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1938: The End of Illusions
 pg. 142 
In celebration of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels's birthday, 500 new radios were distributed to needy countrymen in Berlin. Both Hitler and Goebbels recognized that radio was an effective way to get their message to the German masses. Once the Nazis were in power, Goebbels's news broadcasts became the sole responsibility of the Propaganda Ministry, and Hitler delivered numerous radio speeches every year. The Nazi regime encouraged radio listening at every opportunity. Radios were set up in factories, restaurants, and offices. By 1939 70 percent of German households owned radios, the highest ownership rate in the world.
Photo: SYddeutscher Verlag Bilderdienst
Ernst vom Rath (pictured), a German diplomat serving in Paris, was shot by a Polish Jew named Herschel Grynszpan. Grynszpan shot Rath thinking that he was the German ambassador. In reality, Rath was a legation secretary in the German Embassy. The shooting and eventual death of Rath served as a pretext for the Nazis to initiate a pogrom against the Jews.
Photo: Österreichische Gesellschaft für Zeitgeschichte/United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Herschel Grynszpan is taken from police headquarters in Paris after being interrogated about the shooting of Ernst vom Rath. Grynszpan spent two years languishing in French jails before the Vichy regime turned him over to the Germans. The time and place of Grynszpan's death have never been determined.
Photo: Dokumentationsarchiv des Österreichischen Widerstandes/United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
 November 10, 1938: 100,000 people in Nuremberg, Germany, attend a rally celebrating Kristallnacht.
 November 11, 1938: Jews are killed and injured during an antisemitic pogrom at Bratislava, Slovakia.
 November 12, 1938: Hermann Göring leads a discussion of German officials that results in a one-billion-mark ($400-million) fine against the German-Jewish community to pay for Kristallnacht. Göring calls this extortion an "expiation payment." Seizing the money German insur-ance companies were paying the Jews for their damages, the Nazis require the Jews to pay for the repair of their own properties damaged in Kristallnacht.
1938: The End of Illusions
 pg. 142 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.