The Book Thieves
The Book Thieves The Nazi Looting of Europe's Libraries and the Race to Return A Literary Inheritance By Rydell, Anders Book - 2017

While many are familiar with the Nazi looting of art during World War II, fewer are aware of the wholesale plundering of libraries -- national, city, and private. Although Jewish materials were given high priority, other targeted groups included non-Nazi political parties, Freemasons, Catholics, Jehovah Witnesses, and others. The spoils were fought over by two institutions, the ERR and the RSHA. The ERR was primarily interested in historically valuable works for a planned series of 10 high schools that would focus on a specific research area in the Third Reich. The RSHA was primarily interested in creating an ideology and philosophy for National Socialism that would outlive Adolf Hitler and justify the Nazis' actions to future generations. Competition between these two entities resulted in millions of books and archives being broken apart. Materials not wanted by either organization were distributed to libraries and other organizations throughout the Reich. The book alternates between the present day as librarians and other researchers try to piece together the past and the Nazi years when the destruction occurred. Henning Koch skillfully translated this book from the original German to make it a compelling story in English.

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