A schoolteacher on the appointment of Hitler (1933)

In early 1933, Louise Solmitz, a schoolteacher in Hamburg, wrote enthusiastically in her diary about the appointment of Adolf Hitler as chancellor:

January 30th 1933

“And what did Dr H. bring us? The news that his double, Hitler, is Chancellor of the Reich! And what a Cabinet! One we didn’t dare dream of in July. Hitler, Hugenberg, Seldte, Papen! On each one of them depends part of Germany’s hopes. National Socialist drive, German national reason, the non-political Stahlhelm, not to forget Papen. It is so incredibly marvellous that I am writing it down quickly before the first discordant note comes. When has Germany ever experienced a blessed summer after a wonderful spring? Probably only under Bismarck. What a great thing Hindenburg has achieved! How well he neutralized Hammerstein-Equord, who was presumptuous enough to bring politics into the Reichswehr!

Huge torchlight procession in the presence of Hindenburg and Hitler by National Socialists and Stahlhelm, who at long last are collaborating again. This is a memorable January 30th!”

February 6th 1933

“Torchlight procession of National Socialists and Stahlhelm! A wonderfully elevating experience for all of us. Goering says the day that Hitler and the nationalist Cabinet was appointed was something like 1914 … The Socialists and Reds will inevitably have to give in now…

It was 10 p.m. by the time the first torchlights came, and then 20,000 brown shirts followed one another like waves in the sea, their faces shone with enthusiasm in the light of the torches. ‘Three cheers for our Führer, our Chancellor Adolf Hitler….’ They sang ‘The Republic is shit’ and ‘The murderous reds have bloody hands and we won’t forget the murder at the Sternschanz.’ Dreckmann was murdered there and I happened to spot his name on one of the flags, probably the one of the section he had belonged to. The military standards are much too Roman in appearance.

Now came the Stahlhelm, a grey stream; quieter, more spiritual perhaps. On their beautiful flags, they carried our old colours, black-white-red, with mourning crêpe at the top. How wonderful and uplifting it is that the quarrels between brothers that once so depressed us have been settled! It should always be like tonight.”