Eye-witness accounts held by the Wiener Library taken immediately following the state-sanctioned campaign of hatred against Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe on the 9/10 November 1938 have been translated for the first time to mark the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass).
Extract from account B74 Undated
At about 3.30 in the morning on 10 November, I was warned by telephone not to stay in the flat, as my arrest was imminent. I immediately left the flat with my wife and son, and wandered around the streets. I first of all met the wife of a banker who lived locally; she too was wandering the streets, dressed in the shabbiest clothes. I then encountered a large number of Jews who were under police escort and had evidently been arrested. It was obvious where Jews lived from the lighted windows and the tinkling noises coming from the flats. In one house, inhabited only by Jews, all the windows were lit. Two police officers were standing in front of the house with their backs to the wall, completely unconcerned. Uniformed SA and SS men were everywhere. A senior officer of my acquaintance was woken by the disturbance and telephoned the riot squad asking them to send help, as people were evidently trespassing in his house and committing other offences. The riot squad replied that there was nothing they could do, as it had all been ordered by a higher authority.
When we returned to our flat, nothing had been stolen, but everything had been vandalised and destroyed; paintings slashed, eiderdowns ripped to shreds, valuable antique chairs smashed and the cushions torn apart. After wandering around for hours, I was arrested at the station and was taken to the prison gym with about 100 other Jewish citizens. About 6 of these were injured; and an 80-year-old man had his head bandaged, as a bowl had been broken over it. There was also a rabbi aged about 60 among the prisoners, and another man of 77. I myself was released after 10 hours, because I had a visa for the States and am a front-line officer.