Average German citizen's opinion of Nazi bookburning?

Discussions on the propaganda, architecture and culture in the Third Reich.
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Beppo Schmidt
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Average German citizen's opinion of Nazi bookburning?

Post by Beppo Schmidt » 16 Nov 2003 20:44

Can anyone tell me if the bookburning was going on in 1939, and what did German civilians tend to think of it? Did they approve, disapprove, or simply prefer to ignore it and claim it was just a Nazi "excess"? Any help would be appreciated.

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Dora
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The German's View of the Nazi Party

Post by Dora » 16 Nov 2003 21:20

Beppo,
We have friends in Germany and when the delicate subject of the Third Reich comes up in conversation (and it rearly does) the prevaling opinion of my friends is this.
It would be as if one of the New York mafia families ran and won election to Prisident of the US. They all liked the 'can do' energy of the party, the ability to break the log jams in government, making the Mark worth something and finding and holding a good paying job and making the trains run on time. However, they were initially embarresed by the crude behavior, the bully boy excesses of the street fighting SA and later a little worried about the more sinister SS.

The Germans, unlike the Americans, are willing to give up much personal freedom for domestic calm and strict observance of law and order. They are used to and expect their government to 'take care' of them, e.g. medicine, unemployment, day care, etc. In return for this benevelent parental government they are expected to be loyal, faithful and obey orders.

When things became most uneasy, as in the treatment of the Jews and the restrictions of the church, it was too late to voice protests and to do so was considered unpatriotic and, even worse, un-German. Add book burning and in comparison with what else was going on it was the preferred method of deportment to understand that what you were seeing was your German government making a better Germany for you by ridding it of these preverted art and entertainment forms, so one could always find an 'approved' book to read, an 'approved' composer to listen to and an 'approved' movie to watch.
Dora

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Post by nondescript handle » 17 Nov 2003 01:36

I don't know if that counts as "average German", but a relative of mine had an bookshop in the TR (and after as well).
He told me that most bookshops had under-the-counter stocks of banned books.
Even shop owners who were sympathic and loyal towards the nazis selled banned bookes. Maybe not "political" ones (like K. Marx), but very likely some non-political "un-german" novels and the like.
Think of prohibition, only executed in a dictatorship.

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The Germans, unlike the Americans, are willing to give up much personal freedom for domestic calm and strict observance of law and order. They are used to and expect their government to 'take care' of them, e.g. medicine, unemployment, day care, etc. In return for this benevelent parental government they are expected to be loyal, faithful and obey orders.
Very true, Germans like a "fair outcome" and Americans a "fair procedure".

Regards
Mark

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Beppo Schmidt
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Post by Beppo Schmidt » 19 Nov 2003 21:03

thanks for the input people.

Mito
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Re: The German's View of the Nazi Party

Post by Mito » 21 Nov 2003 05:29

Dora wrote:The Germans, unlike the Americans, are willing to give up much personal freedom for domestic calm and strict observance of law and order. Dora
I know alot of people, non-German, who are willing to do so.

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Post by Lobscouse » 21 Nov 2003 06:26

Excellent assessment, Dora, of how it must have been for the German people in that time.

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