To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the November pogrom, referred to as Reichskristallnacht at the time (the Night of Broken Glass), which had occurred on November 9–10, 1938, the West German Postal Service issued the stamp featured here. It depicts the burning synagogue in Baden-Baden and includes a Jewish proverb: “The key to salvation lies in remembrance.” On November 10, 1988, the Bundestag held an official memorial service, which ended in an uproar. Many Bundestag representatives felt that the speech delivered on the occasion by Bundestag President Phillip Jenninger was trivializing, and they walked out. Jenninger’s speech was also criticized in the public discourse, although less for its content than its rhetorical and stylistic shortcomings, which had led to misinterpretations. Jenninger eventually resigned from his office as a result of the scandal.

Stamp Commemorating Kristallnacht (1988)


Source: Special postage stamp issued by the German Federal Postal Service to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the November pogrom 1938 known as Reichskristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass. The stamp features the burning synagogue of Baden-Baden. Photo: IN-Press.

Courtesy of the German Information Center