Fritz Lamm describes his escape from the Nazi persecution of Jews from Stettin via Switzerland and Austria to Prague in his previously unpublished diary.

After a quarter of an hour in the warm waiting room [in the train station of Zell am See, Salzburger Land], the thick clumps of snow hanging off my trousers have still not melted. Tired and reluctant, and also hungry, I will soon head off again. [...] One must always be careful. Begging [sic!] is forbidden; I must not get into conflict with the police. 

Short biographical portrait
Fritz Lamm was born in 
deu. Stettin

Szczecin (German: Stettin) is a large city in northwestern Poland inhabited by nearly 403,000 people and the capital of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship (Polish: Zachodnio-Pomorskie). Szczecin is located on the Szczecin Lagoon and borders the German states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Brandenburg. The city was part of Prussia for several centuries.

Historische Orte
 in 1911. He came from a Jewish merchant family. As a youth, he became involved in the German-Jewish Wanderbund and in the socialist workers' movement. After the Reichstag fire, he was convicted of high treason and served a sentence of two years and three months in Naugard prison in 
deu. Pommern, pol. Pomorze

Pomerania is a region in northeastern Germany (Vorpommern) and northwestern Poland (Hinterpommern/Pomorze Tylne). The name is derived from the West Slavic 'by the sea' - 'po more/morze'. After the Thirty Years' War (Peace of Westphalia in 1648), Western Pomerania initially became Swedish, and Western Pomerania fell to Brandenburg, which was able to acquire further parts of Western Pomerania in 1720. It was not until 1815 that the entire region belonged to the Kingdom of Prussia as the Province of Pomerania. The province existed until the end of World War II, its capital was Szczecin (today Polish: Stettin).

. He was released in the fall of 1935, but continued to be observed by the police. In January 1936 he fled from Stettin via Switzerland, first to Austria, from there to 
deu. Prag, eng. Prague, lat. Praga

Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and is inhabited by about 1.3 million people, which also makes it the most populated city in the country. It is on the river Vltava in the center of the country in the historical part of Bohemia.

, then to France. At the beginning of the war, Lamm – like many other Germans – was interned in France. He managed to escape from internment via Marseilles and Casablanca to Havana (Cuba). In 1948 he returned to Europe. In Stuttgart he became involved with the SPD and worked for the Stuttgarter Zeitung. He died in 1977.
Historical background
Fritz Lamm's diary covers the first stage of his long escape from the National Socialists, namely the route from Stettin via Switzerland and Austria to Prague in early 1936. It provides an insight into the fears and violence endured by all those who were persecuted by the National Socialists. The diary as a source also reflects the 24-year-old author's need to document what he had experienced at all costs. The entries contain many detailed descriptions of the places he passed through and of people he met or who helped him. In Feldkirch, Austria, on January 18, 1936, he even records the purchase of the diary: "It occurs to me that I should keep a diary. There is still time to buy a notebook in a stationery store. I will go into the town. Above the castle, behind it, the huge mountains like opened up umbrellas, and above them, in the clear sky, the stars! | I bought you, little notebook". He recapitulates the events prior to this in a longer connected entry. After that, there is a single entry for almost every day. All of the following quotations are from Lamb's diary in the period January-February 1936. The main part of Fritz Lamm's estate has been preserved in two parts, namely in the German National Library in Leipzig/Frankfurt am Main and in the Federal Archives in Berlin-Lichterfelde.
Just out of prison, briefly 'free' and then on the run
After his release from prison, Lamm experienced how the National Socialists used violence against his comrades in Stettin. These experiences spurred his decision to leave Germany:

I have only been ‘free’ for a little over 10 weeks. And already I have cause to fear again. On Monday evening the comrade who was my next colleague at work ’disappeared’. That decided it for me. On Monday evening I learned that the acquaintance, whom I unfortunately went to visit on Thursday as his house was being searched, had been in the hospital since Sunday morning with a crushed skull and suffering a nervous breakdown. That decided it for me. 

In mid-January 1936, Lamm manages to reach Lake Constance by train via Berlin and Stuttgart. There he crosses into Switzerland, but is arrested by the Swiss police and deported to Austria. From the Swiss-Austrian border, he makes his way to Vienna, often on foot, sometimes hitching a lift:
After a quarter of an hour in the warm waiting room [at the train station in Zell am See, Salzburger Land], the thick clumps of snow hanging from my trousers have still not melted. Tired, reluctant, and hungry, I soon head off again. My hope is rewarded: there is more traffic on the road. But the few passing cars do not take me. Just beyond the village, you don’t have any luck. You have to go further out to get to the farmers in time, so I couldn't stay long in Zell. You always have to be careful. Begging [sic!] is forbidden; I must not get into conflict with the police.
The refugee issue and bureaucracy
After several days, Lamm reached Vienna. Here he inquired as to what possibilities there were for him to settle his residency status. The diary entry refers, among other things, to the ongoing discussions within the League of Nations (“in Geneva”). During the 1920s and 1930s, because of numerous conflicts, the refugee issue was a permanent topic of the League of Nations. At the same time, the entry gives an impression of how a refugee perceived the wheels of bureaucracy in 1936:
_ I'll go to the lawyer. [...] But there is nothing to be done. There has still been no result in Geneva on the refugee issue. I could be officially declared a stateless person and then get a stateless passport. But what for? Then you need a visa for every country and never get one. Then I'd rather stay a German citizen. | [fol. 356, re] But the German consul will just tell me to go home and get a passport. If I approach the Austrian police for a residence permit, they will take even more notice of me – and at the same time be forced to take a stand. Otherwise, they can tolerate and overlook me. And work permits are impossible to get. But this the same everywhere. | He thinks the Czech Republic is just as unfavorable. It would probably be easier to stay in Austria. But how? This all goes beyond the limits of legal advice._
In Vienna, Lamm managed to establish contact with Prague. There Lamm hoped to be better able to earn his own living. Since Lamm did not have a passport, he was advised in Vienna to cross the Austrian-Czechoslovakian border at an unguarded point.
Reconstruction of the border crossing into Czechoslovakia
Secret paths along the Austrian-Czechoslovakian border
I get off the train in Berg, where the road leads to Pressburg [Bratislava]. The Austrian customs house is there. Next to it is the Czech one. And the Bratislava streetcar is next to that. I walk in the direction of Berg. After about 250 steps, I have already reached a place I should only be after 600. [...] It is an open field. But very dark. | [...] There where the poplars stand – that’s the border. But it takes a long time until it's our turn. Then he explains to me. I have to get on the road about 500 or 600m behind the Czech border house. [...] Continue on your own. Quickly over the path with the poplars, the border. I have already sneaked out of Austria. But now I’m sneaking into Czecho-Slovakia. 
The description of the border crossing contrasts with the previous entries about bureaucratic hurdles. In the face of bureaucracy, one recognizes the helplessness in Lamm's diary entry. In his entry describing the surreptitious border-crossing, on the other hand, there is a palpable sense of relief at having managed this venture, probably also because he had experienced a setback at the German-Swiss border a few weeks earlier. There he had been arrested by the Swiss police and then deported to Austria. He describes how, assisted by a local expert, he crosses the border into Czechoslovakia, giving numerous details about the terrain:
After Lamm has recorded his border crossing in the diary, he describes his arrival in Prague in just a few sentences. After that, the diary ends. Letters and other sources provide information about the further course of his emigration, which led him to Cuba. With regard to this further journey to Central America, the diary documents only the first, relatively short, section of his escape from the National Socialists. 
Federal Archive Berlin, N/2162, Fritz Lamm
Map material of the Herder Institute  
**Editing: **
Text: Christian Lotz
Research and Editing: Thomas Klemm
Map mounting: Laura Gockert

Siehe auch