The Contested Fate of Confiscated Books and Objectionable Literature

  • Miriam Intrator
Part of the New Directions in Book History book series (NDBH)


This chapter focuses on UNESCO’s intent to participate in deciding the fate and ultimate distribution of non-Jewish books confiscated by the Nazis as well as of the often-forgotten category of fascist and other “objectionable literature” confiscated by the Allies during and after liberation. These debates extended to questions of ownership of and rights to entire library collections confiscated or displaced during the war. To that end, this chapter delves into a case study of the Biblioteca Hertziana and Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, controversially designated during the postwar period as “ex-German libraries in Italy.” The chapter also examines UNESCO’s role in bringing enemy nation Germany, specifically German publications and libraries, into the organization’s networks of transnational exchange and cooperation.



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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miriam Intrator
    • 1
  1. 1.Alden LibraryOhio University LibrariesAthensUSA

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