An American in Hitler's Berlin: Abraham Plotkin's Diary, 1932-33
This is the first published edition of the diary of Abraham Plotkin, an American labor leader of immigrant Jewish origin who lived in Berlin between November 1932 and May 1933. A firsthand account of the Weimar Republic's final months and the early rise of Nazi power in Germany, Plotkin's diary focuses on the German working class, the labor movement, and the plight of German Jews. Plotkin investigated Berlin's social conditions with the help of German Social-Democratic leaders whose analyses of the situation he records alongside his own.
Most accounts of Hitler's rise to power emphasize political institutions by focusing on the Nazi party's clashes with other political forces. In contrast, Plotkin is especially attentive to socioeconomic factors, providing an alternative view from the left that stems from his access to key German labor and socialist leaders. Chronologically, the diary reports on the moment when Hitler's seizure of power was not yet inevitable and when leaders on the left still believed in a different outcome of the crisis, but it also includes Plotkin's account of the complete destruction of German labor in May 1933.
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An American in Hitler's Berlin: Abraham Plotkin's diary, 1932-33User Review - Book Verdict
Verdict: American labor activist Plotkin's diary captures the mood of nascent Nazi Germany and is recommended for academic libraries with extensive labor collections. Background: Labor experts Collomp (Universite Paris VII-Denis Diderot) and Groppo (Centre National de la Rescherche Scientifique-Paris) have excavated a unique gem in this diary. Plotkin went to Germany to study its progressive labor programs (such as unemployment insurance) and arrived in Berlin to witness the crucial struggle between the Communists, Social Democrats, and the Nazi party. His diary is a meticulous six-month long record of the Nazi rallies and his encounters with anti-Semitism, and it includes whole conversations between labor leaders on Hitler and the role of labor in the future of Germany.-Maria C. Bagshaw, Ecolab, Inc. Copyright 2009 Media Source Inc. Copyright 2009 Media Source Inc. ...
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