Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany on January 30... Many artists and intellectuals left Berlin immediately following the Reichstag fire, which Hitler blamed on the Communists, and which the Nazis used to whip up public furor... [Film producer] Seymour Nebenzahl was Jewish; so was Erich Pommer, as was widely known. ("Pure Jewish--everyone knew that," in the words of Conrad von Molo.) These two were scarcely alone. The Nazis ascribed Jewish lineage to a majority of motion picture figures, from the obscure to the most illustruous people. A Nazi Party tabulation in 1932, quoted by Helmut Heiber in his Goebbels biography, claimed Germany's motion picture distribution companies were 81 percent Jewish-run, with 41 percent of the scenarists, 45 percent of the composers, and 47 percent of the directors classified as Jewish, according to the Nazi racial arithmetic.McGilligan, page 194:
Ufa's dismal financial straits, in 1927, had led the [German film] company to invite Erich Pommer back to Germany, where he was awarded his own autonomous production unit within the larger operations. Magic still surrounded Pommer's name... Pommer was on his way to New York iin January of 1933 to finalize the deal when Hitler became Chancellor; he was on the high seas, returning to Berlin, at the time of the Reichstag fire. Arriving back in Berlin, he immediately offered Ludwig Klitzsch his resignatino, which was refused. However, the day after the March 28, 1933 meeting [outlining the strict new anti-Jewish measures to be taken by the German film industry, now led by Nazis and propaganda minister Goebbels]--which Pommer had skipped, although he had an invitation--Germany's best-known producer became one of the first terminated by the Ufa board.
Pommer sent his family ahead to Paris, and followed in late April.