Bring Us Grynszpan - France
Bring Us Grynszpan (Livrez-nous Grynszpan, 2008)
The young Polish man, Herschel Grynszpan, fired the shots that sparked an inferno. The deadly Crystal Night of Nazi Germany began in the wake of his actions, and the anti-Semitic violence that took place on that terrible evening would forever change the face of Europe.
It began with the death of Ernst von Rath in the German embassy in Paris on the fateful day of November 7th 1938. Grynzspan, in retribution for the abuses his people suffered under the Third Reich, went into the embassy with a revolver and shot the Nazi politician. This event served as a pretext for a terrible backlash in Nazi Germany, which led to a wave of bloody violence against the German Jews in an event that would come to be known simply as "Crystal Night." Hitler's vengeance was total and lethal, and once the dust settled, countless homes had been destroyed, synagogues and businesses had been burnt to the ground, and untold millions of innocent Jews had been killed or imprisoned.
Grynspan was born in Hanover, Germany in a life of toil and hardship. At the age of 17, unable to find a place to live or work, he fled to Paris with his uncles in an attempt to build a life for himself. Though this was not to be, and the young Jewish man was soon confronted and bullied by local authorities, who tried to force him out of the country. Grynszpan stayed in secret, but he burned with anger at the terrible conditions he and his family were suffering. When he heard of a Nazi politician taking up residence in a Parisian embassy, he decided to act.
He offered no resistance to authorities, and was soon incarcerated in France after the assassination. During the chaos that followed in the attacks of Crystal Night, he escaped and was freed in Berlin. His tragic story later ended, however, when he was deported to the Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where he died.