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The Ginsberg home was located at 31 Wilhelmstrasse. They were one block from the largest urban garden in Berlin, the Tiergarten, and a five-minute walk from the beautiful Landwehr Canal. But Wilhelmstrasse was a terrible address for a Jewish family in the 1930s.  As close as the park and canal were, the center of the Reich was closer. 73 Wilhelmstrasse was the official residence of the President of the Reich until Hitler relocated it to the other end of Wilhelmstrasse, even closer to the Ginsberg family. In January 1933, when Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, a torchlight parade marched down Wilhelmstrasse. Hitler addressed the cheering crowds on Wilhelmstrasse from a window on that street. In January 1938, round-the-clock construction began on the new Reich Chancellery which was completed in January 1939. Seeing Hitler’s supporters and Nazi soldiers outside their window was a constant reminder that the Nazis were in charge and the Jews were powerless.

Torchlight parade down Wilhemstrasse

Photo: Adolf Hitler (in the window) greets the participants in a torchlight parade on the evening of his appointment as Chancellor of Germany.

January 30, 1933, Berlin, Germany.

Photo credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park.

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