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Information HuntersWhen Librarians, Soldiers, and Spies Banded Together in World War II Europe$
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Kathy Peiss

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190944612

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190944612.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 October 2021

Book Burning—American Style

Book Burning—American Style

(p.146) Chapter 6 Book Burning—American Style
Information Hunters

Kathy Peiss

Oxford University Press

The American military government in Germany faced a particular problem of mass acquisitions tied to postwar occupation policy. The Allies had agreed to purge Nazism from the German book world. The military confiscated countless volumes, sequestering and even destroying them. Bookstores and publishers had been forced to surrender these works. Over time this became an operation to make an entire body of published works inaccessible and unreadable. Communications experts, social scientists, progressive educators, and librarians applied their expertise to achieve this goal. However, when Order No. 4 was issued, requiring the confiscation and destruction of all Nazi material, including books in public libraries, many Americans accused the military of engaging in book burning. The episode reveals tensions over the relationship between reading, freedom, democracy, and the wartime state.

Keywords:   denazification, Order No. 4, book burning, military government, OMGUS

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