28 February 1933
Diary entry by Erich Seligmann
Erich Seligmann began his diary in 1908, although in 1933 he wrote on only twenty-two occasions. In some of the longer entries, he refers to political events, but mostly reflects on his own situation. In late March, he was suspended from his position as director of the Scientific Institute of the Central Health Office. In August, he was accused of having an “unpatriotic attitude” and abusing his office. His complaints and efforts to disprove the charges proved unsuccessful. In a letter written at the end of the year, the acting mayor described Seligmann as an “exponent of the Social Democratic Jewish members of the Central Health Office. . .for whom there is no room in our National Socialist community.”
Shortly after he was suspended, Erich Seligmann was appointed director of the newly established Board of Health of the Berlin Jewish Community. He also served as president of the Jewish Hospital. He did not decide to leave Germany until 1939 and immigrated to the United States via England, where he was able to continue his illustrious career.
28 February. A few hours after I penned yesterday’s entry, there was a fire at the Reichstag—set by the Communists, according to official reports. Strict measures against the Communists and Social Democrats, arrests, the mobilization of auxiliary police, a collective press ban. The next few hours and days will provide a glimpse of the future. Suspicions arise and are expressed only in whispers—they are so incredible that I am reluctant to put them to paper. Bleeding, burning Germany!