• K. Mendelssohn


When I woke up the sun was shining in my face. I had slept deeply, soundly and long—for the first time in many weeks. The night before I had arrived in London and gone to bed without fear that at 3 a.m. a car with a couple of S.A. men would draw up and take me away. Breslau, where I had a post at the university in 1933, was ahead of most German cities in establishing Nazi terror. In view of my record as a former member of a militant anti-Nazi organization, I considered it merely a question of time and statistics as to when my own turn for interrogation would come. This state of affairs was injurious to my nervous system and I began to sleep badly. It is quite a different thing to face your enemy with weapons in your hand from sitting helplessly in a cage, waiting for him to pounce. I had married a few months earlier and my wife was terror-struck when the police appeared at the door, just as I was expected back from work. It then turned out that they were checking on our landlady’s passport, in spite of the fact that she did not have one. This was good enough and we decided to leave Breslau forthwith, ostensibly to spend Easter in Berlin. Being of mixed Jewish-German parentage and having had a Lutheran baptism I was, at that time, entitled to keep my passport, but I had no illusions that soon enough things would be less easy.


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© K. Mendelssohn 1973

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  • K. Mendelssohn

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