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Language of the Third Reich

A labourer, journalist and a professor who lived through four successive periods of German political history - from the German Empire, through the Weimar Republic and the Nazi state through to the German Democratic Republic - Victor Klemperer is regarded as one of the most vivid witnesses to a tumultuous century of European history. First published in 1957, The Language of the Third Reich arose from Klemperer's conviction that the language of the Third Reich helped to create its culture. As Klemperer writes: 'It isn't only Nazi actions that have to vanish, but also the Nazi cast of mind, the typical Nazi way of thinking, and its breeding ground: the language of Nazism.'
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Table of Contents

Heroism (Instead of an Introduction) 1. LTI 2. Prelude 3. Distinguishing Feature: Poverty 4. Partenau 5. From the Diary of theFirst Year 6. The First Three Words of the Nazi Language 7. Aufziehen 8. Ten Years of Fascism 9.Fanatical 10. Autocthonous Writing 11. Blurring Boundaries 12.Punctuation 13. Names 14. Kohlenklau 15. Knif 16. On a Single Working Day 17. 'System' and 'Organisation' 18. I Believe In Him 19. Personal Announcementsas an LTI Revision Book 20. What Remains? 21. German Roots 22. A Sunny Weltanschauung (Chance Discoveries WhileReading) 23. If Two People Do the Same Thing... 24. Cafe Europa 25. TheStar 26. The Jewish War 27. The Jewish Spectacles 28. The Language of theVictor 29. Zion 30. The Curse of the Superlative 31. From the GreatMovement Forward... 32. Boxing 33. Gefolgschaft 34. The One Syllable 35.Running Hot and Cold 36. Putting the Theory to the Test ''Cos of Certain Expressions' (AnAfterword) Index.

Promotional Information

A landmark account of the language of Nazi propaganda byone of the most vivid chroniclers of day-to-day life in the Third Reich.

About the Author

Victor Klemperer (1881-1960), a front-line veteran of the First World War, became Professor of French Literature at Dresden University. He was taken from his university in 1935 because he was Jewish, and only survived because of his marriage to an Aryan.


It is obscene, in a sense, to relate Klemperer's situation to any subsequent intellectual enquiry conducted unmolested by tyranny. But studies of language - whether social, political or aesthetic - owe him a debt. They implicitly gesture towards his act of witness, and towards others like it. * Times Higher Educational * This book is a breathtaking balancing act, by turns horrifying and heroic, saddening and sardonic [...] of major historical importance and grippingly well-written -- Philip Riley, Book Review for The International Journal of Applied Linguistics This important, stimulating and necessary book should be required reading for all who want to understand what politicians are doing to us today ... it is full of anecdotes and details that illustrate the effect of the changes in language ... This is a vital book. -- Eric Hester, Catholic Times, April 2007 On the basis of his painstaking ethical-linguistic examinations, Klemperer is one of the most valuable witnesses to the methods of totalitarian mental corruption. The lasting message of this book is one of constant vigilance: wherever the machinery of atrocity is in motion, the misuse of language will be supporting it. -- TImes Higher Educational, 17 June 10 This book is an honest narrative of hope and oppression, touching in places and well written, in an accessible translation. -- M. Aaij * CHOICE *

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