Gift funds research on impact of Kristallnacht


(Above: shop windows broken during Kristallnacht)

On the night of Nov. 9-10, 1938, Nazis arrested 30,000 Jews, killed 100 and destroyed Jewish businesses and synagogues throughout Germany. So much glass carpeted the streets that the night became known as Kristallnacht (the night of broken glass). What impact did this state-sponsored pogrom have on public opinion in Canada, the United States and Britain?

Graduate students in the Department of History, Faculty of Arts, are about to find out. A $200,000 gift from Milton Harris to the York University Foundation will fund their investigation over the next three years. Harris is the Chair and CEO of Harris Steel Group Inc.

Students will be chosen to work on the project based on their specialized studies in Jewish history, the history of the inter-war period, urban and cultural history and public opinion.

The gift will also sponsor an international conference and pay for the publication of a book of the best papers presented. The book will include introductory and contextual essays by European history specialists at York.

For more information on the project, visit the Media Relations Web site at