Kristallnacht and the Destruction of Jewish Commercial Activity in Germany

Dr. Christoph Kreutzmüller (Senior Researcher and Educator, Museum of the House of the Wannsee Conference in Berlin)

To launch the conference and commemorate the anniversary of the pogrom conducted against German Jewry on November 9, 1938, Dr. Kreutzmüller delivered the keynote lecture. The lecture was free and open to the public.

Photos from the lecture may be viewed here.


Despite increasing discrimination against Jewish businesses, Jewish entrepreneurs were able to find ways to push back against the Nazis. The impact of antisemitic measures was a certain consolidation. In Berlin, for example, the size of Jewish-owned businesses had shrunk, but not their number. Recognizing that legislation alone would not destroy the Jewish commercial presence in Germany, the Nazis resorted to violence on November 9, 1938. Despite the material destruction and psychological blow unleashed by the pogrom, some Jewish businesspeople managed to struggle on even after “Kristallnacht.” In fact, some businesses were liquidated only after the deportation of their owners during the war. In his lecture, Dr. Kreutzmüller will analyze events leading up to the pogrom and the pogrom itself, as well as the plundering of the remaining businesses owned by Jews in Germany after “Kristallnacht” and the destruction of Jewish entrepreneurship in Germany.

 November 9, 2014 at 5 pm
Florence and Chafetz Hillel House at Boston University
213 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215