The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe's Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance

⫸ Free online novels ✞ By Anders Rydell ⇹ ⫸ Free online novels ✞ By Anders Rydell ⇹ 1 A Fire That Consumes the World BerlinWhere books are burned, in the end people will be burned too Heinrich Heine, 1820 These words are engraved on a rusty red metal plate sunk into the cobblestones of Bebelplatz in Berlin Berlin s summer tourists wander past the square, situated between Brandenburger Tor and Museumsinsel, on their way to see one of the city s grandiose sights The location still holds symbolic tension In one corner of the square stands an elderly woman with tousled white hair She has wrapped herself in a big Israeli flag the Star of David across her back Another war has broken out in Gaza Some thirty people have gathered to demonstrate against the anti Semitic sentiments that, seventy years after the Second World War, are once reawakening in Europe On the other side of the broad, fashionable thoroughfare of Unter den Linden, trestle tables have been put out in front of the gates of Humboldt University For a few euros one can buy well thumbed copies of books by Thomas Mann, Kurt Tucholsky, and Stefan Zweig all authors whose works were thrown into the fire here in May 1933 In front of the tables is a row of cobblestone size metal plates Each plate bears a name Max Bayer, Marion Beutler, Alice Victoria Berta, all of whom once studied at the university After each name is a date, with a place name that needs no further explanation Mauthausen 1941, Auschwitz 1942, Theresienstadt 1945 Heinrich Heine s words, actually a line of dialogue from the play Almansor, have since the Second World War been seen as an insightful prophecy of what came to pass here, and the catastrophe that would follow On May 10, 1933, in Bebelplatz, which at that time was known as Opernplatz, history s most famous ceremony of book burning was staged an event that has remained a powerful symbol of totalitarian oppression, cultural barbarism, and the merciless ideological war waged by the Nazis The flames of the book burning pyre have also come to symbolize the intimate connection between cultural destruction and the Holocaust Earlier that same spring, the Nazis had assumed power in Germany using another fire the Reichstag fire in February 1933 as a pretext The Nazis claimed it was the work of Communists and that Germany was threatened by a Bolshevik plot, and set in motion the first extensive wave of terror, arresting Communists, Social Democrats, Jews, and others in political opposition These accusations were fueled by the Nazi Party newspaper, the Vlkischer Beobachter, which had been stirring and agitating for years against Jewish, Bolshevik, pacifist, and cosmopolitan literature, setting the stage for the Nazis ascendance The Nazis had been sabotaging cultural events since before 1933 everything from displeasing film screenings to exhibitions of so called degenerate art came under attack In October 1930, Thomas Mann, who had won the Nobel Prize the previous year, attacked the prevailing mood in an open reading held at the Beethoven Hall in Berlin Joseph Goebbels, tipped off about what was in the offing, had sent twenty Brownshirts from the party s SA storm troops to the reading, all in black tie to blend in with the audience, a group that included some right wing intellectuals Mann s speech was met with applause from some sections of the audience, and heckling from the saboteurs Eventually the atmosphere grew so inflamed that Mann was forced to leave the premises by the back entrance Threats were even widespread The Mann family and writers such as Arnold Zweig and Theodor Plievier had been receiving a constant stream of threatening telephone calls and letters The homes of writers were vandalized with graffiti And selected writers were subjected to individual monitoring by SA patrols that waited outside their houses and followed them wherever they went Lists of objectionable literature were produced In August 1932, the Vlkischer Beobachter published a blacklist of writers who should be banned once the party assumed power Early that same year, a declaration had been published in the same newspaper, supported by the signatures of forty two German professors, demanding that German literature should be protected against cultural Bolshevism In the winter of 1933, when the Nazis took power, the focus attack against objectionable literature shifted away from the street and into the machinery of state In February 1933, President Paul von Hindenburg signed a law for the protection of people and state, which imposed restrictions on printed publications further amendments in the spring of the same year imposed controls on freedom of expression The first casualties were Communist and Social Democrat newspapers and publishers Hermann Gring was charged with leading the battle against so called dirty literature Marxist, Jewish, and pornographic books It was this attack on literature that led up to the book burnings in May but in fact the initiative did not come from the Nazi Party, but rather from the Deutsche Studentenschaft an umbrella organization of German student federations Several of these student federations had or less openly been supporting the Nazis since the 1920s It was not the first time in the interwar period that German right wing conservative students had made book pyres In 1922 hundreds of students gathered at the Tempelhof airfield in Berlin to burn dirty literature, and in 1920 students in Hamburg burned a copy of the Treaty of Versailles, the terms of surrender that Germany had been forced to sign after the First World War The Nazi Party s attack on literature fed into attacks already being carried out by groups of conservative, right wing students For these student groups, book burnings were a German tradition of defiance and resistance going back to the days of Martin Luther and the Reformation In April 1933 the Deutsche Studentenschaft announced an action against un German literature, casting Adolf Hitler as a new Luther To evoke the Ninety five Theses with which Luther began the Reformation, the student federation published its own theses in the Vlkischer Beobachter twelve theses Wider den undeutschen Geist Against the un German Spirit The students argued that language held the true soul of a people and that German literature for this reason had to be purified and liberated from foreign influence They stated that the Jew was the worst enemy of the German language A Jew can only think in a Jewish way If he writes in German he is lying The German who writes in German but thinks in an un German way is a traitor The students demanded that all Jewish literature should be published in Hebrew and the un German spirit eradicated from public libraries German universities, according to the students, should be strongholds for the traditions of the German people Their proclamation was the beginning of a national action to clean out un German literature Student associations subordinated to Deutsche Studentenschaft at German universities and formed war committees to organize coordinated book burnings all over Germany The book burnings were to be manifested as celebratory events, and the committees were exhorted to market their events, sign up speakers, collect wood for the fires, and seek support from other student federations and their local Nazi leadership Those who opposed this work, especially teachers, were threatened The war committees also put up posters with slogans such as Today the writers, tomorrow the professors But the primary task of the war committees was to collect unclean literature for burning Students were ordered to begin the cleanup in their own private libraries, later expanding to public libraries and local bookshops, many of whom cooperated willingly In the spring of 1933 a general blacklist of books and authors also began to be compiled Wolfgang Herrmann, a librarian who had involved himself with right wing extremist student groups as early as the 1920s, had been working for several years on a list of literature worthy of being burned The first draft only listed 12 names, but this was soon expanded to 131 writers, subdivided into various categories They included Communists, ranging from Trotsky and Lenin to Bertolt Brecht pacifists like Erich Maria Remarque Jewish intellectuals like Walter Benjamin and many other literary and intellectual figures who had gained prominence during the Weimar Republic Quite apart from critics of nationalism, historians were also blacklisted when their perspective on history did not coincide with that of the Nazis, particularly in books on subjects including the First World War, the Soviet Union, and the Weimar Republic There were also some thinkers whose global view was utterly rejected by the Nazis, such as Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein Both were attacked on the basis of advancing Jewish science In addition to cleaning their own libraries, the students asked public libraries and local bookshops to make a contribution by giving up their own holdings of dirty literature In many instances, university registrars and teachers collaborated with the students to clean out the school libraries But the war committees also applied violent methods, aided by local police and storm troopers from the SA, to get their hands on books A few days before the book burnings, in early May, the students attacked lending libraries and Communist book dealers The former were especially hated by conservative forces and were described by Wolfgang Herrmann as literary brothels spreading dirty, Jewish, decadent literature among decent, ordinary people Libraries had become extremely popular since the First World War On account of the economic depression and inflation in Germany during the interwar years, fewer and fewer Germans could afford to buy their own books Traditional libraries could not provide for the great demand for books, which led to than fifteen thousand small lending libraries being set up These libraries provided a low cost book lending service, and bought large volumes of the best sellers of the time such as the works of Thomas Mann These people s libraries were easy victims for the students, while the SA troops also raided private libraries One much publicized raid was carried out against an apartment building in Berlin owned by Schutzverband deutscher Schriftsteller, an organization working to protect German writers actively opposing censorship and other forms of state intervention in literature Some five hundred of the association s members living in the building had their apartments searched and vandalized Suspicious books were confiscated or destroyed on the scene, and writers caught with socialist literature were detained The most notorious raid was carried out a matter of days before the book burnings, when about a hundred students attacked Institut fr Sexualwissenschaft Institute of Sexual Studies , situated in Tiergarten in Berlin The institute, founded by the medical doctors Magnus Hirschfeld and Arthur Kronfeld, conducted groundbreaking research into sexuality and also worked to promote the rights of women, homosexuals, and transsexuals For three hours the students went berserk in the building, pouring paint over carpets, breaking windows, covering the walls in graffiti, and destroying paintings, porcelain, and other household goods They took away books, the institute s archive, and a large collection of photographs along with a bust of the founder Magnus Hirschfeld Already in 1932, many Jews and Communists, who could see where the political winds were blowing, had begun to clear out their private libraries and destroy photographs, address books, letters, and diaries The Communists had sent out warnings to their members that if they were carrying dangerous documents they had to be prepared to swallow them In this way there were also thousands of lesser book pyres, where people set fire to their own libraries in stoves, fireplaces, and backyards They would soon find out that it was easier said than done burning books is a time consuming activity Instead, many people chose to dump their libraries in forests, rivers, or abandoned streets others posted them anonymously to nonexistent addresses After 1933, a large number of German authors chose exile, of their own accord or under duress Apart from Thomas Mann, they included his brother Heinrich Mann, Bertolt Brecht, Alfred Dblin, Anna Seghers, Erich Maria Remarque, and hundreds of others By 1939 some two thousand writers and poets had felt compelled to leave Nazi Germany and Austria Many of them would never return But a large number also chose to stay Some writers who were not expressly political went into what has later been referred to as interior exile They stayed in their German sphere, or Heimat, but made the decision not to publish Alternatively, they released books that were accepted by the board of censors children s books, poetry, and historical novels Others were prevented from publishing their works, because membership in the National Chamber of Literature, a division of Joseph Goebbels s Ministry of Public Education and Propaganda, was required before one could be published But there was also another group of writers that joined ranks with the regime In October 1933 a series of German newspapers published a proclamation signed by eighty eight German writers and poets under the headline Gelbnis treuester Gefolgschaft, a sort of oath of allegiance The proclamation was in direct support of Germany s recent decision to leave the League of Nations Among the signatories were authors such as Walter Bloem, Hanns Johst, and Agnes Miegel, now mainly forgotten, as their rise and fall is so intimately associated with the regime to which they swore their loyalty At the time, great rewards lay in store for authors who embraced National Socialism Positions previously closed to them in Germany s most respected literary academies, foundations, and associations began to open They also laid claim to new groups of readers, once the regime assumed control of the nation s foremost book clubs In 1933 the Nazi run book club Buchergilde Gutenberg had 25,000 members, whereas a few years later its membership had increased to 330,000 By relying on book clubs like this, the regime was able to efficiently distribute everything from Goethe and Schiller to nationalist, conservative, and Nazi writers to millions of readers The propaganda ministry instigated a literary and political drive that has never been equaled in German history and probably not in modern history either The ministry awarded than fifty literary prizes annually Over the course of the 1930s, Goebbels s propaganda ministry took complete control of the German book industry, including some 2,500 publishers and 16,000 book dealers and secondhand bookshops One of the first measures was to weed out Jewish influence in the world of books by gradually excluding Jews from academies, literary associations, writers professional bodies, publishers, book dealers, and printers Jewish publishers, printers, and book dealers were Aryanized transferred to Aryan owners Some of these Jewish publishing houses were among the largest in the industry For instance, Julius Springer was the world s largest publisher in the field of scientific publishing It was a step by step process that continued throughout the 1930s Initially the takeovers of Jewish companies and the exclusion of Jews were cautiously handled, to avoid companies losing value or the disruption of international relations Jewish owners were simply persuaded to sell, and if they refused, the regime resorted to varying degrees of coercion, harassment, and threats The Aryanization of publishers raised enormous sums of money for the party, the state, and individual businessmen, and after 1936, the practice was legally formalized in the Nuremberg Laws.Rydells tale is a fascinating blend of intellectual history, detective story, and restitution activism that cannot help but inspire its readers LA Review of BooksAchilling reminder of Hitlers twisted power BBCThis history can still startle and surprise us that, as researchers ask new questions and follow new leads, revelations are still possible Rydell s passion for the subject is undeniable Serving as a courier, he manages to convey the emotional power of returning even a single book to a grateful descendant who has lost so much else The Chicago TribuneReader friendly and a riveting account, the book deserves a large readership Jack Fischel, The Jewish Book CouncilAn erudite exploration of the systematic plundering of libraries and book collections by Nazi invaders.Looting books by mainly Jewish owners, collections, and libraries was an effective way of stealing Jewish memory and history, as this thorough work of research by Swedish journalist and editor Rydell attests An Engrossing, haunting journey for bibliophiles and World War II historians alike Kirkus Reviews Starred Review The Book Thieves The Nazi Looting of Europe s s Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance Anders Rydell, Henning Koch on FREE shipping What Ever Happened Mission Impossible Three thieves who stole rare books than year ago by rappelling down skylight warehouse in London continue evade police Curses for From Middle Ages It may seem extreme threaten gallows theft book, but that just one example long, respected tradition book curses Before has , ratings reviews Cait A Page with View said I am SO HAPPY have this chance return my favorite YA Monuments Men Official Site Apache Server at monumentsmen Portbol Rydell artikelen kopen Alle online Op zoek naar van Artikelen koop je eenvoudig online bij bol Vele aanbiedingen Gratis Anders Salomonsson Agency b is an established journalist, editor author nonfiction In his authorial career he published several books, thereamong Atlas Contact Atlas Contact een Zweedse journalist en hoofdredacteur het kunsttijdschrift Konstnren verscheen zijn veelgeprezen boek De plunderaars, dat op Profiles Facebook profiles people named Join Facebook connect others you know gives power grote boekenroof Het onbekende verhaal over de grootste geschiedenis mei staken nazi Opernplatz Berlijn, onder toeziend oog LinkedIn professionals LinkedIn There are use exchange information, ideas De plunderaars obsessie met kunst Rydell Na Tweede Wereldoorlog stuitte geallieerde Kunstbrigade duizelingwekkende vondst Diep zoutmijnen Altaussee werden duizenden kunstwerken AndersRydell Twitter latest Tweets from Frfattare, frelsare Senaste bcker Plundrarna och Boktjuvarna Medarbetade SvD zoektocht Europa verdwenen bibliotheken Contact, april ISBN pagina Organisationskonsult AB Previa profile LinkedIn, world largest professional community jobs listed their See complete andersrydell Instagram photos Followers Following Posts photos videos andersrydellab Instagram Followers, Following, Senior Service Line Manager Boek recensies toeschouwers, zo n boeken fik was The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe's Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance

    • Format Kindle
    • The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe's Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance
    • Anders Rydell
    • Anglais
    • 13 November 2016
    • 361 pages

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