London (Sep. 8)
The Nazi regime has established an iron control over the German book trade and only books which find favor with the regime are carried by the booksellers, F. A. Reeve declared in an article on the “German Book Trade Controlled” in The Publisher’s Circular.
According to the writer all German publishers and booksellers have been forced to join the Boersenverein, the Association of Publishers and Booksellers. The reason assigned by the Nazis for this step was as follows:
“The National Chamber of Literature considers that one of its principal objects is to give the traditional and recognized book trade the means of fulfilling its great cultural mission in the new Germany by guaranteeing a healthy economic foundation.”
“Reasons, both political and economic, led to the setting up of this obligatory organization,” the writer said. “The Nazi regime wanted a book trade which would give the public only the ‘right’ books. The elimination of book clubs and dealers who sold books only as a side line has given the established booksellers firmer economic security, but this advantage has been cancelled by falling sales, the bad economic position and the absence of books by Jewish writers, which formerly sold very well. The Nazis thus established a system of official control operating through professional organizations:
“Both publishers and booksellers avoid books which might not meet with the approval of the authorities. They feel obligated to sell only books with a definite national appeal, and very few translations of foreign authors are being issued.
“There are a large number of books about the Germanic race, German country-side, past glories and books which extoll the German soldier. The memoirs of the airman, Richthofen, are in the 712th thousand. Another air book by Pluschow has sold 653,000 copies. And at the moment there is a great boom in books about Tannenburg, where the late President von Hindenburg triumphed.
“Each month the authorities issue two lists, six books on German literature and six books on questions of the day. All the books chosen reflect the Nazi ideology and are prominently displayed in all bookstores. The important consideration here is that the people read what the government wants them to read.
“The works chosen are not all new,” Mr. Reeve declared. Among the books for August we have a war book by Alverdes, which appeared in English. Half the books recommended are war books. There is one by Zoeberlin called ‘Faith in Germany’ and a volume of short stories about past wars. Books like those of Remarque and Ludwig Renn, which revealed the horrors of war, are completely banned.
The books on contemporary question also reflect the Nazi ideals. Among the August selections was Minister of Agriculture Darre’s book advocating the creation of a new nobility of men of “pure race and origin.”