Saturday 17 May 2014

Banned Books in Nazi Germany

The German girls in our story would have been deprived of some reading material. Authors who were banned include such well-known figures as Bertolt Brecht, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Friedrich Engels, Ernest Hemmingway, Erich Kästner, Franz Kafka, Helen Keller, André Malraux, Heinrich Mann, Thomas Mann, Karl Marx Rudolf Steiner, and H.G. Wells amongst many, many others.
Librarians were given a list of criteria for deciding which books should be destroyed: 

Bund Deutscher Mädel - German Girls' Association

Literally, the Union of German Lasses.  
This was the girls’ equivalent of the Hitler Youth Movement.  The German girls don’t mention it at all in their letters. This is puzzling at first because it was actually compulsory. Girls were expected to pay subs and to attend. However, it is highly likely that it was such a part of their life during the 1930s and the 1940s that they didn’t think to mention it.
It plays an important role in Hani’s thread and becomes paramilitary when the girls are asked to set Haus Lehrs on fire in the last desperate weeks of the war.