6 March 1933
Entry in the Steinhardt family’s guestbook
On 7 March 1933, after Jakob Steinhardt received massive threats from the SA, he hastily left Berlin and immigrated to Palestine with his family, taking this guestbook with him. The last entry before his escape is presented here.
The words “In memory of Berlin, March 1933” have been written next to a pencil drawing by an unidentified artist. The sketch shows the superimposed outlines of the heads of Otto von Bismarck, Paul von Hindenburg and Adolf Hitler. At the center of the image is a swastika.
The sketch is apparently an allusion to the claim made by the Nazis—particularly in the run-up to the 5 March elections—that Adolf Hitler stood in the tradition of these two great figures of Prussian history. On the so-called Day of Potsdam two and a half weeks later, this supposed line of tradition was staged with great fanfare in a public ceremony in which Hitler pointedly bowed before Reich President Hindenburg. For Jakob Steinhardt, who was Jewish, this gesture was an ominous symbol of the immediate threat to him and his family.