The language of the Third Reich

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Victor Klemperer (1881-1960) became Professor of French Literature at Dresden University. A Jew, he was taken from his university post in 1935 and only survived because of his marriage to an Aryan. From 1933 to 1945 he kept detailed diaries, which contain, in note form, some of the raw material for LTI. Under the Third Reich, the official language of Nazism came to be used as a political tool. The existing social culture was manipulated and subverted as the German people had their ethical values and their thoughts about politics, history and daily life recast in a new language. This notebook, translated by Martin Brady and originally called LTI (Lingua Tertii Imperii) -- the abbreviation itself a parody of Nazified language -- was written out of Klemperer's conviction that the language of the Third Reich helped to create its culture. This brilliant, entertaining, profound and ultimately saddening and horrifying book is one of the great twentieth-century studies of language and of its engagement with history.

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