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British Consul Reports on Kristallnacht in Vienna

(November 11, 1938)

On November 11, 1938, the British Consul-General in Vienna, Sir Donald Gainer, wrote to Sir George Ogilvie-Forbes, Counsellor to the Embassy in Berlin about Kristallnacht. He described the “orgy of destruction” and how the press rejoiced that Jews “can now no longer hatch plots against the State under cover of religious services.”

“Last night,” he said, “Vienna presented an extraordinary spectacle, with fires raging all over the city and Jews being hustled along the streets, cursed at and assaulted by crowds of hooligans whose pride it is to belong to one of the greatest and most civilized nations of the world.

Gainer reported the violence was not confined to Vienna and mentioned attacks in other Austrian cities.