The November Pogrom, 9-10 November 1938


Photo Album from Vienna

Approximately 100 synagogues and houses of prayer served the Vienna Jewish community on the eve of the Holocaust. Few survived the Kristallnacht pogrom.

The synagogue was attacked, all the windows were shattered, the pews were smashed, the curtain of the Ark torn into pieces and a Torah scroll thrown outside. The entire contents of the synagogue were destroyed, Torah scrolls were thrown to the ground and torn and three scrolls were removed together with the Ark. The black memorial plaques on the walls were smashed. [The synagogues of] Hasidei Bojan and Emet Veshalom were also set alight, a fire was started in the Stadttempel too… and everything in the Beit Yosef [Synagogue] was destroyed.

Thus wrote Aharon Arnold Rosenfeld from Vienna to his son Haim (Robert) in Haifa, a few days after the pogrom.  In his letter, Aharon mentions the names of several of the synagogues that were damaged, and gives details about the property destruction and the physical harm caused to the Jews of Vienna.

In an album preserved in the Yad Vashem Archives, there are photographs documenting the destruction wrought by the SS and Nazi mob in Vienna that night.  The photos depict burned and desecrated synagogues, and the vandalized hall of the Jewish cemetery.  The identity of the photographer is unknown.