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Harmful and undesirable : book censorship in Nazi Germany / Guenter Lewy

Publication | Library Call Number: Z658.G3 L49 2016

"Like every authoritarian regime in history, Nazi Germany tried to control intellectual freedom through book censorship. Between 1933 and 1945, Hitler's party orchestrated a massive campaign to take control of all forms of communication in the nation. Book burnings abounded-- in 1933 alone, there were 93 book burnings in 70 German cities. Indeed, Werner Schlegel, an official in the Ministry of Propaganda, called the book burnings "a symbol of the revolution." Bookstores, libraries, and universities were pillaged, while German authors were targeted by the regime. Yet surprisingly, Nazi book censorship has been largely overlooked by modern historians. In Harmful and Undesirable, Guenter Lewy analyzes the various strategies that the Nazis employed to enact censorship and the people, including Martin Bormann, Philipp Bouhler, Joseph Goebbels, and Alfred Rosenberg, who led the attack on intellectual life. The Propaganda Ministry played a leading role in the censorship campaign, supported by an array of organizations at both the local and state levels. Because of the many overlapping jurisdictions and organizations, censorship was disorderly and erratic. Beyond the implementation of censorship, Lewy also describes the plight of authors, publishers, and bookstores who clashed with the Nazi regime. Some authors were imprisoned, tortured, and even killed. Meanwhile others, such as Gottfried Benn, Gerhart Hauptmann, Ernst Jünger, Jochen Klepper, and Ernst Wiechert became controversial "inner emigrants" who chose to remain in Germany and criticize the Nazi regime through allegories and parables. Ultimately, Lewy paints a fascinating portrait of intellectual life under the Nazi dictatorship, revealing the fate of those who were caught in the wheels of censorship."-- Provided by publisher.
"The first English language study of book censorship in Nazi Germany, this book describes the way in which various state and party organizations in Germany exerted control over the creation, publication, and distribution of books. By presenting the fate of authors and publishers, who came into conflict with the organs of censorship, it sheds light on intellectual life under the Nazi dictatorship"-- Provided by publisher.

Book cover
Lewy, Guenter, 1923- author.
New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2016]
Includes bibliographical references and index
Record last modified: 2017-04-10 10:02:00
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