A Confiscation of Porcelain

Completed in 1996, an interpretation of Kristallnacht, the official looting of Jewish homes in Germany in November 1938, as recalled by Hildegard.

In 1938…it must have been November…it must have been a few days after the Kristallnacht … A bell rang … and two men came in. They were dressed in the uniform of the Sturmabteilung … the SA … they entered with a paper which entitled them to remove valuables from Jewish homes. They came into the dining room where my mother unlocked the cabinets and drawers, then the two men began to wrap up the porcelain. They had a box … like a tea chest, and carefully they took all the pieces and wrapped them in a lot of tissue paper and put them into the tea chest. Then my mother opened the cutlery drawers and they took all the silver. I cannot remember if they wrapped it up or if they just flung it all into the sack … its not clear in my memory. We were allowed, each member of the family, to keep one set of cutlery. I don’t remember if they took anything else because my mother had already sold her jewellery. They asked her if she had any jewellery and she showed them some small items which they could not be bothered with…and then they went away…it was done to most … it was the law … Jews had to hand over their valuables …

Transcript of a tape recording made in 1994 by Hildegard Loftus [nee Basch]