From I WILL BEAR WITNESS VOLS 1 & 2 by Victor Klemperer, translated by Martin Chalmers, copyright © 1998 by Martin Chalmers. Used by permission of Random House, Inc. For on line information about other Random House, Inc. books, and authors, see the Internet Web Site at http://www.randomhouse.com.
March 31, Friday evening
Ever more hopeless. The boycott begins tomorrow. Yellow placards, men on guard. Pressure to pay Christian employees two months salary, to dismiss Jewish ones. No reply to the impressive letter of the Jews to the President of the Reich and to the government. [ . . . ] No one dares make a move. The Dresden student body made a declaration today: United behind . . . and the honor of German students forbids them to come into contact with Jews. They are not allowed to enter the Student House. How much Jewish money went toward this Student House only a few years ago!
In Munich Jewish university teachers have already been prevented from setting foot in the university.
The proclamation and injunction of the boycott committee decrees "Religion is immaterial," only race matters. If, in the case of the owners of a business, the husband is Jewish, the wife Christian or the other way around, then the business counts as Jewish.
At Gusti Wieghardt's yesterday evening. The most depressed atmosphere. During the night at about three—Eva unable to sleep—Eva advised me to give notice on our apartment today, perhaps renting a part of it again. I gave notice today. The future is quite uncertain. [ . . . ]
On Tuesday at the new Universum cinema on Prager Strasse. Beside me a soldier of the Reichswehr, a mere boy, and his not very attractive girl. It was the evening before the boycott announcement. Conversation during an Alsberg advertisement. He: "One really shouldn't go to a Jew to shop." She: "But it's so terribly cheap." He: "Then it's bad and doesn't last." She, reflective, quite matter-of-fact, without the least pathos: "No, really, it's just as good and lasts just as long, really just like in Christian shops—and so much cheaper." He falls silent. When Hitler, Hindenburg, etc. appeared, he clapped enthusiastically. Later, during the utterly American jazz band film, clearly with a touch of Yiddish at points, he clapped even more enthusiastically.
The events of March 21 were shown, including passages from speeches, Hindenburg's proclamation laborious, his breath short, the voice of a very old man who is physically near the end. Hitler declaiming like a pastor. Goebbels looks uncommonly Jewish [ . . . ]. We saw a torchlight procession and a great deal of marching awakening Germany. Also Danzig with the swastika flag. [ . . . ]
Source of original German text: Victor Klemperer, Ich will Zeugnis ablegen bis zum letzen. Tagebücher 1933-1941. Berlin: Aufbau-Verlag, 1995, pp. 16-17.