Herschel Grynszpan

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Herschel Feibel Grynszpan (sometimes spelled "Greenspan" etc.) (born March 28, 1921- circa 1943-45), was a Polish Jew and political assassin. Grynszpan's assassination of the German diplomat Ernst vom Rath on November 7, 1938, after the deportation of his family, provided the excuse for the Nazi Kristallnacht, the anti-semitic pogrom of November 9–10, 1938. Grynszpan was seized by the Gestapo after the German invasion of France and brought to Germany.

Contents

Early years

Herschel Grynszpan was born in Hanover, Germany. His parents, Sendel and Rivka Grynszpan, were Polish Jews who had immigrated from Poland in 1911 and settled in Hanover, where Sendel opened a tailor's shop, from which the family made a modest living. They became Polish citizens[1] after World War I and retained that status during their years in Germany. Herschel was one of six children of whom only three survived childhood. The first child was born dead in 1912. The second child, daughter Sophie Helena, born in 1914, died in 1928 of scarlet fever. Daughter Esther was born on January 31, 1916, and a son, Mordechai, on August 29, 1919. A fifth child, son Salomon, was born in 1920 and died in 1931 as a result of a traffic accident. On March 28, 1921, Herschel was born.[2]

Hanover to Paris

Herschel attended a state primary school until he was 14, in 1935. He later said that he left school because Jewish students were already facing discrimination. He was an intelligent, sensitive youth who had few close friends, although he was an active member of the Jewish youth sports club, Bar-Kochba Hanover. When he left school, his parents decided there was no future for him in Germany, and tried to arrange for him to emigrate to the British Mandate of Palestine. With financial assistance from the Hanover Jewish community, Herschel was sent to a yeshiva (rabbinical seminary) in Frankfurt-am-Main, where he studied Hebrew and Torah: he was by all accounts more religious than his parents. But after eleven months he left the yeshiva and returned to Hanover, where he applied to immigrate to Palestine. But the local Palestine emigration office told him he was too young, and would have to wait a year.

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