 75 years ago at Kristallnacht,” Reni Hanau said.

Hanau was 5 years old when she heard German troops smashing and destroying Jewish-owned businesses and synagogues.

“All of a sudden, we heard the most horrific noises of stones crashing into windows. And we heard the sound of screaming in the streets,” Hanau said.

On Nov. 9 and 10, 1938, Nazis torched synagogues, vandalized Jewish homes and arrested some 30,000 Jewish men and sent them to concentration camps.

Herbert Blum was a 12-year-old in a Nuremberg school when suddenly he was expelled.

“There were persecutions. Thousands of Jews were murdered,” Blum said.

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Conditions for German Jews grew increasingly worse. Ultimately, 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.

“It was one of the most evil and shameful moments in German history,” German Consul General Busso von Alvensleben said.

The consul general in New York marked the date by hosting a remembrance with the American Jewish Committee.

That group’s executive director said Germany today is an enemy of anti-Semitism and a partner in the struggle.

“The Germany of today is a very different Germany than the Germany of the Holocaust and of Kristallnacht,” David Harris told Slattery.

Those in attendance said remembrance has been the bedrock of Jews and Germans moving forward.

Despite the pogroms of World War II, Germany today has the third largest Jewish population in Europe.

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