The Nazi Looting of Europe’s Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance

368pp 18 ILLUS 2017 LIST PRICE: £20.00 HC63



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The hunt for the millions of books stolen by the Nazis during World War II has been pursued quietly and diligently for decades, but it has been largely ignored; the plundered volumes seldom carried the same glamour as looted paintings. The libraries of Jews, Communists, Liberal politicians, Catholics, Freemasons and other opposition groups were appropriated for Nazi research and used to wage an intellectual war on literature and history. The search for the books has recently intensified, driven by researchers in America and Europe who have developed a road map of sorts to track the stolen books, many of which are still hiding in plain sight on public library shelves throughout Europe. This engrossing work details how the looted volumes are gradually being reunited with the families of their original owners, for whom they are often the only remaining possession of their relatives they have ever held.