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Hitler's Library

By Ambrus Miskolczy

Publication Year: 2003

The first book to present the so-called Hitler Library. It sheds new light on the readings of Hitler and on his techniques how to read a book. Hitler presented himself as an ideal reader of Schopenhauer, nevertheless his remarks destroy that image, particularly if we see how he read Ernst Jünger, Richard Wagner, or Paul de Lagarde, and how he reread Mein Kampf. The book describes the gnostic character of the phenomenon as an explication of the success of nazism and that of the Hitler myth and challenges the static views of traditional historiography.

Published by: Central European University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-xx

This work is an investigation of Hitler’s library. To be honest, I found myself in this “library” quite by accident. While reading in the Library of Congress in Washington, I discovered that Hitler’s books, or rather a number of his books, are lodged there in the Rare Book Division. American soldiers gathered them up from a salt mine near Obersalzberg. From the stamps...

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Chapter 1: Hitler’s Erudition and Reading Habits

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pp. 1-12

“Apparently [writes one of the best contemporary analysts of the Hitler myth] he never reads very much beyond official papers. He would never open a book, not even on the most tempestuous of days. His personal room at the Braun House had no books, and none of the pictures taken at his chalet show any. It is doubtful that he has ever...

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Chapter 2: Books That Hitler Read: Penciled Notes Attest

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pp. 13-43

Let us examine how and to what the penciled notes attest. There is obviously a question as to whether it was always Hitler who wrote into these books. However, our impressions and experiences indicate that both the fine graphite pencil lines and the rough blue or red underlinings originate from his hand. In any case, who would...

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Chapter 3: Books That Hitler Read Into

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pp. 45-61

Perhaps the only common feature of the books dedicated to Hitler was that their authors, as we shall see, represented points of view that directly conflicted with one another. Obviously, Nazis wrote the majority of these books. Indeed, an intellectual and moral low point is marked by Nazi belles-lettres, if this pile of books can be referred...

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Chapter 4: Books That Hitler Did Not Read (In Depth)

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pp. 63-97

Books that were uncut or visibly untouched can be categorized as either valuable or rubbish. Not one book illustrates this fact better than Rabindranath Tagore’s book on nationalism, together with its dedication. The book claims that “nationalism is a great danger,” because the nation is becoming empty...

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Chapter 5: Hitler’s Works

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pp. 99-126

On entering the storeroom of the Rare Books Collection of the Library of Congress in Washington the first thing that catches one’s attention on the shelves is an enormous row of volumes of Mein Kampf—for the blind. In fact, not many of Hitler’s own works survived. There are the collected speeches bound in brown volumes with a few press cuttings...

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Chapter 6: On the Führer’s Taste: Artistic Albums and Catalogues

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pp. 127-145

Hjalmar Schacht acted as the Reich’s economic minister between 1934–1937. At the Nuremberg trials he declared that Hitler “read an endless amount, gathered enormous knowledge, and juggled with this knowledge as a virtuoso in debates and lectures.”1 Today’s reader can barely discern any juggling in his...

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Epilogue: Farewell to the World of Hitler and His Library

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pp. 147-153

Hitler’s library documents a sinful and criminal subculture. Our browsing through the library has shown how the thoughts buried there became part of the “granite foundation”—to use an expression from Mein Kampf—of the Hitlerian world view, a view that at times sacrificed acknowledgement of its actual sources, as in the cases of...

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 155-160

Name Index

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pp. 161-164

Back Cover

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p. 186-186

E-ISBN-13: 9786155053924
Print-ISBN-13: 9789639241596

Page Count: 186
Publication Year: 2003

Edition: 1st