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LTI - lingua Tertii Imperii by Victor…

LTI - lingua Tertii Imperii (original 1947; edition 2011)

by Victor Klemperer

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437337,083 (4.44)5
Victor Klemperer (1881-1960) was Professor of French Literature at Dresden University. As a Jew, he was removed from his university post in 1935, only surviving thanks to his marriage to an Aryan. First published in 1957, The Language of the Third Reich arose from Klemperer's conviction that the language of the Third Reich helped to create its culture. As Klemperer writes: 'It isn't only Nazi actions that have to vanish, but also the Nazi cast of mind, the typical Nazi way of thinking, and its breeding ground: the language of Nazism.' This brilliant book is by turns entertaining and profound, saddening and horrifying. It is deservedly one of the great twentieth-century studies of language and its engagement with history. Translated by Dr Martin Brady.… (more)
Title:LTI - lingua Tertii Imperii
Authors:Victor Klemperer
Info:[Kbh.] Tekst og Tale 2011
Collections:Your library
Tags:Philology, linguistics, germany, nazism

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The Language of the Third Reich: LTI -- Lingua Tertii Imperii: A Philologist's Notebook by Victor Klemperer (1947)


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A sort of combination memoir and philology book. The author undertakes a serious study of language in Nazi Germany, but that study is part and parcel of his own experience living as a Jew in Dresden, and he includes many anecdotes about his own experiences. I admit I'm not into philology -- okay, I had to look up the word in the dictionary -- and I only read the book because Klemperer kept talking about it in his diaries. And in turn he talks about his diaries a lot in this book. So they complement each other, although they can and do stand on their own as well.

I was intrigued, sometimes fascinated, by Klemperer's observations of how language evolved under Nazism. An example: readers of concentration camp memoirs will be familiar with the camp term "organize," meaning "to steal." Well, according to Klemperer, the ordinary German people also used the term "organize" meaning to obtain something illegally, either by theft or black marketing -- as in, "They don't issue ration cards for that anymore, you'll have to organize it." I had no idea the same term was used outside the camps -- and Klemperer, it appears, had no idea it was used within the camps, because he doesn't mention it.

I think he would have been very intrigued by 1984 and Newspeak. I also think that if I applied his methods of observation to the media and conversation in my country, I would probably learn some disquieting things.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in language, the Holocaust or World War II. I would also recommend Klemperer's diaries “I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years, 1933-1941”, “I Will Bear Witness 1942-1945: A Diary of the Nazi Years” and the post-war one, “The Lesser Evil: The Diaries of Victor Klemperer 1945-1959”. Especially the first two. ( )
4 vote meggyweg | Jul 6, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Victor Klempererprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fröhlich, ElkeEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blumbergs, IlmārsCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brady, MartinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buscaglione Candela, PaolaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Demakova, HelēnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hansen, W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kovacsics, AdanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ranchetti, MicheleContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tīrons, UldisEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Die Sprache des Dritten Reiches hat aus neuen Bedürfnissen heraus der distanzierenden Vorsilbe ent einigen Zuwachs zuteil werden lassen (wobei es jedesmal dahingestellt bleibt, ob es sich um völlige Neuschöpfung handelt oder um die Übernahme in Fachkreisen bereits bekannter Ausdrücke in die Sprache der Allgemeinheit). Fenster mußten vor der Fliegergefahr verdunkelt werden, und so ergab sich die tägliche Arbeit des Entdunkelns. Hausböden durften bei Dachbränden den Löschenden kein Gerümpel in den Weg stellen, sie wurden entrümpelt. Neue Nahrungsquellen mußten erschlossen werden: die bittere Roßkastanie wurde entbittert ...
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