The New Synagogue of Berlin on November 9/10, 1938

What exactly happened in and around the New Synagogue in the night of November 9 to 10, 1938 is not entirely clear. What is certain is that National Socialist and marauding groups gained access to the building, wreaked havoc, and began setting fires. However, the New Synagogue did not burn down that night. Contemporary witnesses mention the quick intervention of the doorman and other courageous people; others emphasize the efforts of the police department at Hackescher Markt. The police officers Willi Steuck and Otto Bellgardt, who worked there, warned Jews of raids under National Socialism and stamped fake IDs. It was most likely they were also the ones who drove away the mob and called the fire department. Above all, their supervisor, Wilhelm Krützfeld, who had been head of the police station since 1937 and took early retirement in 1943, is repeatedly mentioned in connection with the preservation of the New Synagogue from complete destruction. In 1992, his grave in Berlin-Weissensee became an honorary grave of the City of Berlin. On November 9, 1993, the state of Schleswig-Holstein renamed the state police school in Malente-Kiebitzhörn “Landespolizeischule Wilhelm Krützfeld.” And on May 5, 1995, a commemorative plaque was placed at the New Synagogue, on which the Berlin Chief of Police commemorates Wilhelm Krützfeld and his “courageous and determined intervention.” 

Timeline Berlin

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top