The Book Thieves

The Book Thieves

The Nazi Looting of Europe's Libraries and the Race to Return A Literary Inheritance

Book - 2017
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While the Nazi party was being condemned by much of the world for burning books, they were already hard at work perpetrating an even greater literary crime. Through extensive new research that included records saved by the Mouments Men themselves-Anders Rydell tells the untold story of Nazi book theft, as he himself joins the effort to return the stolen books. When the Nazi soldiers ransacked Europe's libraries and bookshops, large and small, the books they stole were not burned. Instead, the Nazis began to complie a library of their own that they could use to wage an intellectual war on literature and history. In this secret war, the libraries of Jews, Communists, Liberal politicans, LGBT activists, Catholics, Freemasons, and many other opposition groups were appropriated for Nazi research, and used as an intellectual weapon against their owners. But when the war was over, most of the books were never returned. Instead many found their way into the public library system, where they remain to this day. Now, Rydell finds himself entrusted with one of these stolen volumes, setting out to return it to its rightful owner. It was passed to him by the small team of heroic librarians who have begun the monumental task of combing through Berlin's public libraries to identify the looted books and reunite them with the families of their original owners. For those who lost relatives in the Holocaust, these books are often the only remaining possession of their relatives they have ever held. And as Rydell travels to return the volume he was given, he shows just how much a single book can mean to those who own it.
Publisher: New York, New York : Viking, ©2017.
ISBN: 9780735221222
Characteristics: xiii, 352 pages :,illustrations ;,24 cm
Additional Contributors: Koch, Henning 1962-- Translator


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Apr 04, 2018

Almost overwhelming. The numbers are staggering -both in terms of the books and the people. Thoughtful and soul-piercing insights into why it was so important for The Nazi’s (and later the Russians) to collect and control the books and other printed material of the Jews. If you control the printed word, you control history. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand how fragile freedom can be. I would like to read his other book (The Looters), which is about the art which was taken by the Nazi’s, but I don’t find it in English. Apparently, there is to be a third book in this series, but I am not sure what that will be about.

Jun 05, 2017

"The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe's Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance" by Anders Rydell was an excellent history on a subject I hadn't considered before but so obviously had to have happened. It wasn't just art that the Nazi's pilfered.

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