The Nazi Terror That Began the Holocaust


Kristallnacht: The Nazi Terror That Began the Holocaust.Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow, 2012.

Illustrated in color and black-and-white with over 45 photographs, many of them rare. For ages 12 to adult. Published by Enslow.

Schedule a School Visit with James M Deem


I have introduced thousands of middle school and high school students both in the United States and Europe to the subject of Kristallnacht through my compelling PowerPoint presentation.

 Speaking to students at the International School of Berne (Switzerland) about Kristallnacht, November 2011

In my presentation, I introduce students to the events that took place shortly after Hitler was named Chancellor of Germany in 1933. I describe the boycott of Jewish businesses that transpired on April 1, 1933, and the burning of "un-German" books that occurred on May 10, 1933. I discuss the many laws and decrees that were enacted by the Nazis over the next five years to remove the rights of Germany's Jewish population. 

I then introduce the subject of forced emigration, which led to the expulsion of 17,000 Polish Jews from Germany in October 1938. I explain the events that transpired when Herschel Grynszpan learned that his family was among the deported Jews and how his violent act was used by Nazi propagandists to instigate a four-day pogrom that later became known as Kristallnacht. 

Throughout, I read primary source passages from my book to illustrate the events of Kristallnacht. I conclude by discussing how Kristallnacht was the opening movement of what became the Holocaust. My PowerPoint presentation includes many historical images that illustrate what happened before, during, and after Kristallnacht in Germany and Austria.

This presentation is suitable for students aged 12 and up who are studying the Holocaust.