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World History Archive / Alamy Stock PhotoOn the night of November 9, 1938, exactly 80 years ago, Nazi Germany put on a display of unbridled anti-Semitic violence that was quickly dubbed Kristallnacht—the night of broken glass. For those Americans living there at the time, the scenes they witnessed or heard about left indelible memories: Angus Thuermer, a recent University of Illinois graduate who was studying German in Berlin, recalled hearing “the smash and tinkle of broken glass” as thugs with Nazi armbands bashed in the windows of Jewish-owned shops; inside one of them another Nazi smashed a grand piano to pieces. Thuermer also saw smoke rising from a synagogue that had been set alight, one of approximately 1,000 synagogues that were destroyed across the country. “I was seeing, eye-witnessing an unreal frenzy,” he recalled. “It was the n-th power of what I had seen in Nazi rallies. That was sound. This was fury.” Charles Thayer, a diplomat assigned to the U.S. consulate in Berlin, heard horror stories from all around the city. One of his friends saw the Nazis throw a small boy from a second-floor window to the mob below. “His leg broken, the boy began to crawl on hands and knees through the forest of kicking black boots until my friend plunged into the mob and rescued him,” he recounted. While more synagogues burned, the thugs ransacked Jewish-owned department stores. At Wertheim, they pushed grand pianos off the gallery level so they would shatter on the main floor six floors down. Read more at The Daily Beast. Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here