Language of the Third Reich: LTI: Lingua Tertii Imperii by Victor Klemperer

By Victor Klemperer

A labourer, journalist and a professor who lived via 4 successive sessions of German political background – from the German Empire, throughout the Weimar Republic and the Nazi country via to the German Democratic Republic – Victor Klemperer is thought of as essentially the most shiny witnesses to a tumultuous century of ecu background.

First released in 1957, The Language of the 3rd Reich arose from Klemperer's conviction that the language of the 3rd Reich helped to create its tradition. As Klemperer writes: 'It isn't really in simple terms Nazi activities that experience to fade, but in addition the Nazi solid of brain, the common Nazi frame of mind, and its breeding flooring: the language of Nazism.'

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Example text

But I see the most obvious symptom of their inner insecurity in the public appearances of hitler himself. yesterday in the newsreel there was a sound film sequence: the Führer says a few words to a large gathering. he clenches his fists, he contorts his face, it is more a wild scream than a speech, an outburst of rage: ‘on 30 January they (he means the Jews of course) laughed at me – that smile will be wiped off their faces . ’ at the moment he appears to be omnipotent, perhaps he is; but this recording testifies to almost blind rage.

The speediest of rejections followed; the reason given being that the study was ‘entirely backward-looking’ and was lacking ‘the necessary national {völkisch} angles’. The opportunities for publishing have been cut off – when will they gag me? During the summer semester my status as a ‘front line soldier’ protected me – how long will the protection last? 28 August. I really must not lose heart, the people won’t go along with it for long. It is said that hitler relied in particular on the petty bourgeoisie, and that was clearly the case.

Am I deceiving myself if I derive some hope from all this? This total madness cannot be sustained once the people’s intoxication has worn off, once the hangover has begun. 25 August. What use are the symptoms of weariness? Everyone is afraid. It had been arranged that my piece entitled ‘Germany’s Image of France’ would be published by Quelle & meyer and would first appear in the Neuphilologische Monatsschrift (new Philological monthly), edited by the vice-Chancellor or Professor hübner, a thoroughly moderate and decent schoolmaster.

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