Study all the sources. “Kristallnacht was a spontaneous event by the German people.” How far do the sources support the claim?
On the 9th November 1938 an act of great significance took place, subsequently to be called Kristallnacht, night of broken glass. Although the terrible effects of this violence are a stark reality, who the blame truly lies with is a far more complex and controversial issue. So who really played the pivotal role in the terrible events of Kristallnacht, was it a ‘spontaneous event by the German people or was the blame to lie elsewhere?
Many of the sources blame the German people for Kristallnacht, suggesting that it may have been something “spontaneous”. For example Source B is a secret report prepared by the Nazi Supreme Court shortly after Kristallnacht. This source states that the German people were to blame for Kristallnacht in a ‘spontaneous’ attack on Jewish homes. ‘Demonstrations were not to be organised by the party, but neither were they to be discouraged if they started spontaneously.’ However as this report was prepared and published by the Nazis it is likely that they may have twisted the truth and pushed the blame onto the people to save themselves from blame. The fact that the report was published after the events of Kristallnacht further supports the sources unreliability as it seems as a cover up. Also as the source suggests that ‘neither were they to be discouraged if they started spontaneously’, suggests the fact that the Nazis did not mind any spontaneous attacks showing their hatred for the Jews, thus giving them motive for the brutal acts of Kristallnacht . The source itself would not have changed as it was an official document published by the Nazis. Finally the very fact it was a ‘secret’ document suggests the Nazis were trying to hide something. Even though source B does in fact imply that events were started “spontaneously” it is not very useful as support to the question due to its sheer unreliability....