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Book from Hitler's Library?

Article about: I offer this with no claims, and ask that you assess it on the basis of your expertise, common sense, or just plain gut feeling. But, however you arrive at your opinion, please give me—and e

  1. #11

    Default Re: Book from Hitler's Library?

    as someone who has bought and sold books out the ying-yang from my own library, these things just get dispersed. they can end up literally anywhere and do. to me, there is little mystery worth understanding as to how the book ended up there. someone probably grabbed stacks of the things and sold them for pennies. at the time, the thing would have been less than worthless having a name like that inside. half the books i dump on a buyer... they don't even open the from cover. the book could have been taken individually or, more likely, someone took stacks... again... probably just to get a few pennies to get by, what was for many, a very difficult time. some could have been burned for warmth. the possibilities are endless.

    i too have seen this "ex libris" sticker. to me, your story, the fact you were there personally... i have no doubt that this book is real and the attribution is accurate. there would have been no market for printing up fake stickers and humping up a book for a couple of nickels at the time.

    i believe that it is exactly what it purports to be.

    i also realize that yes, important personages receive first editions and luxury editions as gifts. but i also believe that just every day books off the shelves of local bookstores can and do end up in their libraries as well. heck... sometimes books are purchased for important people by interior designers by the box load to create the effect of a library. often these important people don't have the time to even read these things or know that they have them. they are purchased, ex-libris stickers are stuck in the inside front cover, and the person designing the room lines them up to create a "library effect" in a particular room and an air of sophistication.

    no doubt Hitler had droves of such people "completing" rooms with furniture, art and books.

    i have hired interior designers more than once. it's like walking a giant dog. you tell them not to buy a bunch of books and art and what do they do? they buy a bunch of books and art and you pay for it all. you just get dragged along. the last interior designer i had i specifically asked not to buy art. i already have enough paintings. what does this guy do? buys 30 framed pieces... prints mostly. and yes... books.

    these would not be first editions. many of them would just be books selected to create an effect and selected to be consistent with what visitors would believe Hitler would likely read and/or selected to make an impression.

    just my 3 cents and coming from about 10% expertise and the remaining 90% a combination of experience, gut feeling and common sense... those things that you asked for at least in part.

    an interesting book. and i, for one, take it at face value.

    Edit: you should take a close look at the spine and see if it has ever likely been read. if it looks like it has not, i'd take that as helping the case that the book was Hitler's and bought by someone in the way and for the purpose i have mentioned.
    i'm sure he had hundreds and hundreds of books, if not thousands, all over the country on shelves of every residence and office he had almost and probably never touched many of them.

    the guy didn't live like you or i, that's for sure. the ultra wealthy and powerful don't buy their own books. well... maybe one here or there. for the most part they are bought for them as gifts but the bulk are usually bought by interior designers or by somebody working philosophically from that basic premise.

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  3. #12

    Default Re: Book from Hitler's Library?

    Without knowing much about the item in question I would still like to venture an opinion if that is not deemed impolite? If you bought it in 1957 for a very small amount of money at a time when such an item was not likely to be faked as the interest was not that strong, then why fake it and sell it for peanuts, and I think it is "probably" genuine. Sorry, I used the P word.

    As an aside on how books end up where we find them, I have a book on a totally unrelated matter, -so this might just be a pointless digression on my part, but I will continue-, which has a dedication "To Karl, no hard feelings!" and I have often wondered how and under what circumstances the dedication was written and how it ended up in a charity shop in Cardiff for 50p in the 90's. The book is Commando and is signed by the author, Brigadier John Durnford-Slater D.S.O & Bar and the dedication is dated January 1976.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  4. #13

    Default Re: Book from Hitler's Library?

    wow, that is interesting, Bond.

    and an illustrative point.

  5. #14

    Exclamation An interesting experience with Third Reich books.

    In 1989 I was in the library science program at the University of Arizona when I read a newspaper piece about a veteran that had rescued a number of books from Himmler home in Berchtesgaden. I was able to go to the University library's special collections area and personally examine them. It was fascinating, as one of the books was Himmler's personal copy of the list of all publications that had been officially banned in the Reich. It was personally signed and dated by him on the inner cover and had numerous annotations made by him in his own handwriting next to many of the publications listed. Anyone fluent in German and able to read Himmler's writing would find this an incredible look into the thoughts of this monstrous yet nonetheless important historic figure. This book and many others are still is U of A's special collections. None of the one's I handled had any special label inside... just Himmler's signature and a date.

  6. #15

    Default Re: Book from Hitler's Library?

    Thank you, Tempelhof, Jerry (Bond), and Hassiman for your candid opinions, views, and experience. They are certainly useful as well as entertaining--I loved the bit about interior decorators. I would like to know what Karl did to Brig. John Durnford to elicit the "No hard feeligs." Is there anything in the text that would identify Karl? I share Hassinman's sense of history whenever I find a famous person's signature in a book. I have signatures of Gen. John Pershing in his 2-volume memoir of WWI and RAdm. William Sowden Sims in his book The Victory at Sea among several others. Anyway, my gut feeling is that the bookplate is genuine, but I hoping to get something better than a gut feeling to work with. Toward that end, I sent an email request to the Library of Congress this morning asking for a scan or photographic copy of the bookplate that is in one of the books in their collection (see post #10 on page 1). That will give me a known reference with which to compare. In answer to Tempelhof's suggestion, the book I have was, as the Germans say, "Nagelneu" and I'm pretty sure that I was the first person to open it when I bought it. The book is still in great shape considering that it's 72 years old and printed on wartime paper.
    Tempelhof makes a good case when he wrote, "as someone who has bought and sold books out the ying-yang from my own library, these things just get dispersed. they can end up literally anywhere and do. to me, there is little mystery worth understanding as to how the book ended up there. someone probably grabbed stacks of the things and sold them for pennies. at the time, the thing would have been less than worthless having a name like that inside. half the books i dump on a buyer... they don't even open the from cover. the book could have been taken individually or, more likely, someone took stacks... again... probably just to get a few pennies to get by, what was for many, a very difficult time. some could have been burned for warmth. the possibilities are endless."
    Thanks again for your input, and I hope we get more opinions from Forum members. Dwight

  7. #16

    Default Re: Book from Hitler's Library?

    thanks for posting. i not only enjoyed seeing the book itself, but this is one of those threads where i enjoyed reading each and every member's thoughts.

    often times, a relatively modest item can lead to a great expression of ideas and other members' personal experiences and thoughts.

  8. #17

    Default Re: Book from Hitler's Library?

    Hello Dwight,

    I assume that Karl was a German that fell foul of one of the Brigadiers Commando raiding parties at some time during the war, though I could not find any mention of someone called Karl in the book.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

  9. #18

    Default Re: Book from Hitler's Library?

    Bond, i wonder if i go too far in making this assumption... but do you suppose "Karl" may have been a counterpart to the author in war time responsibility and rank and that the men came to encounter or even better know each other in this context of rank? such an assumption could in some way lead to at least an avenue or research?

  10. #19

    Default Re: Book from Hitler's Library?

    I had a book that came from NSDAP Treasurer Xavier Schwarz's personal library; It also had an elaborate "ExLibris Xavier Schwarz"...I did some research and found out that an entire library of 146,000 books was transferred from Germany to the US Library of Congress in 1946...

  11. #20

    Default Re: Book from Hitler's Library?

    Quote by tempelhof View Post
    Bond, i wonder if i go too far in making this assumption... but do you suppose "Karl" may have been a counterpart to the author in war time responsibility and rank and that the men came to encounter or even better know each other in this context of rank? such an assumption could in some way lead to at least an avenue or research?
    You may be correct and for certain I am going to reread the book as soon as I finish my current read in the hopes of finding out some clues to Karl's identity. Also, I could be reading it the wrong way as Dwight suggested and it might have been Karl who "hurt" the Brigadier.
    Regards,

    Jerry

    Whatever its just an opinion.

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