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27th February 1933: ‘Work at home in the evening. The Leader [Hitler] comes to dine at 21h00. We have some music and talk. Suddenly a phone call from Dr. Hanfstaengl: “The Reichstag is on fire!” I take this as a bit of wild fantasy and refuse to report it to the Leader. I ask for news wherever possible and at last obtain the dreadful confirmation: it is true! The great dome is all ablaze. Incendiarism! I immediately inform the Leader, and we hasten at top speed down the Charlottenburg road to the Reichstag. The whole building is aflame… Goering meets us on the way…There is no doubt that communism has made a last attempt to cause disorder by means of fire and terror, in order to grasp the power during the general panic… Goering at once suppresses the entire Communist and Social Democratic Press. Officials of the Communist Party are arrested during the night.’

Joseph Goebbels – My Part in Germany’s Fight, 1935

  

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