Anders Rydell’s The Book Thieves arrives with a detailed account of Nazi looting of occupied Europe’s archives, libraries, and private collections. The Nazis believed that “un-German” literature, be it “humanist’, “liberal”, “Communist,” Free Mason, or “Jewish”, needed to be purged to make way for purified culture based on nation and race. Jewish works were a particular target, as the Nazis sought to erase their memory as well as their communities. The most valued materials founded their ways into the private collections of Nazi higher-ups, showing the line betwee ideology and criminality was a fine one. This “engrossing, haunting journey” makes a fine companion to The Monuments Men
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