1. A-L. 1995. 271 p.
Vol. 2. L-Z. 1995. 269 p.
Though it never mentions it in the text, this lexicon is in reality an enlarged revision of Verbrannt, verboten, vergessen... (Köln, 1988). Unfortunately, it does not appear to be a fully new edition, since its bibliographical apparatus does not always reflect recent scholarship. With 203 concise biographical sketches, it attempts to cover prominent German-speaking women writers who lived outside Germany during the years of the Third Reich. Short bibliographies, including primary works, are included in the sketches, along with brief chronologies and characterizations of the authors and their most prominent works. That the entries are of varying quality and comprehensiveness is characteristic of the inconsistencies found in this reference work. For example, fully 40 of the 203 individuals covered either began writing well after 1945, or they never really emigrated from Germany. Its usefulness as a reference tool is also somewhat limited, as many features normally considered important in such a work are lacking, such as a listing of pseudonyms and name changes. In spite of these shortcomings, this work is a contribution to a subject area that has been neglected. [al/rob]
The four works covered here are exhibition catalogs published under the auspices of the German national library, Die Deutsche Bibliothek, whose Deutsches Exilarchiv [German Exile Archive] has become a center of research on German exiles during the Hitler years. Deutsche Intellektuelle im Exil represents one of its most significant contributions so far. Indeed, it goes well beyond the confines of an exhibition catalog and is an essential tool for anyone doing research in the field. The subject matter covered in the exhibit -- and hence the focus of this work -- is the historical development of the Deutsche Akademie der Künste und Wissenschaften im Exil (German Academy of Arts and Sciences in Exile) and its American counterpart, the American Guild for German Cultural Freedom. The archives of both institutions were acquired for the West German national library in 1970 and they, along with the archives of the Deutsche Akademie der Künste und Wissenschaften, represent the most heavily used part of the Exilarchiv. The exhibition catalog, Deutsche Intellektuelle im Exil, thus focuses on core biographical material of the Exilarchiv. Its reproductions of source material (letters, newspaper clippings, etc.) and numerous photographs document the vicissitudes of these two organizations, whose members and supporters included the likes of Thomas Mann and Siegmund Freud. In addition, the catalog presents thirty-five individual "cases" of refugees -- some such as Robert Musil well known, others not -- who were supported by the Guild or the Akademie.
The subject matter of another exhibit sponsored by the Exilarchiv, the life of Richard Bermann, also involves the American Guild and the Deutsche Akademie, since this Austrian writer and journalist was an important figure in the founding of the two associations. The published catalog accompanying the exhibit, Richard A. Bermann alias Arnold Höllriegel, carefully documents the wide-ranging talents of this almost forgotten writer. Many of Bermann's own texts are included, supplemented by numerous photographs. The editorial quality adds to the value of this useful work. A bibliography of Bermann's works would have enhanced the value of this catalog even further.
The remaining two works are dedicated to the lives of German exiles in Brazil and the Netherlands. The catalog of the exhibit on German exiles in Brazil is really a long pamphlet and includes short biographies of 51 exiles, prominent in political life, or in the arts and sciences. It also includes a selective bibliography. Several of the staff of the Deutsche Bibliothek contributed to the exhibition catalog of German exiles in Holland, a country that played an important role in the production of exile literature before and during the Second World War. This history is reflected in the strong bibliographic emphasis of the work, which includes a catalog of all the German exile periodicals, books, and pamphlets with Dutch imprints owned by the Deutsche Bibliothek. The Deutsche Bibliothek's holdings are so strong in this area that this bibliography represents virtually the entire output of German exiles in the Netherlands during the Third Reich. The generally positive impression that this book makes is lessened slightly by the absence of a bibliography of secondary literature on the subject. [ab/rob]
Vol. 1. 1992 (1995). xxi, 746 p. ISBN 3-598-23620-4: DM 98.00
The latest version of this ongoing bibliography of Hamburg (both city and federal state) is the first since the editorship was taken over by a special office created for it in the Hamburg university library (which doubles as the state library). Its precursor, the Bücherkunde zur hamburgischen Geschichte [Bibliography of Hamburg History] (5 vols., 1939-1990), was issued under the auspices of the city's Bibliothek des Staatsarchivs, and its scope was limited to local history. It was decided several years ago to expand the coverage and make it a modern, comprehensive regional bibliography that would be published with the help of the latest in information technology. The result is this large tome, which includes some 5,752 titles in 7,575 entries. Coverage includes newspaper and magazine articles, as well as books and maps. The Hamburg Bibliographie now resembles much more closely the broad scope and form of the other currently published German regional bibliographies. One can only hope that the gap in coverage between this and the previous edition (1987-89) will be filled. (sah/rob)
Vol. 1. Schlesisches Städtebuch [Cities of Silesia]. 1995. xliv, 490 p. ISBN 3-17-013789-1: DM 248.00
The first edition of this monumental work was published between 1939 and 1974 under the unflagging editorship of Erich Keyser, who worked with over 1300 contributors. Each of its 11 volumes covered an historical region of Germany, which included material on over 2000 cities. Keyser developed a twenty-part outline to organize the descriptive material on each of the cities covered, the consistency of which allowed the user to compare data between the city entries. Under each entry one can find a description of the city and its environs, its origins, early history, and social characteristics, along with details on municipal ordinances, the economy, churches, and schools. Even before the final volume appeared in 1974, a new edition was announced.
The Schlesisches Städtebuch -- published under the auspices of the University of Münster's Institut für Vergleichende Städegeschichte (Institute of Comparative Urban History) -- is the first volume of the new edition. A comparison with its earlier counterpart reveals the degree to which it builds on the strengths of Keyser's work. While the textual material has doubled, the essential organizational structure remains. With 174 Silesian cities now included, the editors have added 27 to the previous edition. All of the earlier text is still present (and is indicated with cursive text), but it is now updated (though minimally for cities no longer a part of Germany) and supplemented. The work is a treasure-trove of useful information on Silesian cities, including, for example, detailed chronologies and city profiles. Both researchers and those simply interested in the cultural lore of the region will find this work of value. Because of the sheer quantity of comparative data found in the work, however, the editors should consider publishing the volumes of the Deutsche Städtebuch in CD-ROM format, which would make more complex queries easier. [ab/rob]
This work is similar in subject matter to the Deutsche Städtebuch, above, but of a very different nature. It is published as an inexpensive handbook with very broad coverage (circa 1850 cities described in almost 800 pages). Ostensibly a completely new reworking of a 1983 edition, it falls far short of the editorial standard set by the Deutsche Städtebuch. Absent is an editorial introduction explaining principles of organization and content; nor is there an index or a bibliography. The entries contain little of substance besides a superficial geographical description and mundane (and obvious) details, many of which are out of date or even incorrect. Even the binding is poor. Indeed, although the book is presented as containing the most current information, the publisher nonetheless found it acceptable to simply place a sticker on the cover that reads, "94/95 Edition" over the words 93/94 Edition". [ab/rob]
Along with the Geschichte der deutschen Länder (Würzbug, 1964- ), this work belongs in every library with any interest in Germany history. Unlike the fourth edition, however, the fifth edition shows no substantial textual revisions, but only the addition of an appendix to the original entries. Even there, with the exception of an entirely new article on the German Democratic Republic, only the bibliographical references have been updated. Nor are there maps or tables. Another edition -- this one thoroughly revised and expanded -- would be welcome. [sh/sbd]
The primary emphasis of the Italien-Lexikon, as its subtitle indicates, is history, specifically the history of Italy after unification. The chronological emphasis is unmistakably 20th century, especially post-World War II, and the work even contains an article on the Decreto Berlusconi, signed on February 4, 1995. Key words are Italian, with their German equivalents provided in parentheses. The "more than 900" signed entries vary in length, but most comprise one half or a full page. Cross references are plentiful, if all too mechanically supplied (e.g., countless references to "fascismo"). Indexes are provided for both the Italian and German keywords, as well as one for personal names. The quality of the entries varies considerably, and some entries lack any bibliographical references. The publisher's claim that this is a "reference work of encyclopedic scope" is questionable. Two less costly but still useful alternative works deserve mention here. The Kleine Italien-Lexikon [Concise Encyclopedia of Italy] (Beck, 1989) and the handbook Italien [Italy] (Beck, 1995) (both RREO 95-3-477) provide numerous articles covering a broad spectrum of topics. [sh/sbd]
In spite of its subtitle, La politica italiana is not an encyclopedia at all, but rather an informative account of the last 50 years of Italian politics and culture, arranged in three chapters on political institutions, parties and political movements, and history. The individual entries are written with an emphasis on readability and are supplemented with relatively brief bibliographies of Italian references. An index would have been useful. [sh/sbd]
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