Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hitler's Personal Library

I stumbled across a very cool piece of news. A book has been published detailing Adolf Hitler's personal library. To see where the mind of a maniac came from is really neat, and is a new insight into the Third Reich. And it gives another perspective into Hitler the man:

Only one large segment of the collection--three thousand books hidden in beer crates in a Bavarian salt mine--remained intact after the war ended. Members of the U.S. Army's Twenty-First Counterintelligence Corps concluded, after what they called a "hasty inspection of the scattered books," that the collection "was noticeably lacking in literature and almost totally devoid of drama and poetry." Worse still, "none of the books examined gave the appearance of extensive use. They had no marginal notes or underlinings." Hans Beilhack, reporting on the collection in November 1946 for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, noted contemptuously that the "library itself, seen as a whole, is only interesting because it is the library of a 'great' statesman and yet so uninteresting. It is the typical library of a dilettante."

So that's:

Hitler's Private Library: The Books That Shaped His Life

By Timothy W. Ryback

( Knopf, 304 pp., $24.95)

Coming to a bookstore near you!


Anonymous said...

Matthew, this is your friend Lester. This sounds like an interesting book. But why do you put it in the "local history" category? I am puzzled. But I puzzle easily :) Germany is more than three miles distant from Schoharie County. Proably more than three thousand miles distant. Like it's a hoof and a half and a little doggie paddle, too.

Editor said...


Enthusiast said...

Based on your quote, it's unlikely that Hitler himself was too involved in the process of building his "personal" library. But it probably could serve as a testimony of contemporary book collecting tastes...