in national socialist
Censorship in general
Regular reasons for censoring
▪ Ordinary reasons does not apply
when it comes to totalitarian and
millenarian governmental systems
1. Die Werke von Landesverrätern, Emigranten und von Autoren fremder
Völker, die glauben, das neue Deutschland bekämpfen und herabsetzen
2. Die Literatur des Marxismus, Kommunismus, Bolschewismus.
3. Die pazifistische Literatur.
4. Die liberalistisch-demokratische Tendenz- und Gesinnungsliteratur und die
Propagandisten des Weimarer Staates.
10. Die Literatur jüdischer Autoren, gleichviel welcher Gebiete.
Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg
▪ In effect a project under Alfred Rosenberg’s even bigger project:
▪ Hohe Schule der NSDAP
The university (/college) will one day become the central place of
national socialist research, teaching and education. The construction
will take place after the war. But, to promote the preparatory work, I
arrange for Reichleiter Rosenberg to start the preparations with these
programs – especially research and the building of the library
continuous. The departments of the party and the state has to support
him in this work.
From «Führer-Erlasse, 29.1.1940»
Institut zur Erforschung der Judenfrage
▪ Himmler’s SS, including the Ahnenerbe
▪ Reichssicherheitshauptamt, especially under Amt VII (Weltanschauliche
Forschung und Auswertung – SD-Ausland)
Reinhard Heydrich Franz Alfred Six
▪ Constant rivalry and partly contrary, but still very overlapping interests.
The press in Norway
- very briefly
▪ Norwegian NS (collaborationist
Norwegian party) control initially
▪ County “press leaders”
▪ German civilian press control
▪ Specific suggestions for headlines
had to be chosen
After the English bombing of the
harbour in Bergen, 16th June 1940,
the following options were given:
▪ The king sends us help from
England: Bergen has been
▪ Royal greetings from England –
bombs over Bergen
▪ Cordially thank you, King Haakon,
for Bergen burning
▪ Did king Haakon know that his
English friends bombed Bergen?
▪ Not before the king is in London, the
Norwegian citizens are bombed to
▪ King Haakon brings the war further –
Bergen is his first victim
Directions from the press
section – an ordinary day at
the office (March 1st 1943)
1. Reichminister von Ribbentrop’s visit in
Rome shall ha the most prominent
place in the morning edition.
2. the message from N.T.B. on the
cancellation of the demarcation line in
France shall be given special
3. The meeting of the Danish national
socialists, with speeches by Dr.
Claussen and the leaders of the Danish
volunteers, shall not be published in a
8. The article “England prays for
Bolsheviks”, which has been sent out
by the N.T.B., is given explicit attention.
9. The N.T.B.’s account of the English
pirate campaign shall be published in
good equipment. One of the ten
attached headlines shall be used.
▪ Newspapers is something quite
different from books
▪ Rauschning’s book Hitler speeks
(Gespräche mit Hitler) had to go
▪ Tidy and orderly three-part
account from the administrative
council from the summer of 1941
▪ Primarilly political works
▪ But also some cases of moral
Where do the little
children come from?
“Many of you have younger siblings. Do
you remember the time before your
baby brother or sister came to this
world? If you would have looked after,
you would have seen that your mother
was very fat, and then, when baby
brother or sister was born, then she was
just as slim as she used to be.”
Books or other writings
that harm the Norwegian
people’s national and
social progress, if they
are circulated amongst
the public, can be
seized and confiscated
Decisions about this will
be made by the
department, without the
courts having the right of
The decree to guard the Norwegian book
home [the Norwegian literary culture],
Feb. 17th, 1941:
From the party program of NS
▪ A free cultural and intellectual life with organized self-government, under the
supervision of the state and with continuous economical support.
▪ The press, theatre, broadcasting, film and other cultural mediators shall promote
the interests of the nation. Propaganda that is hostile towards the state or that
promotes class hate will be forbidden.
The NS handbook
Instructions for the censorship of theatres
▪ The censorship itself aims to expunge or remove all scenes, words or
gestures that criticize, mocks or ridicules the Germans or Germany, NS, the
leader of the party or leading men in the party. All subjects that leads the
thought to the war today or the negative side of the politics of today, must
be denied performance. All typical war expressions has to be removed.
▪ However, the censorship also has another side. Especially when it comes
to cabarets or other entertainment, the censors work has to aim at raising
the artistic and moral standard in the programme. Any entertainment
material that in the opinion of the censor has to be characterized as low
browed shall be forbidden.
▪ Of particularly special rules, it can be mentioned that performance of
English, French and Swedish text and melody is not allowed at this
moment. The same goes for Russian music. Typical swing melodies are
Additional guarding of the Norwegian literary
To control the flood of Jewish, English-American and emigrant literature, the decree
of October 29th, 1941 on translated literature determines, among other things, that it
is forbidden to publish, in Norwegian translation or in Norwegian editions, books,
texts and other literary works, illustrated works and comics that are published
abroad, or if the author is a foreigner or Norwegian emigrant, unless the department
has accepted the work for publication in this country.
Sverre Riisnæs, minister of justice 1941-1945
Published books in Norway
1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944
New books Translated books NS propaganda
Politics – poetics
▪ Political opponents = anyone that
does not agree, or has defined as
out by ideological reasons
▪ Jews are central in this picture of the
▪ The transition between
politics/ideology and poetics are
▪ There can hardly be any doubt that
the tendency of negative analysis
and cynical dissection of the spiritual
life that characterize so much of the
contemporary literature, is due to
Jewish influence. The same goes for
the widespread circling of the sexual
questions and not least the
▪ [succeeding a list of fairly prominent
German writers, including Thomas
Mann]: That among these, there
were many talents, cannot be
denied. But it is not enough to have
a talent, it depends on what that
talent is used for. If it is used with a
destructive intent, it is better to be
Haldis Neegård Østbye
Those who have held the banner of idealism high have not
had it easy in the lewd, erotic and decadent atmosphere
that has covered our literary life and under the spiritual
terror that has been practiced by the “radicals”. However,
the time has come when Nordic ideals again shall be in the
seat of honour, idealism, selflessness, altruism, honesty,
self-discipline, honour and national pride – and the air and
the country will be cleansed of this unhealthy and culturally
War of the Jews
Faults in many forms
▪ The diseased often has the appearance of excessive vigour. The face blushes in
a hectic manner when the temperature of the body exceeds 40 degrees, the eyes
shine with an eerie gloss.
▪ The true healthy and unspoiled literature “is calm and enduring and it has long-
term goals, goals outside of the ego and it leaps forth from sources outside of the
▪ Kristen Gundelach, 1941
Culture as a pituitary gland…
“It is a gland with the size of a pea, but its function is to spread out hormones to the
body in proper doses. If anything goes wrong with it or if it is removed, the limbs can
for instance grow and grow and grow – meaninglessly and at random – and the
more they grow the more feeble they become – the face increases in size –
becomes baggy, hanging, torpid and with a cretinic stupidity in the expression.
These almost metaphysical materials are far more necessary for the body than
material nutrition. The pituitary gland of society is the spiritual and intellectual life,
its most important business takes place in hiding. “
What did they want?
▪ We have to ruthlessly remove all the foreign un-culture and replace it with
Norwegian culture. It is our plan that the theatres, films, broadcasting, press and
all providers of culture shall become means to rebuild the belief in the good
Norwegian ideals.” Gulbrand Lunde, 1941
▪ Moral/political assessment criteria, no separation of author and literary work
▪ Aesthetically in the sense that it should not seem foreign
Implementation in the legal
▪ Keeping the cases outside of the
legal/court system: “Decisions about
this will be made by the department,
without the courts having the right of
▪ Regulated by the department, NS
and the occupational governing
Apropos the legal system
In principle NS does not recognize that
there will be given any special legal sphere
for the individual who might need judicial
protection from the state. The state is the
peoples organizational means to promote
the common interests. […] The individual’s
intrinsic value is related to his position as a
part of the community. It is for his people's
sake and not for his own that he enjoys his
Sverre Riisnæs, minister of justice 1941-
What happened to the books?
▪ The collection took place partly
voluntary, partly through physical
▪ Large parts were collected in the
Literature and library office in
Parkveien 41 B
▪ Large amounts was stored in the
premises of the department of culture
▪ The library of the Norwegian Military
Academy was confiscated
▪ The libraries of the Parliament and the
Foreign Ministry was divided and
▪ The library of the conservative party
“Høyre” and private collections was
used as filling in ditches at Grini prison
camp (Polizeihäftlingslager Grini)
▪ The large libraries got to store quite a
lot of the books in their own buildings
▪ Both Gestapo and NS were diligent,
especially in the first period of the
▪ A Verbindungsoffizer between
Abteilung Schul- und Bildungswesen
des Reichkommisariats für die
besetzten norwegischen Gebiete and
the libraries was instated
▪ This organization made contact for the
libraries with der Deutch-Ausländische
▪ “The governmental libraries are
allowed to make exceptions for
scientific use, but since very few of the
books were of scientific kind; the
decree has had no serious impact.
The books are moved into separate
rooms, but they are not to be removed
from the libraries.”
The publishing houses
▪ The publishing house “Tiden”, which
was owned by the labour party, got
their materials, papers and books
seized. This ended up as being used
to make tar paper.
▪ Many of the older editions in their
catalogue was seized.
▪ Realization of the law on the
Norwegian publishers union
▪ Many publishing houses resigned
from the union – these resignations
were not granted
▪ A governmental consultants is
instated at Aschehoug publishing
▪ No new books was published by
them from 1943 until the end of the
▪ Many leaders were arrested
Guidelines for the consultant
▪ Open or hidden attacks on the states
of the Tripartite Pact or prominent
politicians or historical personalities
from these nations.
▪ Anti-Norwegian or anti-German
propaganda of any kind
▪ Attacks on the new-German racial
▪ Definite negative criticism of the
ideas of the new order at all
▪ Hidden or open propaganda for
▪ General mention of the royal family
and other Norwegian or German
▪ Propaganda of any kind for Soviet-
Russia or the Soviet-system or
▪ One-sided propaganda for the
▪ The Norwegian Freemasons are still
searching for most of their library
▪ The main synagogue in Oslo had
most of its furnishings in place
▪ Even the locker that the Torah was
kept in was in place
▪ The synagogue in Trondheim was in
a worse condition, but the local
Methodist church had kept their most
important books, documents and
▪ After the war, the Mosaic Belief
Society applied for 900 Norwegian
kroner as reimbursement for
“Hebraic prayer-books and Bibles”
▪ The northers part of Norway fell
victim to a scorched earth policy,
which meant that they not only
lacked books, but also libraries.
Mer eller mindre gode grunner, men noen av grunnen får større tyngde under en krigssituasjon. Militære – og alt som kan tenkes tolket inn i dette.
Fra en oversikt fra 1935
Fra 10. mai 1933 – brenning av opp i mot 25000 bøker – av den typen beskrevet i punkene over, den tyske studentunionens initiativ. Visuelt og voldsomt, men ikke helt i henhold. Fremgangsmåten skulle være langt mere ordnet enn dette.
Ønsket å opprette et universitets-opplegg, i konkurranse med Hohe Schule, drev mye med forskning og «forskning» - pseudovitenskaplig og mer eller mindre vitenskapelig. Mye arkeologi. Store deler av det som disse beslagla var i tilknytning til denne forskningen – vitenskaplig litteratur og kulturhistoriske gjenstander, altså mer enn litteratur spesifikt.
«Åndsvitenskapenes krigsinnsats», voldsomme mengder bøker konfiskert.
Anslag for RSHAs samling med bøker som var «skadelige og uønskede» bøker endte opp på et anslag mellom 2-3 millioner – inkludert jødisk, marxistisk og frimurerlitteratur. (selv om andre anslag er betydelig mindre). Til sammenligning har NB i Norge i dag en samling på 2 761 835 bøker.
Innledende om behandlingen av pressen – for å vise hvordan det fungerte i Norge.
Ubehagelig innledningsvis, noe mer lemfeldig – overgang til å påse at NS’ propagandastoff ble brukt.
Den tyske virket strengere – ikke oversette Reichkommissar til rikskommisær, Hitler var Führer, ikke fører. Mange beskjeder om hva som ikke måtte nevnes.
Morgenavisene valgte nummer 4 av disse, den kanskje mildeste, noe som førte til at den ble strøket som alternativ for ettermiddagsavisene.
NS i samråd med tyskerne, i første rekke adoptert fra tyskerne, med en del lokale tillegg for Norge. Se ark.
Den politiske begrunnelsen vedvarte og gjaldt i høyeste grad også nye bøker.
1941 oversatt litteratur. 1942 også amerikansk.
Leder for Antikommunistisk institutt, under kulturdepartementet – ikke uten inspirasjon fra tyske rollemodeller.
Jødenes krig, 1941
Fra Vaktskifte i Kunstlivet.
Kunstens samfunnsfunksjon sammenlignes med hypofysens funksjon i vårt eget legeme. Det at noe er sykt, ødeleggende, berettiger den brutale omgangen med det.
[Litteratur- og Bibliotekkontoret i Parkveien 41B – spesialsamlingen frå Rjukan var nokså komplett her.
Kult dep – både frå bib og private.
Tiden tilknyttet AP – 100 tonn
Utmeldelse på subjektivt grunnlag, ikke saklig nok.
Skyldte en del på papirmangel – bortkastet å trykke noe som bare blir konfiskert.
Likevel var det ugreit for NS – som fikk klager fra sympatisk innstilte forlag om at bokhandlerne ikke stilte ut bøkene deres i vinduene.
Far og sønn bokhandler Støkken fra Hamar, halvt år i fengsel for å ha stilt ut Min kamp og en bok om Mussolini, med boken Dyra tenker sitt midt i mellom.
Ca 18200 2015 kroner