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Language of the Third Reich: LTI: Lingua Tertii Imperii Paperback – July 1, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0826491305 ISBN-10: 0826491308

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic (July 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826491308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826491305
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #582,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

It is obscene, in a sense, to relate Klemperer's situation to any subsequent intellectual enquiry conducted unmolested by tyranny. But studies of language - whether social, political or aesthetic - owe him a debt. They implicitly gesture towards his act of witness, and towards others like it.

(TImes Higher Educational, 17 June 10)

This book is a breathtaking balancing act, by turns horrifying and heroic, saddening and sardonic [...] of major historical importance and grippingly well-written
(Philip Riley, Book Review for The International Journal of Applied Linguistics)

This important, stimulating and necessary book should be required reading for all who want to understand what politicians are doing to us today ... it is full of anecdotes and details that illustrate the effect of the changes in language ... This is a vital book.
(Eric Hester, Catholic Times, April 2007)

On the basis of his painstaking ethical-linguistic examinations, Klemperer is one of the most valuable witnesses to the methods of totalitarian mental corruption. The lasting message of this book is one of constant vigilance: wherever the machinery of atrocity is in motion, the misuse of language will be supporting it. (TImes Higher Educational, 17 June 10)

It is obscene, in a sense, to relate Klemperer's situation to any subsequent intellectual enquiry conducted unmolested by tyranny. But studies of language - whether social, political or aesthetic - owe him a debt. They implicitly gesture towards his act of witness, and towards others like it.

(Sanford Lakoff)

This book is a breathtaking balancing act, by turns horrifying and heroic, saddening and sardonic [...] of major historical importance and grippingly well-written
(Sanford Lakoff)

This important, stimulating and necessary book should be required reading for all who want to understand what politicians are doing to us today ... it is full of anecdotes and details that illustrate the effect of the changes in language ... This is a vital book.
(Sanford Lakoff)

About the Author

Victor Klemperer, a front-line veteran of the First World War, became Professor of French Literature at Dresden University. He was taken from his university in 1935 because he was Jewish, and only survived because of his marriage to an Aryan.

Customer Reviews

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I'm going to read it again, in order to benefit from all of Klemperer's thesis.
Richard C. Geschke
I see and hear this everyday and it scares me to see how propaganda and word use in a very particular way can all of a sudden take on a new and more sinister meaning.
KerrLines
Again, the good was bestowed by a higher authority and did not come as a result of your singular, individual efforts.
R. Schultz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By KerrLines on February 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
Victor Klemperer,a Professor at Dresden University,catalogued words used by the Third Reich from 1933-1945.Klemperer was stripped of his tenure at the University when the Nazi's declared that Jews could not hold such positions.In that time,Klemperer notated the words that became the "catch" phrases and "now" words of the Fuhrer's thinking.These words,he noted,were the "language of poverty" and appealed to the common masses,i.e "dummying-down" the language.This language,though,as he referred to it as the "L.T.I", the Language of the Reich,became the words used on the bourgeois lips in order to enflame German people against the Jews, and to embolden them to rise up for their Fatherland.
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who seems to "parrot" back what they have heard; nothing is an original thought, but only some form of "propaganda" or "mind-controlled" speech? I have! Perhaps this is why this book upset me so.I see and hear this everyday and it scares me to see how propaganda and word use in a very particular way can all of a sudden take on a new and more sinister meaning.
I read this fascinating book after seeing LANGUAGE DOES NOT LIE: The Victor Klemperer Diary on The Sundance Channel.
Other suggested materials concerning Klemperer,whose Diary was not published until 1995 include I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years, 1933-1941 (Modern Library Paperbacks), I Will Bear Witness 1942-1945: A Diary of the Nazi Years,and
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By G. Morris on September 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
just a note about this book. reading it will not only help you understand history of the 20th century and of Germany under the Nazi Party's sickening rule, but will inform your hearing of the news and of governmental communications today. it will make your infuriation listening to the propaganda that has infiltrated culture at almost every level a much more informed infuriation. :-)

this is an excellent, excellent book and the two other reviews accurately describe it to a potential reader.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Richard C. Geschke VINE VOICE on December 19, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After I took a rather large block of time to read the entire edited entries of Victor Klemperer's diaries entitled "I shall Bear Witness" and "To the Bitter End", I went on to read Klemperer's thesis on the language of the Third Reich.
As a well known professor of philology, Klemperer goes into great detail as to the change of the German language during the 12 year reign of the Third Reich. Along with the daily writings of Klemperer's diaries, Victor also engaged in his thesis of the language change which occurred in Germany from 1933 to 1945.
Many things that were said during the aforementioned time period had double meanings. To a Jew in Nazi Germany, the word privilege had an ominous meaning. In fact many rather innocent words, phrases and idioms meant rather different things to different people in Nazi Germany.
Victor Klemperer had the time and also the temerity to note these changes in the German language. As an oppressed Jew who actually survived the Nazi regime, he indeed noted the change of meanings in language and also the change of meanings in the very essence of German being and culture.
Klemperer is a latter day descendant of a mythical fly on the wall. To note he was a rather highly educated fly. Herr Klemperer really did see the black side of a totalitarian government. What is amazing is that Klemperer did indeed survive. To add to this rather amazing fact, the person who survived, was indeed intelligent enough to write about the happenings and form a rather succinct opinion of what transpired.
This book in a gem. I'm going to read it again, in order to benefit from all of Klemperer's thesis. I'm sure I'll learn more of this rather gruesome time period. If you have an historian's inclination, please do read this rather magnificent work.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Schultz VINE VOICE on May 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was impelled to get this book after reading Klemperer's outstanding 2-volume diary of his time surviving as a Jew in Hitler's Germany. I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years, 1933-1941 - I Will Bear Witness 1942-1945: A Diary of the Nazi Years During those years, Klemperer kept himself sane and productive by secretly working on writing an account of the changes he heard in people's language as they absorbed the mindset of the Fascist regime.

He documents the incursion of usages such as "fanatical" to describe everything praiseworthy. He notes how the names of mythic Teutonic heroes or Wagnerian characters became popular as given names, while Biblical names such as "Christian" were discouraged or banned altogether from use by "Aryan" members of the population. Jewish people, on the other hand, were required to append Old Testament names to themselves to further identify and segregate them.

Language was inflated. Nothing was allowed to be ordinary. Everything was pronounced as if from the podium of a State Occasion, and was directed, not to individuals, but to the masses. The smallest act became "historical" or indicative of a "blood" struggle. The use of superlatives abounded.

Besides such gross changes in language, Klemperer explores many subtle changes - the kind that seep into use below the level of awareness and work to insidiously alter one's outlook. You didn't any longer ask if so-and-so was ill. You asked if he was on the sick-list, because illness had to certified. It was a status that could only be bestowed by a higher authority.
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