Hitler’s secret library

Published on October 28th, 2009 | by Admin

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Better known for burning books than collecting them, Adolf Hitler had quite the library, owning an estimated 16,000 books.

He ranked Don Quixote, along with Robinson Crusoe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Gulliver’s Travels, among the great works of world literature. “Each of them is a grandiose idea unto itself,” he said. In Robinson Crusoe he perceived “the development of the entire history of mankind”. Don Quixote captured “ingeniously” the end of an era. He was especially impressed by Gustave Doré’s depictions of Cervantes’s delusion-plagued hero.

He also owned the collected works of William Shakespeare, published in German translation in 1925 by Georg Müller as part of a series intended to make great literature available to the general public. Volume six includes As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Hamlet and Troilus and Cressida. The entire set is bound in hand-tooled Moroccan leather, with a gold-embossed eagle, flanked by his initials, on the spine.

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