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Kristallnacht Commemoration, November 2022

Updated: Oct 13, 2022

Commemorating the Kristallnacht pogrom of 1938 is an opportunity to educate people about the larger aspects of the Holocaust. Our nine presentations below use Kristallnacht as a frame while educating on larger, universal issues such as refugees, indoctrination, and resistance.

The StandWithUs Holocaust Education Center is prepared to deliver these presentations virtually or in-person. We would also like to work with classes and groups to gather students’ creative responses to what they learned during our presentations, whether through art, writing, music, etc.

Photo: Photo: Jews being deported from Baden Baden after Kristalnacht in Germany, 1938. Public domain.

We can also work with you on a campaign to leverage this opportunity beyond a one-time commemoration, such as creating a series of programs and presentations for your community with feedback/self-expression pedagogies.

Book a presentation for your school, organization, or community today by contacting Matthew Lebovic ( or Nili Alon Amit ( at the StandWithUs Holocaust Education Center.

Presentation Options for Kristallnacht 2022:

1) An Introduction to the Holocaust:


This introductory presentation gives a basic overview of the Holocaust, including the context and impact of European antisemitism throughout the centuries.

2) Understanding Kristallnacht as a Tipping Point to Genocide:


This 40-minute presentation puts the so-called “Reich” pogrom in the context of events leading up to the Holocaust. We make extensive use of primary source photos and focus on the willingness of countries around the world to let in Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler. All materials we use are age-appropriate for different audiences.

3) “The True Believer” and Mass Movements:


Many students ask how something like Kristallnacht, and later the Holocaust, was possible in a modern society. Using the lens of sociologist Eric Hoffer’s book, The True Believer, we map key points onto Nazi Germany and the “true believers” who followed Hitler.

4) Kristallnacht in the News:

Based on an article published in The Times of Israel last summer by Matt Lebovic, we will examine how the Pogrom was reported around the world and what the ramifications were for Nazi Germany. We will look at many original news clips from all over the U.S. to gain a more complete understanding of the issue.

5) Creative Expression as Resistance:


Using primary source drawings, poems, and diary entries, we will look at how Jewish adolescents responded to the genocide—including Kristallnacht—while it took place. For example, we will look at diary entries from the compilation Salvaged Pages, as well as art produced by children in the Theresienstadt Ghetto in Terezin.

6) Behind the Swastika: Where Hatreds Meet:


The basic history of the Holocaust is at this presentation’s core, but we also fold in the genocidal worldview of Nazi Germany and events like Germany’s pre-Holocaust genocide in Namibia. We will learn about the persecution of the regime’s non-Jewish victims groups and how it intersected with the Holocaust.

7) Upstanders in Nazi Germany:


We will look at the early years of Hitler’s rule and explore how Germans resisted, including the famous “White Rose” group of Sophie Scholl, and several clerical leaders who opposed Hitler publicly. Expanding our lens, we will look at the role of Upstanders in—for example—the Dutch Strike of 1941 and heroes like Irena Sendler in Poland.

8) Living Photography and Poetry of the Holocaust – The Art of Alfred Benjamin:


In the spring of 1934, 17-year-old Alfred Benjamin, a Jewish photographer for the daily Hamburger Fremdenblatt, set out to take photos of Hitler addressing the residents of Hamburg. Years later, Benjamin escaped through London to Los Angeles and recalled, “I suddenly realized that . . . he wanted to kill Jews.” This presentation will discuss the photography and artwork of this unique witness to Hitler’s rise to power.


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