Kristallnacht Essay

Source C is an account by David Buffman, from the American Consul in Leipzig.

Buffman was presumably an American diplomat, whose job was to be the eyes and ears of America in order to give American an impression of what was going on in Nazi Germany.On of the main factors that make this source creditable is that it was written at the time of the event, this makes it a primary source. Thus, making it very reliable as he would have no reason to lie, because he was American and was safe from the wrath of Nazi Censorship. He recalls that Nazi press described Kristallnacht as ‘a spontaneous wave of anger’, thought contradicting himself by saying ‘the local crowds were obviously horrified by the Nazi’s acts’, inferring that it was a not a spontaneous attack on Jewish people.Furthermore, Buffman describes the claims that Nazi press made with regards to the origin of the shattering of shop windows as ‘a spontaneous wave of anger, as a result of the cowardly Jewish murder of Von Roth in Paris’. Ernst Von Roth was an official for the German embassy in Paris, murdered by a Jewish man, based on the revenge fro the mistreatment of his parents by the Nazi’s.

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Buffman goes onto say that the local people were ‘ obviously horrified by the Nazi’s acts’, suggesting that he is accusing the Nazi’s of committing violent acts of vandalism and murder; Buffman portrays this by using the general public’s apparent views. Buffman then goes onto talk about how ‘one reliable source’, told him that violence was committed by SS men and Stormtroopers ‘not in uniform’; and that no attempts were made to put out the fires’ of Jewish burning buildings. This supports his original opinion that Kristallnacht was not a spontaneous attack, as the SS men and Stormtroopers had already ‘been provided with hammers, axes and fire bombs’, even before the events had started.This source also make the Nazi’s look bad, because it wants people to see that Nazi’s are immoral and corrupt.

From Buffman’s source it is clear that he oppose the acts of violence, as he claims that, ‘The slightest sign of sympathy for the Jews from the public caused fury among the Nazi’s’. Furthermore, in the source Buffman is implying that Kristallnacht was a planned event by the Nazi’s, however they are pretending it was spontaneous, which her conveys by claiming that troops were ‘not in uniform’.The transportation to concentration camps of male German Jews’, would have been obviously planned before, supporting Buffman’s point that Kristallnacht was not a spontaneous attack.To conclude, Source C gives the impression that Kristallnacht was not a spontaneous attack on the Jews, although the Nazi’s wanted the public to think so, in order to prevent themselves seeming corrupt and hideous. This infers a conspiracy, as the public were kept in the dark from the truth about the real reasons behind Kristallnacht, which would ultimately be a massive landmark in their own history.


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