What's this book about? And should I burn it?
January 11, 2007 12:48 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone out in MetaLand own (or has read) a book by Bernt Engelmann called Deutschland ohne Juden (Germany without Jews)? If so, please can you tell me what it's about, specifically, is it offensive (Holocaust denial, anti-Semitic, that kind of thing)?

I've come across a first edition of this amongst various other books in German whilst going through my husband's late grandmother's flat and am considering selling it on ebay. Notwithstanding ebay rules, I wouldn't want to trade anything offensive but sadly, my German is nowhere near good enough to work out whether this book is offensive or merely a factual history.

Thanks in advance!
posted by dogsbody to Media & Arts (5 answers total)
Engelmann was a German Jew and a socialist. Deutschland ohne Juden is essentially an analysis of the Nazi efforts to make Germany Judenrein, or "free from Jews." Nothing really offensive, in the way you're thinking of it, unless you are a historian who disagrees with Engelmann's assertions and conclusions.
posted by arco at 12:56 PM on January 11, 2007

No, it's certainly not anti-Semitic; just the opposite, in fact. Engelmann (who survived Dachau) discusses all the great scientific and cultural contributions of Jews in German history and society, and argues that anti-Semitism has helped diminish German culture as a whole.
posted by scody at 12:59 PM on January 11, 2007

Here's a page from the book Safe Among the Germans: Liberated Jews After World War II by Ruth Gay noting that the book chronicles the enormous loss to German culture caused by the death or emigration of notable Jews. Not holocaust denial, not antisemitic, not burnworthy, not offensive. Sell away!
posted by bcwinters at 1:00 PM on January 11, 2007

Here's an article about other books Engelmann has written, namely In Hitler's Germany.

It's certainly not offensive, he's quoted as saying that probably only 10% of the German population were true Nazis, but it was still 10% too many.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:41 PM on January 11, 2007

Engelmann was a SPD member, which under Hitler was more than dangerous. he was also widely known as a writer for the oldest political tv-show on german tv, Panorama.

bottom line: this guy wasn't a nazi.
posted by krautland at 3:20 PM on January 11, 2007

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