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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

January 30, 2008

"I can’t eat enough to puke as I would like"

Filed under Life in Europe

German news media spent a lot of time today talking about an event that took place 75 years ago: On this day Adolf Hitler became the last chancellor of Germany’s Weimar Republic.

In free elections prior to becoming chancellor, Hitler never received a majority of the votes cast. However, despite losses suffered by his Machtergreifung party in the last election before Germany became a dictatorship, Hitler’s Nazi party was the largest single party in the Reichstag. With no other party able to form a majority government, Hitler finally got his chance. On the evening of January 30, 1933, Joseph Goebbels arranged a torchlight parade through the Brandenburg Gate to celebrate Hitler’s appointment (the picture is a later reconstruction of the event by Nazi propagandists). Today’s media coverage included diary entries from concerned Germans who wondered what Hitler would mean for their country’s future. The most poignant quote of the day was Jewish artist Max Liebermann’s reaction to the torchlight parade. Liebermann’s apartment was near the Brandenburg Gate: "I can’t eat enough to puke as I would like."

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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