On 4 January 1933 Hitler, von Papen, Hess, Himmler and Keppler arrived at my house in Cologne. Hitler, von Papen and I went into my study where a two-hour discussion took place. Hess, Himmler and Keppler did not take part but were in the adjoining room. [ . . . ] The negotiations took place exclusively between Hitler and Papen. [ . . . ] Papen went on to say that he thought it best to form a government in which the conservative and nationalist elements that had supported him were represented together with the Nazis. He suggested that this new government should, if possible, be led by Hitler and himself together. Then Hitler made a long speech in which he said that, if he were to be elected Chancellor, Papen’s followers could participate in his (Hitler’s) Government as Ministers if they were willing to support his policy which was planning many alterations in the existing state of affairs. He outlined these alterations, including the removal of all Social Democrats, Communists and Jews from leading positions in Germany and the restoration of order in public life. Von Papen and Hitler reached agreement in principle whereby many of the disagreements between them could be removed and cooperation might be possible. It was agreed that further details could be worked out later either in Berlin or some other suitable place. This happened, as I learned later, at a meeting with Ribbentrop. [ . . . ]
This meeting between Hitler and Papen on 4 January 1933 in my house in Cologne was arranged by me after Papen had asked me for it on about 10 December 1932. Before I took this step I talked to a number of businessmen and informed myself generally on how the business world viewed a collaboration between the two men. The general desire of businessmen was to see a strong man come to power in Germany who would form a government that would stay in power for a long time. [ . . . ]
Source of English translation: Jeremy Noakes and Geoffrey Pridham, eds., Nazism 1919-1945, Vol. 1, The Rise to Power 1919-1934. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1998, pp. 115-16.
Source of original German text: No. 96, “Eidesstattliche Erklärung des Freiherrn Kurt von Schroeder vor der amerikanischen Untersuchungsbehörde des Internationalen Militärgerichtshofes in Nürnberg zu den Verhandlungen in seinem Hause in Köln mit Hitler am 4. Januar 1933” [“Sworn Statement by Kurt Baron von Schroeder to the American Investigatory Committee of the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg on the Negotiations with Hitler at Schroeder’s House in Cologne on January 4, 1933”], reprinted in Reinhard Kühnl, Der deutsche Faschismus in Quellen und Dokumenten. Düsseldorf: Paul-Rugenstein Verlag, 1977, pp. 172-75.