Chapter One: ‘‘1933’’
In I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years, 1933–1941, Klemperer begins by writing of day-to-day cares and his efforts to make progress on building a small house on the plot of land he and his wife have purchased in Dolzschen, just outside Dresden. Although Klemperer finds the house to be worrisome, his wife is desperate for it, so he wants to see it built for her sake.
Klemperer and Eva suffer from a variety of aches and pains. Because of Eva’s declining health, Klemperer often does the domestic chores in addition to working as a lecturer at Dresden Technical University. He is a professor of Romance languages and literature, but the Third Reich’s influence threatens his position.
The Klemperers are social people, frequently entertaining guests and visiting friends’ homes. Hitler’s regime sends waves of fear into every corner of their lives, and they express their uncertainty about the future. Klemperer identifies himself strongly with Germany and is outraged at the rise of the current ‘‘un-German’’ regime. Even though he no longer adheres to the Jewish faith, the regime sees anyone who is one-quarter Jewish by descent to be a Jew, and the restrictions are already beginning.
Chapter Two: ‘‘1934’’
Because Klemperer fought at the front in World War I and because he is married to an Aryan (of Indo-European descent), he is protected from the...
(The entire section is 1322 words.)
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