On This Day: Maine Newspapers React to Kristallnacht, Violent Nazi Anti-Jewish Campaign

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Kristallnacht was not hidden. In the days that followed the November 9th violence against the Jews of Germany, newspapers around the world reported on and responded to what had happened. Diplomats, reporters, and eye-witnesses did not hesitate to condemn the violence and atrocities committed against the Jews. Even the Bangor Daily News ran a front-page article on November 14, 1938, proclaiming “German Jews Facing Ruin Are in Panic” as it reported that “anti-Jewish riots” convulse the Third Reich. my explanation While virtually all expressed horror and anger at events, none of these reactions translated into any concrete efforts to chastise Hitler or aid the Jews. Washington recalled its ambassador, but no other country broke off diplomatic relations with Germany. There were no sanctions. Emigration opportunities for Jews remained blocked. The world wrung its hands and did nothing, and Hitler watched and learned.

Erica Nadelhaft

Erica Nadelhaft

Northern Maine Educator Erica Nadelhaft was born in Madison, Wisconsin, but grew up in Maine and Scotland (United Kingdom). She is an adjunct professor of World and European history at the University of Maine at Fort Kent and received a BA in History from Brandeis University and a MA in Contemporary Jewish Studies with a specialization in the Holocaust from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her article, “Resistance through Education: Jewish Youth Movements in Warsaw”, was published in POLIN: Studies in Polish Jewry (Oxford University Press). She has also worked as a book group facilitator and program evaluator for the Maine Humanities Council and as a Polish and Hebrew translator for POLIN. She is a regular lecturer for the Fort Kent Senior College. She has three grown daughters and lives in Fort Kent, Maine, with her husband.
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