The Book Thieves : the Nazi looting of Europe's libraries and the race to return a literary inheritance
This book details a little known entry in the list of atrocities and destruction instigated by Nazi Germany during World War II. Years before the fighting started, the Nazi party, and it’s ideological predecessors in post-World War I Germany, had promulgated a systematic purge of books, newspapers, journals, and publications deemed unfit for the new Germany. This continued unabated during the war. Personal, institutional and organizational libraries were confiscated and looted for their contents – either to be destroyed, or to be re-purposed in the writing of the Nazi vision of history. After the war, many public libraries in Germany, seeking to rebuild collections lost to the vagaries of warfare, scavenged these already looted books left behind by the Nazi organizations tasked with collecting them. Only recently have staff at these libraries discovered the origins of hundreds of thousands of books on their shelves and have begun efforts to repatriate them as best they can.