The key data of the theme year
Today, Berlin enjoys a global reputation as a modern, tolerant and culturally diverse metropolis. The 2013 Theme Year “Diversity Destroyed” will endeavour to communicate the importance and sensitive nature of these democratic values and achievements. The forthcoming Theme Year will highlight the social and cultural diversity that was destroyed in Berlin under the National Socialist regime in the
years following 1933. The eightieth anniversary of the Nazis’ accession to power on 30 January 1933 and the seventy-fifth anniversary of the November Pogroms, symbolized by the terror of 9 November 1938, are cornerstones in a year of commemoration, remembrance and active engagement with the past.
30th of January 1933
The Beginning of the Nazi Regime
On 30 January 1933, after much hesitation, the elderly President of Germany, Paul von Hindenburg, appointed Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of Germany. This was a completely legal and constitutional act. The power to govern Germany was transferred to the top candidate of the most successful party in an act that had nothing to do with a calculated ‘takeover’ by Hitler and his NSDAP.
The radical Hitler, surrounded by conservative and nationalist politicians, and with only two NSDAP ministers in his government, appeared to be tamed and under the control of the old elite that still dreamed of a German monarchy and an authoritarian, corporatist state. How wrong they and many of their contemporaries were, as they would learn that very same evening. more
On The November Pogroms of 1938
On 9 November 1938, the state of Germany dissolves into raw violence. Since 1933, countless legislative and administrative acts of discrimination, disfranchisement, humiliation and state-sponsored theft had robbed the Jewish minority in Germany of their hard-won emancipation. Now, they are subjected to acts of violence and terror reminiscent of the Middle Ages. Just hours after Goebbels gave the signal, synagogues burn across Germany, Jewish citizens are dragged from their apartments and beaten and abused in public, businesses are plundered and destroyed. The pogroms–allegedly an expression of the “spontaneous fury of the people”–rage for days. more