June 28, 2006 Book Talk Presents Discussion of Ibsen and Hitler

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

Steven F. Sage, a former research fellow at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, will discuss his new book, “Ibsen and Hitler: The Playwright, the Plagiarist and the Plot for the Third Reich,” at the Library of Congress at noon on Wednesday, July 19, in the West Dining Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

A book signing will follow the presentation, which is part of the Books & Beyond author series sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. The Library’s European Division is co-sponsoring the event. The program is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required.

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.”

The Library’s European Division was established in 1978 to provide collection development and reference and research services covering all of Europe (except Iberia and Great Britain), including the Russian-speaking areas of Asia. The Library’s European collections are among the finest in the world. For further information, visit www.loc.gov/rr/european.

Established in 1977 as a public-private partnership, the Center for the Book uses the resources of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books, reading and libraries. For information about its activities, national reading promotion networks and forthcoming book and literary events, visit www.loc.gov/cfbook.


PR 06-138
ISSN 0731-3527