German Literature under National Socialism: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

German Literature under National Socialism

1st Edition

By J. M. Ritchie


336 pages

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Hardback: 9780367856649
pub: 2020-02-12
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Originally published in 1983, this study starts with an exploration of proto-Nazi literature in the early 20th Century and pursues later developments up to the arrival of fully-fledged National Socialism. Not only literature within Germany is covered; after 1933 republican writers forced into exile for racial as well as political reasons rejected the anti-Semitic ‘barbarism’ of National Socialism and developed a powerful brand of anti-fascist literature in countries around the world. This ‘exile’ literature is covered in depth, both for its outstanding individual figures like Brecht and Mann as well as for the general phenomenon of exile. Attention is particularly focused on those non-Nazis who remained in Germany as ‘inner émigrés’ forming a resistance literature. One area of resistance also highlighted in the book is the Spanish Civil War in which many writers fought.

Table of Contents

Part 1: 1914 – 1933 – Germany Sleeps 1. The Weimar Republic’s Secret Germany 2. The Making of a People 3. When I Hear ‘Culture’ I Reach for my Revolver Part 2: 1933-1945 – Inside Germany 4. Germany Awakens 5. Novels and Dramas in the Third Reich 6. Inner Emigration 7. Resistance Part 3: 1933-1945 – Outside Germany 8. The Spanish Civil War 9. Exile, the First Phase 10. Exile, the Second Phase 11. Theatre in Exile 12. Lyric and Song in Exile Part 4: 1945 and After 13. The Return From Exile

About the Author

J. M. Ritchie was Head of the Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Sheffield, U.K

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: German Literature

Originally published between 1938 and 1996, the volumes in this set provide a survey of German poetry, prose and fiction from the Middle Ages to the late 20th Century. In many cases no prior knowledge of German is necessary, as translations into English are provided. Many of the books focus particularly on German writers and literature from an international perspective.

The books:

  • Analyse Naturalism, Impressionism, Neo-romanticism and Expressionism as well as dealing exhaustively with Surrealism, Magic Realism and Existentialism.

  • Include discussion of post-war Anglo-American and French literature.


  • Provide guidebooks through the masses of periodicals and allows the English side of the Anglo-German literary relationship to be explored in detail.

  • Present a detailed analysis of the major literary movements in Austria and Germany from the end of the nineteenth century to the collapse of the Third Reich


  • Examine two of the central themes of medieval German mythology, the Dietrich and Nibelung legends

  • Survey the development of political writing in the former Federal Republic of Germany, Illustrating the connections between literature and politics


  • Elucidate the concealed meanings in some of the more obscure writings of great authors such as Goethe

  • Provides a full survey of the best and most significant work of German writers to the First World War.

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