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Kristallnacht in Baden-Baden, Germany

Jewish prisoners paraded by the SS and local police through the streets of Baden-Baden, November 10, 1938

Jewish prisoners being humiliated in the Baden-Baden synagogue, November 10, 1938

The synagogue of Baden-Baden in flames, November 10, 1938

Jewish prisoners lined up prior to their deportation to Dachau concentration camp, November 10, 1938

Jewish prisoners marched through the streets of Baden-Baden on November 10, 1938

Jewish prisoners jeered at by local crowds on their way into the synagogue in Baden-Baden on November 10, 1938

Featured here is the story of Kristallnacht in one town. The stories and photographs in this section are painful witnesses to the horror inflicted suddenly on the Jews beginning early in the morning in Baden-Baden, Germany, on November 9, 1938. The nightmare continued all day as the Jews in this town were rounded up, and their synagogue and homes pillaged and burnt.

At 7a.m. on November 10, 1938, a policeman appeared at the home of Artur Flehinger, a former teacher in the gymnasia of Baden-Baden, and ordered Flehinger to accompany him to the police station. The streets were empty that morning, except for other Jews who also had been told to report early to the police station. When Flehinger arrived at the station, there were 50 Jewish men there who had been rounded up by the SS. The arrest of these local Jewish men signaled the beginning of Kristallnacht in Baden-Baden. In total 80 Jewish men were arrested that morning. The SS ordered them to go outside to the courtyard and line up in rows. Towards noon, accompanied by the SS and police, the Jews were marched in long lines through the streets of the city towards the local synagogue.  Hundreds of residents of Baden-Baden lined the streets and hurled antisemitic epithets at the Jewish prisoners. On the steps of the synagogue, many more Germans awaited to join in the verbal abuse. The Jews were forced to enter the synagogue, to remove their hats and to listen to antisemitic lectures from the SS. Afterwords, Artur Felhinger was told to come up to the podium and to read sections from “Mein Kampf.” The SS were not satisfied with his recitation and beat him. A similar fate awaited all those called up to the podium to read. The Jews were then forced to sing the Nazi anthem “Horst Wessel” repeatedly until the Nazis were satisfied. After abusing them for many long hours, the Jews (except for the old and feeble) were loaded onto trucks and taken to Dachau. As soon as they were deported, the mob set fire to the synagogue. They tried to throw the synagogue’s cantor into the flames, but he was saved by a fireman. The stores and homes of the Jews in Baden-Baden were pillaged; the stone remains of the synagogue were used to pave a road, and a city park was erected where the synagogue once stood.