Wednesday, August 08, 2007

While Waiting For Heat Wave To Break, Pan Cogito Pretends To Begin To Blog About Hitler And His Library

..."A three-volume index to Hitler's main record library can be found in the Rare Book and Special Collections division of the Library of Congress [Third Reich Collection]. A few Russian records are listed there — including Chaliapin singing Boris Godunov — but they are far outnumbered by the Wagner records, of which I counted around four hundred. Furthermore, the fact that Hitler owned such records does not mean that he enjoyed them; many of these items were sent to him as gifts. (At the Library of Congress the listing that surprised me most was for Manuel de Falla's Three-Cornered Hat.) Henriette von Schirach, Baldur von Schirach's wife, once played music by Stravinsky and Prokofiev for Hitler to see if he would like it. He did not. In the waning years, eyewitnesses reported, his favorite playlist included Wagner excerpts, Richard Strauss songs, and arias of Lehár." ...

From Alex Ross, The Rest is Noise, commenting on Stephen Moss's article about Hitler and European Music, in the Guardian.


Hitler's Library

Ambrus Miskolczy, Professor of History, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest

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.

"Especially exciting is the panorama of the national socialist methodology…we got a strong impression not just on Hitler, but on the intellectual background and 'sideground' of the nazi ideology."
András Gerõ, Central European University, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest

184 pages
ISBN 963-9241- 59-8 cloth $39.95 / €33.95 / £25.00

Hitler's Library, after the war.

Photo credit: Archival photo via With thanks.


Post a Comment

<< Home