The 1938 “November Pogrom”

Jews from Burgpreppach arrested during the November pogrom and sent to forced labor, November 1938.

Source: Stadtarchiv Nürnberg (Signature E39 No. 122/8)

Near Burgpreppach, November 1938.

The photograph was sent to “Der Stürmer” by four guards. The banner is inscribed: “The Grünspan gang learns how to work!”

Source: Stadtarchiv Nürnberg (Signature E39 No. 122/5)

Photo sent to “Der Stürmer” with inscription on reverse, November 1938.

“Best wishes from your loyal comrades-in-arms from the Jews’ camp in Hofheim, Main-Franconia. In the foreground is Rabbi Nussbaum, and on the right is the teacher Linz from Burgpreppach. Heil Hitler!“

Source: Stadtarchiv Nürnberg (Signature E39 No. 122/5 reverse)

Statement by Max Linz to the Gestapo, 14 January 1939.

At this point, the Gestapo still used the threat of the concentration camp to compel Jews to emigrate. A passport application could hasten the release from the concentration camp.

Source: Staatsarchiv Würzburg

The 1938 “November Pogrom”

In Burgpreppach (Bavaria), Jewish men were not only forced to work in the fields, but also to remove the rubble of the synagogue burnt to the ground during the pogrom. On their way to work, they had to wear banners mocking them as “work-shy” and blaming them for the pogrom. After two weeks, they were taken to Dachau Concentration Camp.

An assassination that took place in Paris served the National Socialists as a pretext for the pogroms. In an act of desperation over his family’s expulsion from Germany, a certain Herschel Grynszpan had shot a German diplomat to death. The so-called “Reich Crystal Night” marks the transition from the systematic exclusion and disenfranchisement of Jews to their violent persecution. More than 1,400 synagogues were destroyed, and some 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and deported to concentration camps.

Max Linz

Teacher from Burgpreppach
born 25. September 1902 in Hersfeld
died 15. August 1942 in the Majdanek Concentration Camp

On 1 June 1929, Max Linz began working as a teacher and cantor for the Jewish community of Burgpreppach. He and his wife Helene lived in the schoolhouse directly next to the synagogue. During the pogrom of November 9–10, 1938, they were able to escape before the school building was overtaken by flames from the burning synagogue. Max Linz and the other Jewish men of the community were arrested. After his release from the Dachau Concentration Camp, he and his wife attempted to obtain permission to emigrate to the United States, without success. They were deported to the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp. From there, Max Linz was transferred to the Majdanek Concentration Camp near Lublin, where he died on 15 August 1942. His wife’s fate remains unknown.

The German labor administration

The employment offices were a key tool used by the National Socialist state to steer the labor market. After compulsory service was instituted in 1938, the authorities could compel all Germans to accept job assignments, even against their will. Many of these jobs were in the armaments industry. Launched in 1936, the “Four Year Plan” administration sought to prepare the military and economy for war by 1940. They created a “labor deployment” board that drew upon employment office staff. They were given the assignment of preparing the labor market for war. The employment offices also played a central role in the exclusion of Jews. Beginning in 1938, it called up Jews for labor deployment in segregated units.