Hitler’s assault on the written word, the theft and destruction of countless books and religious tracts – estimated well in excess of 100 million – was arguably far worse and has gone largely unreported.
Entire libraries, more than 700 throughout Europe, as well as cherished personal collections disappeared into the maw of the advancing German war machine. The goal of this unprecedented campaign was not cash or cachet, as was the case with looted art, but control of the minds and memories of defeated nations and various people, principally Jews, but also Freemasons, Catholics, and political opponents.
If it had survived, the Third Reich would have been a formidable arbiter of what was considered true, and false for the foreseeable future. The goal was to rewrite history – to concoct fake history, really – albeit one that its creators actually believed was true.