Kristallnacht: Violence, Memory and History call for articles
As the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht approaches in the fall, Routledge Publishing has contracted the editors to prepare for publication a collection of articles about popular reaction to Kristallnacht among the Western democracies. We seek TWO additional contributions. One article will examine reactions to Kristallnacht in France and the other will examine reactions in the United States. These articles should analyze both public and governmental opinions about these events as they are the focus of this collection. Authors are asked to email a 300 word abstract and a current CV to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 30, 2013. An article of between 6,000 and 9,000 words in length will be due to the editors by April 30, 2013. These deadlines are necessary to see that the manuscript is completed for publication by autumn 2013.
On November 7, 1938, Herschel Grynszpan, a seventeen year old Polish Jewish youth living in Paris, France, acquired a revolver, strode into the German Embassy at 78 Rue de Lille, and shot junior diplomat Ernst vom Rath. Vom Rath soon died and Nazi Führer Adolf Hitler and Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels used the assassination as a pretext to launch a devastating pogrom against the Jews. Between November 9 and 10, Nazi Storm troopers as well as German civilians vandalized Jewish-owned businesses, schools and homes. At least 1,000 synagogues were torched. Jews were assaulted and, in some cases, murdered. Approximately 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to concentration camps. The event became known as Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass.
Recent research borne of a conference held at York University in Toronto, Canada was built around the research questions of whether Kristallnacht portended the Holocaust and to what degree Western democratic outrage at the pogrom affected any real change in immigration policy—two queries that have since become the thematic threads tying together the articles we have collected. Other questions raised and explored in this collection include: What did people hear about Kristallnacht outside of Germany in 1938 from governments and media sources? How did governments and ordinary people respond to the plight of the Jewish community in Germany? How have lives been affected by Kristallnacht in the seventy years since its occurrence? Did a particular Western nation’s response differ in any way from that of other Western nations? If so—or, if not—what might this suggest about that particular society, especially in the 1930s, the years of the Great Depression and international turmoil? Central to answering these questions are issues of memory and forgetting, in both a material and symbolic sense, and how the meaning of Kristallnacht has been altered by various actors since 1938. Such studies of erasure and enshrinement cut a swath across multiple disciplines and tie into an overall aim to provide strong interdisciplinary research to a broad readership.
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