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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