German Jewish schoolgirl, Nuremberg
A number of men, somewhere between 7-10, came bursting into our house and started smashing up everything. They locked my parents in the bathroom and they were desperate to know what was happening to their girls. There were only two of us at home at the time, my older sister was away at college and my younger sister and I shared a big room and I saw that her bed was full of glass and that everything had been smashed and the furniture was turned upside down. Then they pulled me out of bed and tore my nightdress to shreds and I was so self-conscious as a 15 year old.
There were roars of laughter from these young men, who seemed as if they were drunk, and they said to me, 'Well, get your clothes on, where are they?' And I said, 'In that wardrobe' - this was heavy continental furniture. 'OK, go and got them.' So I went to get them and as I went up to it they got behind it and threw it over. In fact it certainly would have killed me if they hadn't turned quite a large table upside down first; for a short time the table held the wardrobe and I crawled out underneath. Then they started smashing up the rest of the place. My parents were screaming and shouting because they didn't know what was happening to us, it really was awful. Then they left to smash up somebody else's house.
It was then that life as I had known it, stopped.