Thursday, 25 April 2013

Thursday thoughts - War & Germany 1933

At the moment I am reading the award winning novel by Australia's Anna Funder, "All That I Am," set in the 1930s, with cousins, Ruth Becker and Dora Fabian, and their respective lovers, Hans Wesemann and Ernst Toller (and Toller's wife Christine) – whose political agitating against Hitler and his Third Reich necessitate their hasty departure from Germany (people were arrested as soon as Hitler came to power) and their subsequent resettlement in London as refugees. So far it's a great read, which goes back and forth between Germany in 1933, New York in 1939 and Sydney in 2000.

more at Penguin
The story is inspired by the real life experiences of Funder's friend, Ruth Blatt, who spent five years in solitary confinement in a German prison before securing her passage to Australia (via Shanghai) in 1947.  She lived the next fifty years of her life alone in a flat in Bondi Junction, and I know that Dora Fabian died in 1935, and Toller committed suicide in 1939, so it's not going to be a happy ending.

The story got me in, though, with Ruth's first sentence:  “When Hitler came to power I was in the bath.”

Such an unusual first sentence, don't you think, and one that had me thinking about Hitler and the strange power he had over the German people, and much of the world for some time.  I have always been taught that WWII began in 1939, but for many German people, it started in January 1933, when Hitler became Chancellor of Germany.  So today, Anzac day, a day we remember those fallen in war, some images of pre-war from, 1933 Germany.

Germany 1933

30 January 1933, Adolf Hitler appointed German chancellor

Adolf Hitler addresses a rally in Germany, 1933.

Hitler, Germany’s new Chancellor, in March 1933

Police search in Berlin. Germany, 1933.
Don’t buy from Jews…’ was the NAZI slogans they painted on Jewish shops in Berlin,1933

Walldorf, Germany, 1933, SS and SA members participating in the May Day parade. 

Arrival of political prisoners at the Oranienburg concentration camp. Oranienburg, Germany, 1933.

Hitler Youth Parade, Nazi Germany, 1933

Lest we forget.


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