The story of Herschel Grynszpan, whose actions provided the pretext for Kristallnacht.
Michael Tippett's oratorio A Child of Our Time was partly inspired by the story of Herschel Grynszpan, a young Polish-German Jew whose assassination of Nazi foreign service officer Ernst vom Rath in Paris on 7 November 1938 provided the excuse for the vicious pogrom that became known as Kristallnacht.
Despite his key role, Grynszpan remains an obscure figure. He was taken into French custody and remained alive throughout much of the war, a prisoner in various Nazi institutions. But his ultimate fate is unknown.
This feature tells the intriguing story of 17 year old Herschel Grynszpan and speculates on his fate, and on why his name has been largely forgotten by history.
Contributors: David Cesarani, Ron Roizen, Gerald Schwab and John Najam.
Produced by Emma Harding.