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State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda: Fiction

Updated: January 26, 2019

Selected titles from the Los Angeles Public Library's collection about propaganda in connection with a special exhibit at the Los Angeles Public Library, Central Library, Getty Gallery, March 10th - August 31, 2016. The following is a list of novels and short stories.  Some of these are a direct reflection of the Nazi era, and others represent propaganda in general, and its spawn:  lies, rumor, innuendo, chaos, confusion and injustice.

Orwell, George, 1903-1950.
Call Number: Ed.k

One of the twentieth century's great classic dystopian novels depicting superstates that rule by torture, brainwashing, starvation, and absolute fear.

Doblin, Alfred, 1878-1957.
Call Number: Ed.a

Set in 1920s Berlin, Döblin's novel depicts the story of Franz Biberkopf, who is released from prison and confronts a crumbling society of crime, poverty and the rise of the Nazi Party.

Call Number: DVD G

A mini-series for television based on the novel Berlin Alexanderplatz.

Isherwood, Christopher, 1904-1986.
Call Number: Ed.c

In this fictionalized account of his time in Weimar Berlin, Isherwood introduces characters who would later be made famous by the play, I am a cameraand the Broadway musical and film, Cabaret.The stories are also vivid pictures of attitudes and political inclinations leading to the rise of Nazi Germany.

Huxley, Aldous, 1894-1963.
Call Number: Ed.g

One of the twentieth century's great classic dystopian novels which portrays mass manipulation of people through propaganda and indoctrination.

Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Isaevich, 1918-2008.
Call Number: Ed.a

This novel was originally published in Russian as a samizdat (underground publication), and was then formally banned. Alexander Solzhenitsyn uses the cancer ward as a metaphor for the irreparable damage caused by Stalin's Great Purge.

Hegi, Ursula.

In the town of Burgdorf, Germany, just outside of Berlin, it is Feb. 27, 1934, the first anniversary of the burning of the Reichstag, and a young optimistic teacher cannot imagine that the burgeoning Nazi movement will last. However there are German boys who have joined the Hitler Youth Movement and Jewish children are attending segregated classes. This is one volume in the Burgdorf series: Floating in my mother's palm; Stones from the riverVision of Emma Blau. 

Vollmann, William T.

Panoramic in scope and subject, Vollmann portrays central European countries, and a myriad of historical and fictitious characters. Decisions made in the worst of times are a test of moral integrity.

Bradbury, Ray, 1920-2012.
Call Number: SF Ed.f

One of the twentieth century's great dystopian novels which presents book burning as a method of controlling information and freedom of thought.

Fallada, Hans, 1893-1947.
Call Number: Ed.a

An important German novel published to great acclaim in 1932. Fallada portrays a young couple struggling in an economically stressed German society, with the growth of the Nazis offering solutions to everyone's problems. This is the first uncut English translation.

Kadare, Ismail.

Albanian writer Ismail Kadare has written a mystery novel and political polemic. Intrigue swirls around the mystery death of an appointed successor to a brutal dictator. Who killed him and why? The existing dictator is near death, but does not want to be replaced. Based on the real Albanian leader, Enver Hoxha, who ruled by means of fear, rumor and threat, Kadare has created a darkly satiric story about state power run amok.

Bolano, Roberto, 1953-2003.

This novel is not directly about the Third Reich, but centers around a war game, The Rise and Decline of the Third Reich. Many of Bolaño's novels reference the dictatorial regime of Augusto Pinochet.

Grass, Gunter, 1927-2015.
Call Number: Ed.d

Oskar Matzerath is the main character and narrator, who is born with a shrieking voice he never loses, all the while proclaiming that he alone knows the truth.

Kafka, Franz, 1883-1924.
Call Number: Ed.e

A man is arrested by an amorphous authority and never told for what crime.