TITLE: Ibsen and Hitler: The Playwright, the Plagiarist and the Plot for the Third Reich
SPEAKER: Steven Sage
EVENT DATE: 2006/07/19
FORMAT: Video + Captions
RUNNING TIME: 35 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)
Steven F. Sage, a former research fellow at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, discussed his book, "Ibsen and Hitler: The Playwright, the Plagiarist and the Plot for the Third Reich," in a program sponsored by the Center for the Book. Published by Carroll & Graf, the book depends heavily on the collections of the Library of Congress, including the Third Reich collection in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division.
In "Ibsen and Hitler," Sage discusses three Ibsen plays, "An Enemy of the People," "The Master Builder" and "Emperor and Galilean," which may have inspired Hitler's writings, speeches and thinking, and quite possibly some of his actions. When Hitler read Ibsen in 1908, he was swayed by a German literary cult then current, which held certain Ibsen dramas to be "prophecy." Through the years, Sage argues, Hitler paraphrased lines from the plays "and restaged highlights of their plots while assigning himself the starring role in this grand drama."
Speaker Biography: A former officer in the U.S. foreign service, Steven Sage was a 2005 research fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He also holds the title of senior research fellow at the University of Massachusetts.
SERIES: Books & Beyond