Tuesday Jan 11, 2022

Ernst vom Rath

This Nazi diplomat was assassinated by the Jewish activist Herschel Grynszpan –– and his death became a pretext for the murderous pogroms of Kristallnacht. Grynszpan's lawyer, the flamboyant anti-fascist Vincent de Moro-Giafferi, pioneered in this case what was perhaps the first –– and only morally good –- use of some version of a 'gay panic' or ‘gay blackmail’ defense. But was vom Rath actually gay?

SOURCES:

Jonathan Kirsch, The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan: A Boy Avenger, a Nazi Diplomat, and a Murder in Paris, First Edition (New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, A Division of W.W. Norton & Company, 2013)

Museum of Jewish Heritage, The Forgotten Life of Herschel Grynszpan, 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLl_iK1xiiE;

Gerald Schwab, The Day the Holocaust Began: The Odyssey of Herschel Grynszpan (New York: Praeger, 1990).

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