List of literature to be discarded

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The list of literature to be sorted out was a four-volume publication by the German Administration for National Education in the Soviet Occupation Zone and the Ministry for National Education (GDR) . It mainly served to sort out books and book holdings from the time of National Socialism . It also served to weed out writings that the Soviet occupying power and later the GDR disliked, such as books by Friedrich Muckermann , a staunch opponent of National Socialism.

Single track

  1. List of literature to be discarded. Published by the German Administration for Public Education in the Soviet Occupation Zone. Preliminary edition as of April 1, 1946 (Berlin: Zentralverlag, 1946).
  2. List of literature to be discarded. Published by the German Administration for Public Education in the Soviet Occupation Zone. First addendum based on January 1, 1947 (Berlin: Zentralverlag, 1947).
  3. List of literature to be discarded. Published by the German Administration for Public Education in the Soviet Occupation Zone. Second addendum as of September 1, 1948 (Berlin: Deutscher Zentralverlag, 1948).
  4. List of literature to be discarded. Published by the Ministry for National Education of the German Democratic Republic. Third addendum from April 1, 1952 (Berlin: VEB Deutscher Zentralverlag, 1953).


On May 13, 1946, Order No. 4 of the Allied Control Council ordered the segregation and destruction of literature and works of a National Socialist and militarist character. After objections from academic libraries that the now forbidden literature had to be preserved for academic research and for official purposes, it was permitted on August 10, 1946 to inspect it.

In contrast to the lists of banned authors during the National Socialist era , the list of literature to be discarded appeared openly published, and it was also appreciated and consulted outside the Soviet zone - but without any official cooperation between the Soviet, British, American and French authorities.

The individual volumes were created by the Deutsche Bücherei in Leipzig , which was predestined for this work - by the very institution that was responsible for the positive list of National Socialist literature in the Third Reich, at the time on behalf of the party official examination commission for the protection of National Socialist literature , the "PPK" ( according to which illegally calling themselves National Socialist could be banned). The Deutsche Bücherei, which had only minor war losses in its inventory, bore the main organizational burden of checking around two million books, which led to 35,000 entries.

The censorship list compiled from 1946 to 1953 goes far beyond the previous positive list of National Socialism: It includes decidedly National Socialist literature (especially Nazi propaganda ), National Socialist war and racial incitement, books that show the imprints and emblems of National Socialist organizations and are therefore not in public Loans from the public libraries should remain. Instructions for the manufacture of explosives and weapons as well as the scheduled formation of (para-) military units were added to the list in order to prevent terrorist attacks and to be able to counter the formation of armed resistance organizations.


" I. Books

The following groups of books are to be blocked as a whole without the titles being listed individually:

  1. the National Socialist literature, such as service instructions for SS., SD., SA., HJ., BDM. etc., reports from NS. agencies, KdF travel guides, flyers with National Socialist poems and similar publications that can easily be recognized as NS literature.
  2. the service regulations of the Army, the Air Force and the Navy and the Reich Labor Service, including the instructions, regulations, etc. for military departments.
  3. the stories and occasional publications of German regiments, companies and other troop units that have appeared since World War 1914-1918,
  4. the military and militaristic literature published during the World War 1914–1918 and in the following years, such as training books for army members, war reports, field sermons, war poems and similar literature,
  5. the blueprints for models of airplanes, warships and war vehicles, usually provided with printed instructions.
  6. The brochures and pamphlets on the Versailles Treaty, insofar as they call for a violent dissolution of the Treaty,
  7. the school books from 1933–1945.

Textbooks that were published during the National Socialist government in the German Reich and that were used in the teaching of elementary, middle and high schools as well as the compulsory technical schools are to be regarded as textbooks to be sorted out. School editions of German literature, books for foreign language instruction and religious instruction, as well as dictionaries, logarithms, formulas and preparatory books for teachers do not fall under the general ban; if books of this type are to be sorted out anyway, the titles of the same are listed individually. "

- From the foreword to the 1952 edition

The lists appear mainly to have been used to remove ideologically suspicious literature from public libraries . In addition, they allowed a comfortable judgment on their production in the case of applications for the re-admission of publishers - an area of ​​responsibility which, however, did not gain much importance in the Soviet-occupied zone, which hindered the emergence of private publishers.

The removed books were “secreted” as individual copies in libraries with a retention requirement (archive libraries) (included and only made accessible for special use via special catalogs), but for the most part “spoiled” .

Lists in the western zones and the Federal Republic

The lists were not binding in the western zones; how far they were used is not clear. In the British Zone in 1947 a "List of Unwanted Literature" was drawn up for official use only . A project to catalog the research-relevant Nazi literature was discontinued in 1951 by the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Culture , and the 20,000 title cards disappeared for 35 years in the basement of the Cologne University and City Library .

See also


  • Manfred Komorowski : National Socialist Legacy in Libraries. In: Peter Vodosek , Manfred Komorowski (Hrsg.): Libraries during the National Socialism (= Wolfenbütteler Schriften zur Geschichte des Buchwesen 16). Volume 2. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1992, ISBN 3-447-03308-8 , pp. 273-295.
  • Ute Steigers: The participation of the Deutsche Bücherei in the development of the “List of the literature to be sorted out” in the years 1945–1951. In: Journal of Librarianship and Bibliography. ZfBB. 38, 3, 1991, ISSN  0044-2380 , pp. 236-256.
  • Claudia Wagner: The Central Commission for Combating Nazi Literature, Literature Cleaning in Austrian Vienna 2005 (Diploma thesis for obtaining the master’s degree in Philosophy from the field of German Philology (teaching degree) submitted to the University of Vienna, 2005, 113 pages full text online PDF, free of charge, 113 Pages, 2.8 MB).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. German Administration for National Education in the Soviet occupation zone list of auszusondernden Literature: transcript Letter M . Deutscher Zentralverlag, Berlin 1948, p. 186–206 ( online [accessed May 12, 2015]).
  2. Control Council Order No. 4
  3. Ursula Heukenkamp (Ed.): Guilt and Atonement? War experience and interpretation of war in the German media of the post-war period (1945–1961) . 2 volumes. International conference from 1. – 4. September 1999 in Berlin, Amsterdam Contributions to Modern German Studies, Amsterdam 2001, ISBN 90-420-1455-5 , pp. 528-529.
  4. Manfred Komorowski: National Socialist Heritage in Libraries , in: Peter Vodosek, Manfred Komorowski (Ed.): Libraries during National Socialism , Vol. 2. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1992, p. 277.