9./10.11.1938, 26 Bethlehemstraße
During the night a unit of the SA forces its way into the Linz synagogue and sets it on fire. The fire brigade only concerns itself with preventing the flames from spreading to neighbouring buildings.
All over the German Reich there were riots directed against Jews, their synagogues, businesses and homes during the night of the 9th-10th of November. The pogrom was planned centrally but intended to appear as if it was a spontaneous outburst of “popular outrage”. The majority of the population stood idly by and watched. Many jeered at the victims or took part in acts of violence.
Karl Loewy, an eyewitness, described the events of that night as follows: “We saw flames leaping out of the temple windows. An SA officer came out of the building with a weapon in his hand. The Torah rolls and prayer books were carried out and thrown on the ground. G., a businessman who lived nearby went into the temple anteroom where things were stored, picked up a top hat, a prayer shawl and, with a Torah roll in his arms, sat down on the steps at the entrance to the house of God with it, rocking and imitating chanting in Hebrew. The yells from the mob that had collected there was their thanks for his “humorous” performance.
The fire brigade was there but was very careful only to prevent the flames from encroaching on neighbouring houses. We, who were shaken and shocked by the dreadful scene, were then approached by SA men who accused us of hiding weapons and saying that we Jews had set fire to the temple ourselves.”