Prof. emeritus Walter Berschin, distinguished Medieval Latinist and former chair of Medieval Latin philology at the University of Heidelberg, accepted Maria Gramlich’s dissertation “with few corrections” in 2014, and her work was published shortly thereafter in Studien und Mitteilungen ... Her study focuses on the 13th-century manuscripts that were created for the Benedictine cloister of Ottobeuren or that were held there, all of which have survived to the present day. Although a 1989 survey by Sigrid Krämer is an essential resource, it is notably in need of corrections, so the kind of investigation undertaken by Gramlich is very welcome. Because many manuscripts contain no indication of the scribe or the patron, or even of the holding libraries, paleographic research and classification is often the only way to arrive at a plausible attribution. Gramlich makes use of these methods and thus is able to add significantly to our knowledge about these materials.
The Ottobeuren Abbey dates back to 764, the time of Charlemagne. Under Otto the Great (972) it was elevated to the status of Imperial Abbey, which it retained until 1802, the time of secularization, during which period most of its manuscript holdings were dispersed to nearby and more distant cities (including London), but some 100, mostly late medieval, codices and numerous manuscript fragments could be kept in the abbey library. The oldest surviving items—manuscripts and codices from northern France, Nonatola (Italy) and southern Germany—date to the 9th century, but these are found in London, Augsburg, or Munich.
Under the leadership of abbots Rupert, Isingrim, and Bernhold, the 12th century saw a great flowering of manuscript creation, particularly of illuminated manuscripts, many of which have survived to the present. Gramlich’s study focuses on these materials, concluding with a look ahead at the collection from the 14th through the 16th centuries. The text is enriched by 124 black-abnd-white detailed illustrations of manuscript portions, with a further 46 images of manuscript fragments in the appendix. An extensive bibliography and a useful index of manuscripts conclude this rich work. [ch/ga]
This library, founded between 1558 and 1575 with the encouragement of Duke Johann Albrecht I of Mecklenburg in his city of residence, Schwerin, quickly became one of the most important collections of books in the 16th century, numbering more than 6,000 titles. It rivaled those of the court libraries in Heidelberg, Dresden, Munich, Wittenberg, and Wolfenbüttel in size and significance. The catalog at hand provides us with deeper insight into the organization of knowledge in the library of an early modern sovereign. It indexes 3,819 volumes (5,044 titles), most of which have survived intact to the present. Today these volumes are housed mainly in the library of the University of Rostock, but scattered books are also found in the Mecklenburg State Library and State Archive in Schwerin, and in the State and University Library in Kassel. In addition to the printed books, there are 12 incunabula and 45 volumes of manuscripts, including one each from the 13th and 14th centuries and four from the 15th century.
The catalog’s compiler Nilüfer Krüger is extremely knowledgeable about the rare book and manuscript collections in the Rostock University Library and for over two decades has published extensive catalogs of the holdings in other major north German RBMS libraries. Her intensive research work on this major collection and its catalog took more than 10 years to complete.
Krüger has organized this detailed work according to established codicological and bibliographical criteria, first according to location of the item and second according to its medium. In the case of the Rostock collections, these media forms are printed works, incunabula, manuscripts, and manuscript fragments. What follows is a complex and detailed set of indexes by author, titles, names, places, subjects, media, printers, publishers, sponsors, and item-specific indexing. This wealth of detail leads to a blurring of the larger picture of the collection.
Krüger’s high-quality research into the bindings of the books yields great results. Most of the volumes (over 1,300 of them) were bound in Mecklenburg by two Schwerin specialists, Hans Balemann and Wolfgang Sigfrid, between 1561 and 1572. Bindings were also produced in Rostock and Wismar, where Johann Albrecht I had a second residence. The bookbinding firm of Balemann-Sigfrid does not appear in the index, although the initials B.S. appear in the entries for the books.
In the introduction (p. 18-79) Krüger lays out the subject arrangement of the index, but given the Duke’s broad interests in theology, jurisprudence, medicine, the natural sciences, philosophy, history, and many more subjects, it would have been greatly worthwhile to include a historical subject index. Nevertheless, the reader can use the many qualitative and informative descriptions, along with the detailed indexes, to mine this fascinating collection. [jg/ga]
Part 3. Die Wiegendrucke aus Italien, Frankreich und der französischen Schweiz [Incunabula from Italy, France, and French Switzerland]. 2013. xxiii, 587 p. ISBN 978-3-7965-3240-5: SFr. 128.00, EUR 107.00
This work completes the three-decades-long inventory of rare books and manuscripts in the Basel University Library. Comprising four volumes in all, the first volume, Basler Wiegendrucke (see RREA 6:11) is a catalog of incunabula published in Basel. The second volume consists of three parts. Part 1 lists incunabula published “near Basel” (see RREA 13:5), and part 2 lists incunabula published in the regions of Germany and in the Netherlands (see IFB 10-4).
Part 3 documents more than 854 incunabula found in the collection of the University of Basel, with examples drawn from Italy, France, and French-speaking Switzerland. Organized by the late Pierre L. van der Haegen, one of the foremost experts on incunabula in Switzerland, the volume features highlights from the university’s collection of more than 3,000 works and includes helpful indexes based on place of publication and publisher last name. Individual entries offer detailed information on the provenance and historical context for each title as well, as rich illustrations of decorative frontispieces, contemporary bindings, and the like. Though a few factual errors are found throughout the book, that one hopes will be redressed in a future, updated edition, the book is a fitting tribute to the memory of one of the world’s foremost experts on the history of the early printed book. [jg/bf]
With five volumes and over 2,000 pages, Aiga Klotz presents a directory and index to illustrated children’s and young adult literature published in German language areas for the years 1820-1965. These new volumes complete her huge bio-bibliographical encyclopedia of children’s literature, Kinder- und Jugendliteratur in Deutschland (see RREA 1:254 [vols. 1-3], RREA 7:14 [vols. 4-6], and RREA 19/20:5 [vol. 7]).
The new volumes are an encyclopedia and index for the authors and illustrators from the Biedermeier to the post-war periods. Picture books are included as well as books decorated with illustrations or explanatory drawings. Nearly 15,000 titles and 7,000 author-illustrators are covered.
It is amusing and enriching simply to page through these volumes to encounter both well-known (e.g. Wilhelm Busch or Ernst Kreidolf) and virtually unknown illustrators and illustrations, as well as famous artists who contributed to the field. In this way, this reference book reaches beyond children’s literature into art history. Expansive indexes increase accessibility to the entries. This encyclopedia is essential for public and research libraries serving populations interested in art history, German literature, and children’s literature. [mmk/ldb]
Vol. 7. Nachtrag [Supplement]. 2013. vi, 546 p. (..., 21). ISBN 978-3-476-02488-6: EUR 199.95
Aiga Klotz’s mammoth project of a bibliography covering a century of children’s and youth literature in Germany, published by Metzler between 1990 and 2000, was to have been the cumulative bibliography, but the author acknowledges (on p. v of this volume) that her original assertion was “a bit overconfident” (see RREA 1:254 for reviews of vols. 1-3 and RREA 7:14 for vols. 4-6). The first five volumes of the bibliography contained 75,000 entries for 8,680 authors, plus 2,753 entries for Grimm’s Fairy Tales [Kinder- und Hausmärchen] and 286 for A Thousand and One Nights. The sixth, two-part, index volume totals 1,110 pages.
The author compiled these bibliographic entries from her own extensive collection of some 10,000 books of prose literature from the period 1840-1950. She further drew from the two-volume Gesamtverzeichnis des deutschsprachigen Schrifttums (GV), which covers the years 1790 to 1965, as well as from other specialized bibliographies for children’s and youth literature.
Heinz Wegehaupt, one-time director of the children’s and youth book division of the German State Library in East Berlin, carefully reviewed Klotz’s work and identified a number errors or inconsistencies. Wegehaupt published these corrections as part of volumes 3 and 4 (2000 and 2003) of his four-volume Alte deutsche Kinderbücher (Stuttgart, 1979-2003—see RREA 7:15 and 10:10 for reviews of these two volumes).
Volume 7 of Klotz’s bibliography is divided into three parts: (1) addenda and corrections to titles in vols. 1-5 [p. 1-140]; (2) newly entered authors [p. 141-348]; and an index to these addenda [p. 349-546]. Part one contains some 2,700 titles; part 2 lists about 2,300 new authors with ca. 3,900 titles to their credit. These entries have been machine-sorted, which represents a significant improvement over the older “Prussian” filing rules. On the other hand, no longer are there indexes by publisher, editor, or translator, nor are there tabular representations of publication histories. Most significant, the publication span has been increased to the years 1820-1965, although Aiga Klotz gives no in-depth explanation for this change. Her methodology seems a bit undisciplined, which Wegehaupt had pointed out in his review. There remain some puzzles and inconsistencies as well. One of these is the fact that the title says 1840-1950, while the supplement says 1820-1965, and the bibliography contains titles from between 1815 and 1970.
New and welcome author entries include Wilhelm Busch, Ida Bohatta, and James Krüss (who started publishing in 1952 and is included thanks to the time expansion). Other entries from historical periods include the Biedermeier-era writers Leopold Chimani and Luise Hölder. The Swedish author Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002) is also included, as German translations of her work first appeared in 1949. A number of East German children’s authors and their books are also featured.
The volume concludes with several extensive indexes by title, illustrators, year of first publication, title keywords, 12 subject headings, places of publication, publishers, and series. The somewhat spongy methodology does not really detract from Aiga Klotz’s work. It is an indispensable aid to working with historical children’s and youth literature, the starting-point for bibliographical research on authors and titles in this genre. It would be wonderful to have her work available on line as well. [mmk/ga]
Typically in archives, two types of materials are digitized: physical objects, such as photos and finding aids, and born-digital materials. These proceedings from the 16th Conference of the State Archives of Baden-Württemberg (March 2012) are concerned with the latter, the archiving of materials that originate from digital systems. The specific vocabulary associated with this field may challenge even experienced archivists, but the fundamental issues in the field will be clear to most readers, especially those relating to the costs of tools and data. Most of the contributors come from state archives (e.g., Baden-Württemberg, Brandenburg, Saxony, Switzerland, and Austria), although the Stuttgart City Archive is also well represented. Southwestern Germany seems to be where the most progress has been made in the field. This volume presents a useful overview as well as detailed examinations of the digital challenges facing archives. [jli/ldb]
This volume gathers together a selection of essays on library history published between 1972 and 2004 by Paul Raabe, who served as director of the Herzog-August-Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel from 1968 to 1992, and as the director of the Franckeschen Stiftungen in Halle from 1992 to 2000. The first section contains seven essays concerning central questions of book and library history, including the only English-language essay in the book, “Library History and the History of Books: Two Fields of Research for Librarians.” Raabe presents a masterful survey of research achievements and points to gaps that should spur especially librarians to more intensive investigations. Because of their age, however, these essays do not always offer an up-to-date survey of research in the field.
Also in the first section, several essays concern a less-often treated theme, the history of early modern private libraries, such as those of the jurist Gelderich Crumminga (ca. 1590-1655) and the polymath Hermann Conring (1606-1681), and other private, learned libraries in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The second section contains only two essays, one on Goethe as a reformer of libraries, and a second on revolutionary writings in Weimar at the time of the French Revolution. The seven essays contained in the third and final section of the book are concerned with the history of the Herzog-August-Bibliothek. Six of these discuss the history of the library before 1900, while the seventh deals with the period from 1960-1992 immediately prior to and encompassing the time of Raabe’s directorship. This last essay offers an impressive résumé of the astonishing development of a somewhat “sleepy” historical library to modern center of research for the history of European culture, hosting countless visitors and conferences.
These masterful essays, along with Raabe’s other writings, are recommended as required reading for those training to be librarians. [mk/rc]
The publishers of this handbook offer readers an extensive work that opens up this area of expertise for the first time. Various facets of the theme are analyzed in 24 different contributions from an impressive array of authors. An extensive index of subject headings and names at the end attests to the range of this work. Already in the introduction it becomes clear that a methods handbook must perform a difficult balancing act, as the editors state that the work does not provide problem-solving methods, but instead is concerned with research methods that can be gainfully applied to the generation of new knowledge in the field of library and information science; yet a few pages later they say in a discipline that understands itself to be an “applied science” [Handlungswissenschaft] research results must indeed be applied to the real world of library science.
In the introduction, the individual contributions are briefly described and laid out in relationship to each other. This is unfortunately the books’ only systemic overview of the subject. The contents are organized in two ways—by a list of the authors and their contributions, and then by the systematic ordering of where their contributions appear in the work. In terms of content only, there is no discernable pattern of why contributions appear in any particular order.
The editors are professors in the field of library and information science. Research approaches include qualitative and quantitative methods from the social sciences, statistical and mathematical methods, and legal and philosophical methods. Konrad Umlauf begins the work with a chapter on how to conduct a literature review, and Michael Seadle continues with a discussion of how to develop a good research design. Both of these contributions are relevant to all the different approaches to research methods. A section on meta-methods likewise lends itself to a wider understanding across particular approaches. The sections on qualitative methods and quantitative methods are also helpful for better understanding following chapters that describe some specific types of methods falling under these two categories in more detail. Both approaches, qualitative and quantitative, are given equal value and not presented as being in complete opposition to each other. Contemporary methods such as quantitative questioning, online questioning, user experience, and ethnography are also discussed here.
The social sciences methodologies featured in this book underscore the relevance of research methodology to applied library and information science. The book is strong in descriptions of technical applications such as usability testing and link analysis. Business aspects are cited in approaches that describe market research and economic analysis methods.
Many of the essays are written in dense academic prose that does not translate well into practical applications. When they try to relate to the everyday, they seem stretched, with few tables or diagrams offered in support. The chapters on cluster analysis and bibliometrics are so laden with mathematical details that the average reader, even one with an academic background, would have trouble understanding the full content. The chapter on bibliometrics likewise lacks strong ties to practical applications.
The chapters on user experience and methods for the evaluation of information systems, on the other hand, are very useful for readers and as guides to further research. Legal research is an area where a strong understanding of legal jargon and practice limits its usefulness to librarians outside that field, Likewise, the chapter on book history introduces readers to microstudies and gender studies—other areas that may not be well-known or understood.
On balance, this handbook offers a rich source of methods, applications, and ideas for a debate about library and information science issues. For its breadth of topics and wide-ranging author contributions alone, it is a worthwhile source. It is also welcome to see social sciences methodologies used in library science.
For the reader more interested in practical applications, a more thematic organization of its content would have strengthened the book. Less emphasis on purely academic content would also have helped. A more meaningful connection between the various chapters to bigger questions confronting the entire discipline of library and information science would likewise have been beneficial. This work does, however, offer a good introduction to the theme of different methodologies in the field; there is no other source currently available that does this. It is to be helped that any future revisions will strengthen the structure of the work in a clearer overall arrangement that lends itself to practical applications. [ols/kab]
This is the second, newly revised, edition of a textbook that continues to serve as an introduction to conducting literary research. The 2010 first edition (see IFB 11-2) received good reviews. This update likewise looks to continue that pattern of helping students improve their information literacy skills so that they can be successful in both their academic careers and in their professions (introduction, p. 1-3).
This volume contains tips, checklists, and examples of screenshots from important databases that illustrate best practices in conducing literary research. Concrete examples and clear explanations are offered in an easy-to-read style. Colorful charts and graphs also add to the educational content.
The individual chapters describe the standards and skills that constitute information literacy in general: determining the need and planning the research; acquiring needed resources; carrying out the research; evaluating the information; managing search results; understanding the wide range of information formats; and knowing how to revise failed or inadequate searches. The book ends with a bibliography, glossary, and contact information for further assistance, including choosing library schools, e-learning platforms, and arranging tutoring sessions.
This book is one of the best available practical introductions to conducting literary research. Optimally, however, the sequence of chapters might have been more carefully thought out. For example, the chapter on examples might more logically follow the introductory chapter, rather than appearing later in the book.
The work is also aimed at a broad audience, from high school (gymnasium/lyceum) through doctoral students. Thus, not all chapters fit all users; for example, the in-depth discussions of open access and impact factors may not be necessary in a book for novice researchers. And while the table of contents is quite detailed, it cannot compensate for the lack of a comprehensive subject index.
Despite these small shortcomings, this volume has successfully met its goal. It serves as a good introduction to conducting literature research. It is useful both for students working individually and those using it in library-instruction classes. Its reasonable price makes it a good purchase. Students in lower and higher levels of education can all profit from the use of this book. [sek/kab]
This first edition of the German print translation of RDA–the new international cataloging standard—is monumental, at least in size: over 1,100 pages and more than two inches thick. For some reason, the book touting itself as a German translation has a title in… English. It was not at all a given that a print edition would appear, since the new set of rules was conceived primarily for electronic use in the online RDA Toolkit [http://www.rdatoolkit.org], in which additions, corrections, and other updates can be added continuously: a print version is out of date immediately.
The German translation is further hindered by having as its source text the first, heavily criticized, English edition of RDA, which has since been “reworded” to address concerns of style and clarity. The first version of this translation was placed on the website of the German National Library, whose Arbeitsstelle für Standardisierung [Office for Library Standards] has the responsibility for it. The translation remained online for 12 months in 2012-2013 and then left the public domain. This print version consists of that first version with a few improved passages. It is identical with the German text available, for a subscription cost, on the RDA Toolkit, essentially a “beta” version with multiple translation difficulties of stilted or wrong terminology and cultural and linguistic misunderstandings, along with inherent difficulties such as (1) differing connotative scopes in English and German between words like “university” and “government” and (2) the German desire to use gender-neutral terminology.
The work appears not to have been done by using the team approach to the German translation of AACR2 in 2002 or that of large multinational teams (Canada and France) in the case of the French RDA translation. Difficulties compound with the RDA examples used, since they are tilted toward an Anglo-American reader and cataloger. Hence, the German National Library and its units are working to establish rules and examples of cataloging usage that take into account the cultural, linguistic, and bibliographic realities of German-speaking Europe. Only later will the translation be reworked to reflect the “reworded” English original. That should improve the German readability. For now the question remains how well German catalogers will be able to work with such a text to implement RDA, which went into effect as of 2016. [hdw/rdh]
“Buchwissenschaft,” which one could translate as “study of the book,” has been recognized as an area of scholarship and research since the 1990s and is taught under this name at five German and Swiss universities, including Leipzig, Mainz, and Munich. Nevertheless, the term is somewhat problematic and difficult to define, overlapping as it does with related areas such as literary scholarship, library science, the history of the book trade and publishing, the sociology of reading, and so forth. The broad term “Buchwissenschaft” combines elements of all of these.
Numerous previous works have offered introductions to this field and related subject areas: Buchwissenschaft als Kulturwissenschaft [Study of the Book as Cultural Studies] by Stephan Füssel (1997); Moderne Buchkunde (see RREA 11:45); Buchwissenschaft in Deutschland: Einführung und kritische Auseinandersetzung (see RREA 15/16:48); and in English, The Oxford Companion to the Book, ed. Michael F. Suarez (2010).
This new work by Stephan Füssel, the current administrator of the Mainz Institut für Buchwissenschaft, and other contributors aims to orient the reader in the field of “Buchwissenschaft,” especially with regard to its historical-cultural context. It outlines the parameters and methodology of this discipline and discusses some of its interdisciplinary aspects. In general, the book provides an accessible and useful introduction to some important aspects of the material, but there is some unevenness and inconsistency among the chapters. One hopes that in the next edition there would be more emphasis on the more practical aspects of book publishing and the book trade, and also on current topics like electronic publishing. Although chapter 4 discusses “social economics and legal perspectives” relating to book publishing, these topics could be treated in much more depth. The bibliography suffers from some lack of currency. Even so, this work can be recommended for those interested in the history of the German book and book publishing. [sek/akb]
The editors of this volume, along with about 100 well-qualified authors from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, present articles on the basic subject matter, as well as on librarians, libraries, and historical subjects. A surprisingly high proportion of the entries are rather brief, in some cases fewer than 15 lines. About 10 per cent of the articles consist of one or more columns. A list of authors and abbreviations is provided in the front matter of both volumes, but there is no name or subject index. In future, the publisher and editors should offer a supplemental volume with updated entries and bibliographies, as well as a detailed index.
The lexicon is intended to offer, for the first time to a German-speaking audience, in-depth treatment of the central aspects of library and information science. Articles on the intersection of library and information science with related disciplines such as book history, computer science, engineering, media and communications studies, and economics are included. The basis for this approach is an understanding of library and information science as a single discipline rather than as a combination of two disciplines or as a branch of information science.
In some respects, the design of the volumes is exemplary. The work is attractively laid out in two columns per page with running titles and easily legible type. Article titles are in semi-bold type, while the see-also references, bibliographies, references to illustrations, and internet addresses are in smaller type. However, the selected illustrations—photographs, graphics, screenshots, and tables—appear in many cases to be unnecessary, as they provide only limited clarification of the content and are not always well-placed in relation to the text. More irritating is the inconsistent use of cross references within the text of articles, as well as the frequent lack of any cross-references.
As far as the content is concerned, a very different picture emerges, with many positive features as well as areas for improvement in a future edition. The general criteria and standards by which a reference work is judged are for all practical purposes met. There is no “dead wood,” the entries are well chosen, and with a few exceptions all essential content and topics are covered. The articles are up-to-date and avoid subjectivity.
However, there are deficits of both form and content in the bibliographic references. While comprehensive bibliographies are not to be expected, a significant number of the entries do not list even one title, while many list only a single title, at times written by the author of the article. Lapses and errors are not infrequent, such as incorrect publication year, listing of superseded editions, and the lack of either alphabetical or chronological order in some bibliographies, which are generally given in descending chronological order.
Nonetheless, in spite of the greatly varying quality of the articles and individual points meriting improvement, the LBI is the most comprehensive German-language lexicon of its type, offering up-to-date, consistently reliable information, and representing an advance beyond older, similarly oriented works. [sek/rc]
Hardly any other theme in the field of librarianship is so fraught with disagreement and controversy as that of the professional status of librarians, in particular those in civil service and specifically for subject-specialist librarians. Thirteen essays in this book explore the almost 200-year-long discussion surrounding this occupational debate. Three of these essays come from a Düsseldorf conference in March 2012, with the others added to the book as additional content or as reprints.
After a short forward by the editors, librarians Paul Raabe, Irmgard Siebert, and Sven Kuttner chronicle the development of the profession of librarianship from the beginning of the 19th century, when Friedrich Adolf Ebert published his 1820 work Bildung des Bibliothekars [Educating the Librarian]. Not until 1893, however, were there professional librarians, who then took over the task of overseeing university libraries from professors. Occupational satisfaction almost did not exist for early academic librarians, who spent their days on many low-level administrative tasks. Acquisitions, later the domain of subject-specialist librarians, was at first the purview of library directors or acquisitions heads. The establishment of Mittlerer Dienst [mid-level civil service] positions in 1909 accorded higher status to subject librarians, particularly those in university libraries and giving them “autonomous responsibility for library materials and collections”—the subject of Wilfried Enderle’s essay (p. 47-64).
Most of the essays in this collection deal with issues and developments familiar to librarians in North America: the debate between scholarly and service-oriented librarianship models; the “business management” approach to library administration; academic librarians’ responsibilities for research and publishing vs. the provision of services; the increasing number of subject responsibilities given to individual librarians, resulting in feelings of overload; the areas in which research and publishing are encouraged (practical applications) or discouraged (e.g., longer-term historical research); and the overall question of maintaining academic-library professional integrity in the face of growing “bibliotocracy.”
In a similar vein, some of the authors discuss newer changes that impact traditional models of librarianship, for example, the re-naming of patrons as “customers” and the librarian’s increasing responsibilities for library instruction at the expense of selection, acquisition, and cataloging. Some authors take up the issue of the place of subject specialization in the library and in the profession and caution against over-centralization, especially in view of Europe’s recent history of horribly destructive wars and natural capacities: one should not consolidate all one’s library treasures in just a few places.
Technological developments and organizational changes have effected significant changes. In particular, many subject-librarian duties have been relegated to automated processes, such as Patron- [Demand-]Driven Access and approval plans supplanting librarians’ selection responsibilities. Further economies of scale are leading to reductions in support staff. Digital Humanities, while an exciting innovation and research field, are a strong competitor for library funds (to the possible detriment of the acquisitions budget). And there is perhaps the most important issue—that of pay and advancement. It has become extremely difficult for a subject librarian to rise to the top of the pay scale without significant skills in technologies or in administration.
The book ends on a note of optimism and a challenge: the subject librarian not only has a future but is also the one best able to lead the library into the future. [mk/kab,ga]
Encyclopedic coverage of German librarians is quite good. Those who lived before 1990 have been well documented in three major reference works: Karl Bader’s Lexikon deutscher Bibliothekare im Haupt- und Nebenamt bei Fürsten, Staaten und Städten (Leipzig, 1925), Alexandra Haberman and Peter Kittel’s Die wissenschaftlichen Bibliothekare der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (1981-2002) und der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik (1948-1990) (see RREA 10:40), and Thomas Bürger’s and Konstantin Hermann’s Das ABC der SLUB … aus Anlass des 450. Gründungsjubiläums (see RREA 12:21)
Dresdner Bibliothekarinnen und Bibliothekare contains 126 biographies of persons who lived between 1556 and 1990, covering some 450 years of Dresden library history. The volume also contains a chronology and an introductory history of Dresden libraries. With so many persons involved in compiling these biographies, it is a too bad that the contributors are not also profiled.
The librarians profiled are directors of large central libraries and specialized libraries. Of the 126 entries, 10 are for women. Martina Schattkowsky explains in the introduction that this one-sidedness reflects the predominance of male library directors up through the first half of the 20th century. She emphasizes that the past 100 years have seen the ascendency of women into administrative positions everywhere, and that the library’s role and mission have been strongly imprinted by women (page 8).
Dresdner Bibliothekarinnen und Bibliothekare draws on the work of the digital Sächsische Biographie [http://saebi.isgv.de/projekt]. The online version is simple to search—by name, dates, place, or profession. By searching the profession Bibliothekar one retrieves 198 results, although still only 10 of them are women (Bibliothekarin). Each entry has been carefully researched and provides a detailed biographical narrative, family background information, and a list of other reference-work entries that feature the person. These entries are hot-linked, as are references to other persons within the biographic text.
The encyclopedia is organized in such a way as to provide the reader with many possibilities for discovery of new information, relationships, ideas, etc. The number of profiled librarians testifies to Dresden’s centuries-long tradition as a book and publishing city, even despite the tremendous losses from the Second World War. Further volumes are contemplated, but in the meantime, the electronic version of the Sächsische Biographie allows for frequent updating and for new entries. [mk/ga]
This history of the Lippe Landesbibliothek’s dates back to October 28, 1614, when Simon VII Count of Lippe donated the book collection of his deceased father, Simon VI, to the Detmold Latin School located on the grounds of the earlier Augustine Cloister, with the stipulation that it be known as the Count’s Public Library. The approximately 2,200 volumes were apparently enough to require the employment of a librarian as curator of the collection. After stagnating in the 1700s, the library began to flourish in its third century. In 1818 Princess Pauline led the unification of the school library with other ducal collections, and in 1824 a new library was opened—the forerunner of today’s Lippische Landesbibliothek.
The book discusses the variety of special collections in the library. Princess Pauline’s librarian Otto Preuss founded what is today’s Lippische Literaturarchiv, which contains excellent collections of poets such as Ferdinand Freiligrath and Dietrich Grabbe. Today’s library has been upgraded and expanded to accommodate over one million volumes. In 2013 the library of the Lippische Landeskirche was incorporated into the State Library.
This book is conceived as a general interest jubilee volume, rather than as a festschrift or academic study. Richly illustrated with over 200 full-page images, the volume thoroughly documents the history of the library, including its significant patrons, noteworthy collections, and the various buildings that it has occupied. The selective bibliography at the end of the book has been fastidiously compiled. In contrast to other libraries’ publications, which also include writings on their current mission and staff, this work focuses purely on history. [ls/ldl, ga]
This essay collection contains papers presented at the eponymous international symposium held in 2012 at the University of Kassel. It inspects a number of early modern European libraries through the lens of cultural transfer, an area of research that has gained in importance in Early Modern and Enlightenment studies in recent years. Among the libraries represented are the collection of Princess Anna Sophia von Anhalt, the Castle Library at Český Krumlov (Krumlau) in Bohemia, the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel, and the great scholarly library of Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim in Halberstadt, which had grown to over 10,000 volumes by the time of his death.
The essays shed light on the mechanisms of cultural transfer, such as the selection and acquisition of volumes and the sharing of books within circles of friends and colleagues, and perhaps even the seeds of interlibrary loan and reference referrals. This valuable publication highlights the critical role of 18th-century book collections in the dissemination and exchange of knowledge. Regrettably, it lacks a general index. [tk/as]
In January 2013 a conference was held in Trier to discuss the theme “Digital Reconstruction of Medieval Libraries” (the report in German is available at http://scriptorium.hypotheses.org/26).
Ongoing projects were discussed and participants dealt with the issues of acquiring sources, creating a useable digital presence, and the scholarly uses of such a rapidly growing wealth of data, data-management tools, and sources for answering questions in language, literature, art, music history, and cultural studies.
One paper focused on the reconstruction project of the Cistercian women’s convent Medingen (near Lüneburg) and its production of manuscripts. In the same way, much research has been done on Dominican women’s convents, among them the convent of Saint Catherine in Nuremberg. This project, begun with funding from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Council) in 2005 by Hartmut Kugler, was continued by his co-worker Antje Willing, who brought it to a close in 2012. The project consists of two parts: (1) the reconstruction of the catalogs of the books in the entire library and the compilation of its Latin and German works into a database, and (2) a so-called “synoptic representation of the book catalogs.”
The Saint Catherine Convent was founded in Nuremberg in 1295. By the early 15th century the convent had expanded its library holdings to 726 manuscripts, of which 545 were in German. The library also contained four book catalogs, three of which were created by Kunigunde Niklasin (d. 1457), one of the book-masters of the convent: (1) a detailed catalog of exclusively German-language books in the nuns’ private possession, (2) a catalog of these same books organized into 14 different subjects, and two catalogs, compiled over two decades, of materials that were read at table during meals [Tischlesungen]. These books and manuscripts came from the nuns’ private collections, from benefactors as gifts, books written by some of the members, and from exchanges with other libraries. Here the bibliography gives a good picture of the extensive network among convents and their libraries in the 15th century: the Domimican convent Saint Catherine in St. Gallen; the convent of Sts. Peter and Paul in Altenhohenau; the convent of the Holy Sepulchre in Bamberg; Gotteszell near Schwäbisch Gmünd; the Dominican convent of the Holy Cross in Regensburg, the Franciscan convent Maria Medingen near Dillingen; St. Clarissa in Eger; and Augustine convents in Pillenreuth, Rebdorf, and Inzigkofen.
The “synoptic representation of the book indexes” for Saint Catherine in Nuremberg presents an intricate and thoroughly researched documentation of its excellent library sources. One wishes that there were a unified index to these two volumes, but the online version (http://db-st-katharina.vmguest.uni-jena.de/home/?page=home)—in German and in English—fills this need. [mf/ga]
Among librarians who early on became interested in the history of libraries in the Nazi era and their assessment by posterity is Jürgen Babendreier, the author of this volume and, until his retirement in 2007, a department head at the State and University Library in Bremen. Seven of his relevant essays from the years 2004 to 2010 are collected here. (A table of contents can be found at http://d-nb.info./1038228549/04.)
Babendreier begins by discussing the Nazis’ “cultural policy of the pistol,” and their rigorous prohibition and even destruction of materials they considered objectionable. Although it was not possible to carry out a “cultural policy without books,” they intervened forcefully in the production and distribution of German publications. Open opposition from those affected could not be expected but, with some exceptions, neither public nor research librarians offered much resistance, ranging from “the blackest of the black sheep” public librarian Wolfgang Hermann, originator of the notorious “black lists” of books to be banned or even destroyed, to Hugo Andres Krüß, general director of the State Library in Berlin who vowed to protect his library as best he could.
Other essays discuss the growth of holdings in such libraries as the Bremen and Hamburg state libraries after 1933, made possible by their acceptance of looted books. After the war many librarians at both public and research institutions long practiced a collective silence but, due in part to Babendreier’s initiative, the library in Bremen was among the first to investigate systematically the origin of the looted books among its holdings and to return them to their previous owners whenever possible. By the end of the 20th century many young librarians felt a need to shed more light on this dark epoch of German library history.
Babendreier also profiles two members of the profession who much earlier were critical of practices under the Nazis. In eastern Germany Lotte Bergtel-Schleif (1904-1965) was jailed by the Gestapo for her activities as a resistance fighter and Communist. And in Tübingen Georg Leyh (1877-1968), who was both a practitioner and a theoretician, was sidelined due to his critical stance. After 1945, Leyh began to document the immense damage done to German libraries, and the uncertain fate of two leading library publications, the Zentralblatt für Bibliothekswesen [Journal of Librarianship] and the Handbuch der Bibliothekswissenschaft [Handbook of Library Science].
Babendreier’s analyses combine articulate presentation and an extensive knowledge of diverse sources with philosophical reflections. The editors of this series are to be thanked for assembling in a single volume these pieces that originally appeared in little-known publications. [mk/nb]
The State and University Library in Göttingen profited, as did many libraries in the German Reich between 1933 and 1945, from stolen materials. In fact librarians themselves became members of the occupation regime: library overseers in France from 1940 on were Ernst Wermke (1893-1987) and particularly Hermann Fuchs (1896-1970). The great library at Strasbourg, the Bibliothéque Nationale et Universitaire [National and University Library], was the continuation of a library created in 1872 and developed for decades with German funding when Strasbourg—and in fact all of Alsace-Lorraine—was part of the German Reich. By 1940 the library, the second most important in France after the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris at the time, had only been in French hands for a quarter of a century and was thus considered by the victors to be “retrievable” back into the Reich.
The Göttingen library director, Karl Julius Hartmann (1893-1965), named honorary head of the Strasbourg library in 1941, oversaw an expansion of the collections from 1941 to 1944, acquiring at considerable expense over 30,000 mostly German-language volumes and more than 8,000 pamphlets, which are at the heart of this volume’s “forgotten history.” As military defeat approached in 1944, the new acquisitions were transported to Göttingen and environs. After the war the Allied powers demanded that the books be returned to France, and they were… mostly. A few very expensive and valuable large-format art and large-scale map volumes were “forgotten” after the war, perhaps purposely overlooked, and only recently rediscovered during systematic research into stolen Nazi treasures.
This “forgotten” trove was the impetus for the present bilingual, richly illustrated publication, which accompanied the formal restitution in May of 2013. Relatively short but painstakingly researched contributions from both French and German scholars are enriched with historical photographs, documents, and sample pages taken from the rare volumes. This bilingual volume contains the German text on one side and the French twin edition on the other. [mk/rdh]
This edited volume is a collection of essays by scholars from a range of disciplines that examine the fates of libraries and librarianship under Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. Given the range of topics pursued by the various contributors, generalizations are hard to come by, though some common threads can be identified. Both regimes enlisted science and scholarship to shore up their ideological programs, but whereas Germany drove out all “undesirable” scholars, Italy was much less forceful and was successful in co-opting leading scholars into writing for fascist projects, for example, the Enciclopedia italiana di scienze, lettere ed arti begun in 1929 and continuing today.
Fascist Italy was successful in centralizing and coordinating libraries and archives, and to further that end the Associazione Italiana Biblioteche (AIB) was established in 1930. The AIB then as now publishes a successful and respected Bibliografia italiana delle biblioteche, del libro e dell’informazione: BIB (see RREA 12:29, RREA 2:43, and RREA 1:100). For a longer history of Italian librarians and librarianship see Per una storia dei bibliotecari italiani del XX secolo: Dizionario bio-bibliografico 1900-1990 (see RREA 6:54) and the Dizionario bio-bibliografico dei bibliotecari e bibliofili italiani: dal sec. XIV al XXIX (see RREA 6:55).
Germany witnessed greater violence and everyday repression, from the destruction of Jewish libraries to heightened censorship. The volume’s essays on German libraries focus primarily on those in Munich (including the Bavarian State Library) and on Vienna and the Austrian National Library. Given the dearth of studies that have attempted to examine librarianship during this period in comparative fashion, this volume marks a welcome addition to the literature and should be widely read. [mk/bf]
Martine Poulain’s important monograph on the history of French libraries during the German Occupation was first published in 2008, and received a highly positive review from the present reviewer (see RREA 14:45). The only real criticism at that time was that Ms. Poulain, presumably for linguistic reasons, had paid little attention to German-language documents, even though the librarians who controlled the fate of French libraries during the time of the Occupation were German. Under the supervision of Hugo Andres Krüß, the general director of the Prussian State Library, a number of experts, many of them from Berlin, were placed in charge of French libraries, which they then often failed to protect from plundering by the Nazis.
Thus it was good to hear that a second, expanded edition of Ms. Poulain’s monograph was in press; the hope was that the new edition would include new source material and important recent research. Sadly it turns out that the second edition is basically a paperback version of the 2008 publication; it contains no new material to speak of, only a few updates in its bibliography. An additional problem turns up in the notes (all unfortunately relegated to the end of the book), where references to page numbers in the body of the text are often incorrect. The new edition also lacks the illustrations found in the first edition.
The importance of German sources to a full understanding of this topic is demonstrated in a recent monograph (which was of course not yet available to Ms. Poulain): Cornelia Briel’s 2014 Beschlagnahmt, erpresst, erbeutet: NS-Raubgut, Reichstauschstelle und Preußische Staatsbibliothek zwischen 1933-1945 (see RREA 19/20:26). The Manuscripts Department of the State Library in Berlin also holds several folders of relevant documents pertaining to the activities of Hermann Fuchs, Ernst Wermke, and other “protectors” of French libraries. A published edition of these documents would be most welcome to scholars of the period.
Libraries that hold a copy of the first edition of Livres pillés, lectures surveilées will have no need to acquire the second edition. [mk/crc]
This collection of texts in which the Bavarian State Library plays an important role includes not only narratives and testimonials by leading German literary authors but features excerpts from reports, diaries, and letters. Major literary visitors and users include Ludwig Thoma, Ludwig Ganghofer, Joachim Ringelnatz, Oskar Maria Graf, Lion Feuchtwanger, and Thomas Mann, who sent the head of acquisitions, Emil Gratzl, a list of desiderata with the above request, used as the title for this volume. The author Ludwig Ganghofer (1855-1920) used the outside of the building to practice rock climbing. For another work about the lure of libraries for literati à la Umberto Eco or Jorge Luis Borges, see Gemmel and Fott’s 2013 Wissensräume: Bibliotheken in der Literatur (RREA 19/20:71).
There is even an account of Adolf Hitler’s 1936 visit to the BSB, the only time he ever set foot in an academic library. The book quotes excerpts from the diaries of two witnesses to the event, one the wife of one of Hitler’s friends, the other a Jewish student who happened to be in the reading-room when the visit occurred.
There are 48 texts from one to three pages in length arranged in six chronological sections and covering the period from 1800-to the present. This excellent anthology documents the rich history of this very important German Library and its literary users. [mk/ldl]
Coincidentally, the 100th anniversary of the completion and occupation in 1914 of the monumental building designed by architect Ernst von Ihne to house the new quarters of the State Library, and the 60th birthday of its current director Barbara Schneider-Kempf occurred only a month apart in early 2014. Twenty-five of her colleagues took this occasion to focus on the history of their institution during the past 100 years, especially its main library on the boulevard Unter den Linden in the eastern part of Berlin, where most of the rich historical and special collections are housed. Originally called the Royal Library, then the Prussian State Library, then—badly damaged after World War II and located in the eastern sector of Berlin—the Public Research Library, and finally, after 1954, the German State Library, its history mirrors that of the country. In 1978, construction of the West Berlin counterpart of the State Library was completed under the aegis of the Foundation for the Prussian Cultural Heritage. After 1989, the reunification of both libraries, along with that of the country, gave rise to various problems, some persisting to this day and discussed in a number of pieces in this volume.
The many contributions include an introduction to previous general (e.g., Adolf von Harnack and Fritz Milkau) and managing (e.g., Paul Schwenke and Ernst Kühnert) directors along with some department directors, as well as a colorful assemblage of articles from the mid-1950s culled from the library’s rich newspaper collections, particularly one from the April 15, 1954, issue of the Trierer Volksfreund, an allusion to the birth date and place of current general director Schneider-Kempf. Other pieces cover the history of the institution and its employees since 1914, describing, for example, some of the internal library operations under Harnack now seen as oddities; Milkau’s efforts to help rebuild the university library in Louvain, Belgium, that had been gutted by German troops in World War I; Willy Römer’s photo archive, immensely useful as a resource for the history of the Weimar Republic; and the “explosion of a Communist propaganda bomb” in the huge domed reading room in 1934, one of the few acts of resistance against National Socialism that directly impacted the State Library.
When the libraries in the two parts of Berlin were brought together after the reunification of Germany, the many special collections and the historical holdings were housed in the Unter den Linden building. Current departmental directors describe the importance for researchers of the map collections; the papers of illustrious persons and the archives of organizations, both long collected by the library; the valuable holdings of “oriental” manuscripts; and the collections of original illustrations of children’s and young adult books.
The staff of the now united State Library faced immense tasks. Not only did they have to combine the holdings of the buildings in east and west and determine how and where to house them, they also had to renovate the facility in East Berlin. Several articles discuss the costly and protracted renovations, in some parts of the building even reconstruction, not all of which have yet been completed.
Also discussed is the issue of looted books. As a result of the ravages of war, even today extensive holdings from the State Library can still be found in Eastern Europe. Repatriation of the materials has proved to be difficult, and in the case of Russia almost impossible, due to a current law in that country regarding looted cultural property. Nonetheless there has been cooperation between the State Library and Russian libraries, with some of the books looted by German troops having been returned to their legal owners, for example in Smolensk.
Taking a cue from director Schneider-Kempf’s inaugural speech in 2004, the volume concludes with a discussion of the central question of what has been achieved since then and what remains to be done. At that time one of the main goals was to improve access to the collections for the many researchers who wanted to make use of them. This has largely been accomplished. Other tasks still lie ahead. The State Library, like other libraries, must position itself in the rapidly changing library landscape of the 21st century. Several articles illustrate clearly that it is open to modern developments, such as quality control and management, increased outreach, and an already established Friends of the State Library organization.
The mostly brief but carefully researched contributions to this beautifully illustrated volume offer deep insight into the history, but also the present of this semi-national library. Although previously badly damaged, the “Ihne Building” is now on its way to becoming a favored location with ideal working conditions for scholarly researchers from all over the world. [mk/nb]
To commemorate the theme of Zerstörte Vielfalt: Berlin 1933-1938-1945 (see RREA 19/20:124), in 2013 the State Library of Berlin held a colloquium on the 80th anniversary of the Nazis coming to power. Over 200 interested parties convened to explore the history of the Prussian State Library and German librarianship during the Nazi regime.
Only beginning in the 1980s have librarians in Germany examined the history of their institutions between 1933 and 1945, the so-called “brown” years. Since then they have undertaken numerous projects to document their history as well as identify looted materials and restore them to their rightful owners or heirs. Many of these initiatives and conferences have been reviewed in Reference Reviews Europe. The 2008 annual features reports from symposia in Berlin and Hannover on NS-Raubgut [Nazi-looted books] in German libraries (see RREA 14:40-45 and 17:30); the search for looted books in Austrian libraries (see RREA 17:32); the roles of academic library directors (see RREA 17:31 and 18:12), and restitution projects in Leipzig and Salzburg (see RREA 18:13-16).
The book under review here focuses on the Prussian State Library’s central role in Germany’s library network, both before 1933 and after. The first three chapters describe the historical and bureaucratic landscape in the years 1933-1945, followed by several essays on the most important protagonists during the Nazi dictatorship: Hugo Andres Krüß (1879-1945), Berlin library general director and member of the Reichs Ministry for Science and Education; Rudolf Buttmann (1885-1947), general director of the Bavarian State Library from 1935; Gustav Abb (1886-1945), chair of the German Library Association from 1937; and Georg Leyh (1877-1968), the director and publisher of the Tübingen Zentralblatt für Bibliothekswesen. Kummer, Buttman and Abb were early Nazis, while Krüss joined the Nazi Party late, and Leyh was a quiet resister.
Sören Flachowsky describes the extensive looting of books, the gradual exclusion of Jewish library patrons from library services, and the behavior of German librarians in the occupied countries of Europe. Jürgen Babendrier discusses questions of the social psychology and mentality of librarians’ attitudes toward the Nazi dictatorship, and issues concerning the feasibilty of assertiveness, adaptability, or conformity.
Cornelia Briel, in her chapter on Hugo Andres Krüß, subtitled “The Prussian Official in the Nazi State,” writes that although his appointment as General Director in 1925 was strongly contested by librarians (because he was not a librarian), he had attracted the attention of officials in the Ministry of Culture, who saw him as an ideal person to achieve their goal of promoting the Prussian State Library to a federal Reichs Library. His relationship to Nazism was ambivalent. In his personal behavior he was routine and impersonal, even cold in his relationships with Jews and other political outsiders. Even when he finally joined the Nazi party, he was definitely not an enthusiastic National Socialist. He came to terms as best he could with those in power, always attempting to strengthen the central position of “his” library. Rudolf Buttman, in contrast, was an ardent Nazi—his party member number of 4 marked him as an “old fighter”—and one of the most fervent among academic librarians, which certainly played a role in his appointment to the position of general director of the Bavarian State Library. As a member of the Reich Council for Library Issues he advocated strongly for the interests of the BSB, particularly in relationship to the Berlin State Library. In comparison to Rudolf Kummer, however, his former Munich colleague, Buttman was not a militant Nazi; his daily library work promoted librarianship, not party politics. Georg Leyh chose him to head the Zentralblatt für Bibliothekswesen in order to keep the profession’s leading journal protected from party politics.
After the annexation of Austria in 1938, the National Library in Vienna became the third largest library in “Greater Germany.” Under the leadership of the militant Nazi Paul Heigl (1887-1945), this library played an inglorious role in the looting and destruction of cultural property in Austria and Yugoslavia.
After this look over the fence to Munich and Vienna, the book returns to Berlin with Klaus G. Saur’s chapter devoted to 18 short biographies of librarians who were dismissed, persecuted, had emigrated, or were murdered. Arthur Spanier (1889-1944), for example, worked in the Oriental section of the Prussian State Library and was an expert in Hebrew manuscripts. He was unsuccessful in getting a visa to the United States and went into exile in the Netherlands instead; in 1942 he was deported from there to Bergen-Belsen and murdered. The present Berlin State Library hosted a 2011 exhibit on his life.
Similarly shameful was the treatment of Max Herrmann (1865-1942), a Germanist and scholar of the theater. He was the last Jew permitted to use the National Library before being deportated. It was a sad fate for an intellectual who had donated a valuable collection of private prints and manuscripts to the library. He, too, became a victim of the Holocaust.
In 1904, a group of wealthy, culturally educated Jews formed a friends group of the Prussian National Library. This group was shut down in 1933. One must ask how Krüss, as someone connected to this “friends of the library” group, could look them in the eye as they were sent to concentration camps.
Private archives of personal papers and related books and journals were also seized and in part sent to libraries. The Reich Exchange Office in charge of redistributing looted property would often disperse large personal collections, sending “duplicates” to other libraries or destroying materials outright. Libraries in occupied lands also fell under German control, and librarians were sent to ensure “library protection.” Krüss became the commissioner for the western area of operations, and also for northern France and Belgium. Abb took over the direction of libraries in the Generalgouvernement of Poland and later for the Eastern Area of Operations, that is, the Soviet Union. In this region, however, the infamous Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg [Reich Leader Rosenberg Taskforce] led in the plundering of cultural treasures of all sorts, with librarians being much less responsible in the east. Millions of books in German libraries were destroyed by Allied bombers, and in the process many librarians became war casualties. In April 1945, both Abb and Krüss committed suicide.
At the end of this richly illustrated book are short biographies of authors as well as a personal name index. The volume was produced by recognized specialists, who have long devoted themselves to this subject and have drawn on their previous publications. It provides us with an instructive view of German librarianship in a gloomy time, during which its fate was strongly dictated by Berlin—the seat of the Reich government and the largest German library. [mk/kab]
In 2005 an 80-year-old Werner Schochow, known as the historiographer of the Berlin State Library, published what was expected to be his final book on the subject, Die Berliner Staatsbibliothek und ihr Umfeld: 20 Kapitel preussisch-deutscher Bibliotheksgeschichte (see RREA 11:28). But even though his eyesight has been worsening, Schokow has collected in his current volume 41 “miniatures,” impressions from the changing destiny of the State Library. First published for the most part between 1981 and 2000, here they have been somewhat revised and updated and appear in chronological order of the events discussed, ranging from 1659, when the library received its charter, to the end of the 20th century, when—divided, like the country, since 1945—it became one institution again. They offer spotlights on the history of the largest German library and thus also to a large extent on the history of German librarianship. Schochow introduces the reader to prominent directors of the library, such as Paul Schwenke and Fritz Milkau, and also to lesser-known but notable staff members, including stacks director Walter Schwarzenecker and the Jewish librarians Arthur Spanier and Anneliese Modrze, who could no longer work after 1933 and subsequently suffered a tragic fate.
Numerous issues are discussed, beginning with a description of daily library life in the “Kommode” [chest of drawers], as the building housing the library from 1784 to 1914 was known, a totally inadequate facility which was finally replaced by a new building on the boulevard Unter den Linden. Also addressed are the relation of the State Library to the Deutsche Bücherei [German Library] in Leipzig; the German Gesamtkatalog [Cataloging Rules]; the “West German Library” in Marburg that temporarily housed relocated holdings of the State Library after World War II; the West Berlin counterpart of the State Library, completed in 1978; and the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz [Foundation for the Prussian Cultural Heritage], under whose aegis the library now falls. The State Library can only hope that there will be worthy successors to such an illustrious chronicler of its history. [mk/nb]
In 2006 the State Library in Berlin began systematically to research its history of collecting during the Nazi era, with the goal of determining the extent to which the library had acquired books looted by the Nazis and what role library personnel, as well as the nearby Reich Exchange Office, played in the process. The first results of what was supposed to be a three-year project were published in 2008 in the volume NS-Raubgut, Reichstauschstelle und Preußische Staatsbibliothek (see RREA 14:41), but the final summation of the project in the volume discussed here did not appear until the end of 2013.
After an introductory discussion of the current state of research on the topic, the author directs her attention first to the Reich Exchange Office, a part of the German library scene since 1926, and then to the fate of confiscated and looted volumes in the State Library which, as the largest and most important library in the country, had occupied a central position during the transfer and distribution of the books. Using lists of books available and books desired it organized the exchange of publications between German and foreign libraries. Originally the Reich Exchange Office offered mainly publications not needed by governmental agencies, as well as duplicates and gifts; after 1933 it also received looted materials from a number of different sources. In 1934, after difficult negotiations with various ministries, the director of the State Library was able to have the Reich Exchange Office, together with the German-Foreign Book Office and the Acquisitions Office of German Libraries, located in his institution due to the similarity of their activities, enabling a more efficient use of personnel.
The author describes the development of the Exchange Office in detail. After the devastating bombings of 1943, it was also involved in helping to rebuild the collections of destroyed German libraries. Looted books from Germany and elsewhere aided in this effort.
The director of the Exchange Office, Adolf Jürgens, later a director of the State Library, also worked intensively to acquire holdings from private libraries, as well as literature from Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, and Scandinavia. Although a number of holdings from Western Europe were looted, many others were purchased legitimately, at times, however, for unreasonably low prices. Because Slavic cultures were generally held in low regard in Germany, there was not much interest in purchasing works from Poland and the Soviet Union for German scholarly libraries, but numerous books looted from those areas arrived at the Reich Exchange Office.
Chapter 2 focuses on the looted works in the stacks and reading rooms of the Berlin State Library and on its central—and, after 1933, privileged—position with regard to the distribution of confiscated literature. Using many examples, the author offers a detailed view of how looted materials were handled in the daily operations of the State Library, both in their storage and distribution. Although Hugo Krüss had forbidden the immediate processing of looted materials, these instructions were not always followed. Nonetheless, the extreme shortage of personnel due to the war made extensive processing impossible. And after the German defeat at Stalingrad in 1943, normal library work became almost impossible.
By war’s end, extensive unprocessed holdings were stored in the basements of the State Library. In addition, the Reich Exchange Office had 40 other storage locations with approximately one million volumes in Germany, Italy, and Czechoslovakia. Allied troops came upon countless collections of books, both those that libraries had transferred to safer locations and many that had been looted from all over Europe. The Americans brought most of them to the Offenbach Archival Depot; the Soviets transported huge numbers, including looted materials, to the east. The Berlin State Library, now called the Öffentliche Wissenschaftliche Bibliothek [Public Research Library], returned approximately 20,000 volumes to Poland and 19,000 to the Soviet Union. Of about 94,000 looted volumes received at the State Library between 1933 and 1945, only about 20,000 had been processed.
The long wait for the publication of this work has paid off. By making thorough use of unpublished sources held in Berlin archives and, especially, in the historical files of the State Library in Berlin, as well as by its use of extant research and its wealth of instructive illustrations, the volume deepens our knowledge of the National Socialist book looting activities in Germany and Europe as illustrated by two important transfer points. A reliable index covers persons, libraries according to location or private owner, geographica, institutions, and organizations.
This volume does not mark the end of the investigations in Berlin. The detailed search for clearly identifiable looted works among the State Library’s holdings and, as much as possible, their return to the rightful owners, will occupy the library for some time to come. Current director Barbara Schneider-Kempf declares in her introduction to the volume that she "will not permit any stolen books to remain among our holdings." [mk/nb]
The centennial anniversary year of the outbreak of World War I, 2014, saw a rush of exhibitions, events, and special reports in all the media, as well as a number of books and journal articles on the subject. One of the best examples of library centennial publications is Julia Freifrau Hiller von Gärtringen’s Kriegssammlungen 1914-1918 (see RREA 19/20:113), a database of some 235 archival collections in museums, archives, libraries, and other repositories.
The holdings of the current State and University Library in Bremen were not included in von Gärtringen’s Kriegssammlungen due to a lack of personnel and resources there. Instead, the Bremen library organized its own series of exhibits and events, one result of which is this interesting study of the library in relationship to World War I. It contains a brief description of the impact of the War on the library’s staff, collections and activities, as well as a chapter on its director, Henry Seedorf (1863-1922), who played an active role in keeping the library engaged in the war effort while building an impressive collection of materials published during the war period. The work describes these holdings, which include field and trench newspapers, wartime brochures, maps, flyers, posters, letters, ration cards, Notgeld (provisional money), and other imprints. There is a brief bibliography at the end of the work. [ls/ldl]
This illustrated history of the Karl May publishing house is divided into six sections, including the era of the Third Reich, the period from 1945-1959 when the publishing house was located in the German Democratic Republic, and the period from 1960-2013 when the publishing house was located in the Federal Republic of Germany. The history draws on family archives as well as publisher sources. There is a brief bibliography. [sh/ldl]
This collection of 12 contributions (some of them actually summaries of more extensive publications) stems from a conference organized by the Historical Commission of the Börsenverein (Germany’s publishers’ association) in 2011. The title is misleading: not all the pieces in the collection are about individual publishers, though many are (Reclam, Oldenbourg, De Gruyter, Ullstein, Brockhaus, Koehler & Volckmar). Other subjects covered include an overview of publishers in the Nazi period, the publishing of American literature in the “Third Reich,” a study of advertisements in the publishers’ trade journal, and an analysis of Austrian publishing after the annexation of that country by Germany in 1938. After a long delay, there are now numerous histories of publishers during the Nazi period, but there is still room for many more. [mgh/sl]
Given that media-related questions are highly relevant to all areas of the communications, cultural and social sciences, the current handbook is welcome. A concise part I is devoted to the concept of media and media studies. Part II with its treatment of 23 media theories is well suited to the many philosophical problems associated with media studies. Part III concerns individual media, with the many categories treated including bibliographic references, while part IV comprises so-called points of disciplinary intersections. A personal name index enables another dimension of access. The handbook is recommended for working library collections and as a teaching resource. [tk/rlk]
Professional contributions from the disciplines of archaeology, history, and ethnology are well represented among the editors of this volume, which offers in its four major divisions a many-faceted survey of material culture. An initial section is devoted to relationships and meaning from philosophical, semiotic, and other standpoints; this is followed by a section on practices and transformations containing various concepts like recycling, exchange, etc. A discussion of concepts comprises the main emphasis of the next major section, offering a good overview. A focus on the perspectives of various scientific disciplines with regard to material culture completes the main text, which serves to illustrate the interdisciplinary character of the field. Bibliographies accompany all of the contributions, and the volume concludes with a general bibliography and index. It is clear that a concern with material culture is a crucial component of cultural studies, and this work makes a prominent contribution. [tk/rlk]
This lexicon takes its departure from the work of such contemporary philosophers as Ernst Cassirer and Roland Barthes, who studied how qualities associated with myth have become attached to figures and events of recent history and our present day. The wide range of meaning that can be attached to the concept “myth” becomes manifest in the similarly wide range of figures, concepts, and events included in the lexicon. Those meanings range from “myth” in the sense of “unfounded claim” (myths associated with our health or diet) to “myth” in the sense of an event that has taken on some heightened, extra-historical significance, as in the case of the Jewish Holocaust. Serious political-historical themes are juxtaposed with more or less trivial pieces of pop culture.
The dictionary collects modern myths from the 19th to the 21st centuries. Over 120 articles present persons, fictional characters, events, places, and concepts in their mythical qualities and structural connections.
A random sample of other topics covered includes Pippi Longstocking, the ozone hole, the student protests of May 1968, and the moon landing. The lexicon thus seeks to illustrate Barthes’ opinion that the “mythical” can become attached to any kind of phenomenon, and thus cannot be restricted to the world of antiquity. This begs the question, however, of what it is that makes a particular myth “modern.” The lexicon does not address this question explicitly, but rather seeks to demonstrate that many themes and events in the cultures of our modern world partake of some dimension that could be called “mythical.” It provokes the reader to take a closer look at the phenomena of contemporary culture, even when one may be skeptical as to whether it makes sense to designate some of the topics covered as “mythical.” The lexicon can thus be recommended not just to specialists in cultural studies, but for public libraries of all kinds. [tk/crc]
It is clear that images of all kinds play an enormous role in political life. This work, which first appeared in hardback as Handbuch der politischen Ikonographie [Handbook of Political Iconography] (München, 2011), is a material-rich treatment of the power of images in politics. Research by Aby Warburg serves as the basis for this project (see for example the reviews of Aby-M.-Warburg Bibliographie in RREA 5:87 and RREA 13:134). Many of the images reproduced in this work come from the Warburg-Haus collection in Hamburg.
The editors say that the concept of political iconography has so far been missing from the relevant handbooks and that as yet no complete treatment of the topic exists, despite many individual research efforts. This handbook is based on the premise that one cannot view political images as “authentic and unambiguous factual documents of politics,” but rather as “visual stagings of political events and their protagonists” (p. 10). Each contribution begins with an example image (many are in black-and-white), from which other aspects can be elicited and compared. Relying on examples makes sense given the limited space. There is not enough room to include all the possible pictorial material. In some cases whole monographs could be written on a subject. The articles vary quite a bit in scope, from presenting overall trends from antiquity to the present, to analyzing a concentrated visual situation from a single epoch.
The articles have footnotes but do not include bibliographies. One cannot expect the references to give a systematic view of the relevant literature. The second volume offers indexes of personal names and keywords.
The reader of this successful book will find something new and interesting on every page. This is likely to become a much-used reference work which in the new paperback edition is quite affordable. Whether such an art-historical analysis can lead readers to a critical attitude toward political imagery is the question, since clearly all politicians exploit images—it would seem that no one believes in the strength of purely rational arguments. It is all the more striking, then, that some widely used political concepts have no iconography at all, for example, “dialogue,” for which there is no article in this handbook. [tk/db]
First published in 1998, the appearance of a fifth edition shows how useful this reference work has been. Editions 1 and 2 were reviewed in RREA 5:86 and 8:94, edition 4 in IFB 08-1/2-139. One could thus consider the lexicon to be the standard work of the genre, one that allows the user quickly to find substantial information on themes, theories, and persons in literary and cultural theory. It is the editor Ansgar Nünning’s conviction that the study of literature is not possible without considering theory. The large number of other handbooks in this area attests to his vision, for example the Metzler-Lexikon Literatur: Begriffe und Definitionen (see RREA 13:94).
The fifth edition of Nünning’s lexicon contains numerous bibliographical updates, as well as the addition of new subject headings. Whereas in the past the number of keywords had proliferated, the editor has now decided to limit the number of new headings to 10 per new edition. This change of policy allows for more efficient organization. By contrast, the Metzler Handbuch der Kulturwissenschaften (see RREA 17:42), appearing in three volumes containing some 1,700 pages, has become almost unmanageable. New headings are Actor-Network Theory; Digital Humanities; Intersectionality; Cognitive Literary Studies; Scandalization; Crisis; and Translational Turn. In addition, several headings, such as Ecocriticism and Digital Media, were thoroughly revised, in order to take new developments into account. Most of the 847 pages of the dictionary are devoted to articles.
This dictionary is an almost indispensable tool for doctoral-level research in the humanities. It is a gateway to a wealth of writing and expertise in the field. Physically, the book has been firmly but flexibly bound, allowing for easy and frequent use, and the price is reasonable. This dictionary should be acquired by graduate students and by libraries. [tk/ga]
The publishing house of Metzler has taken the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Max Weber’s birth to add a Max Weber handbook to its well-regarded series of handbooks on important thinkers (the series already features volumes on Pierre Bourdieu, Jürgen Habermas, and Niklas Luhmann). The power of Weber’s thought is felt well beyond any set of disciplinary boundaries; he is a significant figure not just for the field of sociology, but for all the humanities and cultural sciences in general.
The handbook is in four sections. The first section is biographical, giving a brief overview of Weber’s life and works. The second section, entitled Begriffe (Concepts), consists of 41 articles on central themes in Weber’s work, for example Work, Charisma, Bureaucracy, Culture, Objectivity, the State. Each entry includes a bibliography. The third section is devoted to Weber’s works, organized here in six thematic groups: (1) economic and social history of Antiquity and the Middle Ages; (2) social, political, and economic conditions in Germany and Europe; (3) theory of science; (4) sociology of religion; (5) economy and society; and (6) additional works, such as Weber’s correspondence and his writings on music. Within each thematic group, works are presented chronologically. The handbook closes with a fourth section entitled “Discussion”, which contains 10 essays on key themes in Weber’s work: the meaning of modernity; the role of bureaucracy; the transformation of the nation-state; demystification and secularization; Western capitalism; the relation of law and society; the role of citizens and citizenship; the world of labor; and political education. Readers interested in the application of Weber’s thought to our own time will find these essays most rewarding, as they make direct connections to the challenges of our current world.
The handbook offers not just information but also critical appreciations that help the reader to develop their own understanding of each work.
An appendix provides a timetable, an overview of the massive Max Weber-Gesamtausgabe [Collected Works of Max Weber], a list of abbreviations, a selected bibliography, contributor information, and an index of names. There is no subject index per se, but the second section with its articles on concepts provides an appropriate level of subject access.
This handbook has just the right dimensions; it is not too brief and neither is it too massive to be easily consulted. Teachers in all disciplines will find it useful, both for the comprehensiveness of its bibliographies and for its critical discussions of the individual works. This handbook is recommended for all academic and research libraries. [tk/crc]
Vol. 5. Log-N. 2013. xx, 629 p. ill. ISBN 978-3-476-02104-5: EUR 99.95 [13-3]
With the publication of this volume, the new eight-volume edition of this encyclopedia is now more than half way to completion (see RREA 14:61 for a review of volumes 1-3). Entries in this volume have been greatly expanded compared to the same entries in the original version. That edition used a compact dictionary style in its initial volumes but changed to a more encyclopedic approach with much expanded entries midway through publication, resulting in uneven coverage in the work as a whole. This new edition corrects that imbalance with a complete reworking of the brief entries from the first version.
In this fifth volume 80 new topical headings were added, with a special emphasis on concepts related to logic and approaches to knowledge theory. The entries for persons naturally include such thinkers as Karl Marx, Herbert Marcuse, György Lukács, Lyotard, and, oddly, Rosa Luxemburg as well as philosophically important sociologists such as Niklas Luhmann. “Popular” philosophers, such as Enlightenment philosopher Friedrich Nicolai, are also included. This edition also contains an entry for the interesting female philosopher Damaris Marsham, daughter of the Cambridge Platonist Ralph Cudworth (although there are no entries for Iris Murdoch or the American philosopher Martha Nussbaum). The often extensive biographies and the current (up to 2011) secondary literature entries make this work very useful for an initial literature search.
There are many useful encyclopedias and lexicons of philosophy, each with varying approaches and emphases. No single resource can cover the field. The current work, for example, has only a brief entry on human rights, while the topic receives extensive treatment in the Enzyklopädie Philosophie (Hamburg, 2011—see IFB 11-2). On the whole, however, the present work is one of the most extensive of its kind because of the number of entries and the wide range of topical and personal articles included. Especially with regard to its focus on knowledge theory it has basically no rivals. It is an essential acquisition for research libraries, although individuals may have to wait for a more economical edition of the complete work before adding it to a personal reference shelf. [tk/jc]
This compact but content-rich reference work, which also addresses non-philosophers, originated in Denmark and is oriented toward introducing the Danish audience to philosophers and concepts from the German-, Romance-, and English-language communities. The first Danish edition (2009) produced a German-language revised edition, which the second (2010) Danish edition drew upon. The work reviewed here is the 2013 second German edition, a somewhat pruned-back version based on the more expansive 2010 Danish edition; all of these editions are ultimately based on several shorter versions from the 1990s. Unlike many philosophical handbooks, such as the Metzler-Lexikon Philosophie (see RREA 14:64) and the Philosophisches Wörterbuch (see RREA 15/16:65), this one includes both persons and concepts. Some higher-priced works purchasable mainly by libraries, such as the three-volume with CD-ROM Enzykolpädie Philosophie (see RREA 6:69) and the highly recommended Neues Handbuch Philosophischer Grundbegriffe (see RREA 17:50), are similarly inclusive, but this book is affordable for individual students, too.
The longer entries contain bibliographies, some of which could usefully be updated, but most of which will be helpful. Many point to Cambridge Companions and other accessible introductory works. The editors define philosophy as argument-building, systematic practice, which explains why a figure like Ralph Waldo Emerson is not given his own entry despite his continuing significance in U.S. philosophy but is mentioned only in the entry on Transcendentalism. Cross-references are built into the concept entries, and the asterisks that mark them also serve as a reminder that certain ideas that also appear in everyday language have a specialized meaning in philosophy. [tk/rb]
Unlike the third edition of the well-known reference work Philosophie der Gegenwart in Einzeldarstellungen (see RREA 13:66) and a related work, Klassiker der Philosophie des 20. Jahrhunderts (see RREA 13:67), the present work concentrates not only on the “defining” figures in the field but also attempts to cover a wider spectrum. Naturally included are important German and Austrian philosophers (Feyerabend, Popper, Wittgenstein, etc.), but also representatives of other fields who are not philosophers in the strict sense, such as Karl Barth, Rudolf Bultmann, Sigmund Freud, Walter Benjamin and Hannah Arendt. Also profiled are many figures whom one does not find in other lexicons (such as essayist and concentration camp survivor Jean Améry), or figures who are either marginalized or scarcely remembered today (for example, Marxist philosopher and economist Alfred Sohn-Rethel or Josef König). Some philosophers from the former German Democratic Republic are also covered, such as Marxist philosophers Peter Ruben and Helmut Seidel.
The entries, usually two to five pages long, include a biographical sketch, a description of the writer’s “theoretical background” and main philosophical ideas, a review of debates on the author’s works, and selected literature useful as an introduction to each philosopher. The bibliographical entries are cited in brief form in the articles (author and date) but a separate bibliography at the end contains full citations for all works mentioned in each article. Subject and name indexes provide additional access.
A second, revised edition of this work appeared in 2015, but the revisions are mainly additions to the bibliographies. However, the second edition does contain a separate alphabetical list of the philosophers covered, which is useful for quick orientation. There is also one interesting omission: the article in the first edition for a philosopher known as Jacob Preglauer has been quietly removed from the new edition since it now appears that this philosopher’s actual existence cannot be verified. On the whole, however, this work remains a highly informative and useful resource and should continue to provide good service in the future. [tk/jc]
Strictly speaking, this “Dictionary of Dignity” is not a dictionary, even though parts of it are organized as such. In its concept it follows comparable handbooks with broad topics, such as happiness, dying and death, space, or angst, all published by the Metzler Verlag. An example of the latter is Glück: ein interdisziplinäres Handbuch [Happiness: an Interdisciplinary Handbook] (see IFB 11-3). The book is really more of a handbook, a compendium of short articles concerning the topic of “dignity.” One understands immediately that the term cannot be used as an objective, neutral point of reference, because it is loaded with possible interpretations that a speaker or writer might impose upon it. In this work, the term refers primarily to human dignity in the sense of human rights and relates most directly to the subject areas of philosophy, law, and politics. The editors intend to counteract the devaluation of the term dignity through its careless use and present the concept in a nuanced way in order to stimulate the reader’s thinking about the meaning of this ubiquitous word.
The Wörterbuch is conceived as a reference work. It is arranged alphabetically by terms and offers many bibliographical references. The first two of its four parts address historical views of the representation of the concept of dignity from antiquity to the present. The third part presents explanations of the leading concepts relating to dignity. The fourth is organized according to broad problem areas relating to dignity (for example, feminism/gender, medicine, politics, law, environment), which are then broken down into subgroups. Politics, for example, is subdivided into topics such as asylum, educational opportunities, democracy, peace, humanitarian intervention, human rights abuses, migration, protection of minorities, persecution, and others.
The authors have created an ambitious, stimulating work that cuts across many disciplines. It can be recommended as a useful source for anyone who works in any field involving human interaction. [tk/akb]
The topic of secularization and religion is a timely one in today’s societies. Numerous books have treated this topic in recent years: “Religion” in der Soziologie Max Webers [Religion in the Sociology of Max Weber] (Wiesbaden, 2014), Religiöse Erfahrung in der Moderne: William James und die Folgen [Religious Experience in Modern Times: William James and His Legacy] (Wiesbaden, 2009), and Grenzen der Religionsfreiheit am Beispiel des Islam [Boundaries of Religious Freedom through the Example of Islam] (Berlin, 2010), to mention only a few.
This handbook presents in three parts what one should know about religion and secularization: concepts, categories, and conflicts. The first part, in the form of essays, describes the different concepts of secularization constructed by the main authors who have dealt with this topic: Durkheim, Weber, Habermas, Hegel, Troeltsch, Löwith, Blumenberg, Berger, Luckmann, Rousseau, Luhmann, James, Dewey, Casanova, Taylor, Riesebrodt, and Eisenstadt. Each essay is about 12 pages long, which allows for in-depth treatment of the topics. These essays alone are worth the price of the book. The second part approaches the problem with 17 essays on topics (categories) relevant to secularization: evil, progress, freedom, fundamentalism, the sacred, criticism, modernity, morality, neutralization/neutrality, the public, pluralism, rationality, religiosity, sovereignty, tolerance, the world, and values. The third part deals with conflicts that often surface in the tension between religion and secularization—tension between faith and knowledge, religion and science, religion and human rights, religion and the secular state, secularization and global society, secularization and world religions. An appendix includes a short selective bibliography; the individual essays contain numerous bibliographic references.
This work can be recommended as an insightful and substantive introduction to the topic, one that goes far beyond a lexical treatment of terms and stimulates one to study the various theories regarding the whole complex of religion and secularization from a comparative perspective. [tk/akb]
Users of the International Glossary of Abbreviations for Theology and Related Subjects tend to refer to it by the name of its author as the “Schwertner.” This work has maintained its firm position for years in the canon of theological reference works. The publication of IATG in 1974 was considered a breakthrough in the systematizing of title abbreviations in accordance with international norms. A second, revised edition followed in 1992. Over the years, the work has become the standard work for abbreviations of titles cited in theological journals, series, lexicons, and other source works.
Now, 22 years later, a third, updated and expanded edition has been published, which has had to take into account the enormous transformation that has taken place in the world of information since the previous edition. (An electronic edition as an e-book in PDF format has been announced for next year.) The print version lists “suggestions for abbreviations” for 18,300 titles, adding more than 4,000 to the previous list. The new edition also considers the system used in the SBL Handbook of Style for Ancient Near Eastern, Biblical, and Early Christian Studies, another important step toward standardization of international title abbreviations.
Since an undertaking like this understandably requires a long time to prepare, there is some lack of currency, which extends only to the year 2012. The ever-growing number of theological publications on the market makes the task even harder. Many new publications have found their way into the third edition, but some have not. Given the difficulty of maintaining the currency of the IATG, it may be time to consider publishing it as an online database, which would be much easier to update. Despite these drawbacks, the new, high quality print edition will be welcomed as a useful reference tool by a new generation of theological students. The “Schwertner” will live on, even though the author himself did not live to see the publication of the third edition. [mbe/akb]
Early modern historiography, particularly Catholic monastic histories, is currently attracting a lot of scholarly attention. The present volume is a compendium of about 1,200 female monastic communities throughout Central Europe that produced sources for the study of materials documenting their inhabitants’ consciousness of history. Chronologically, the volume limits itself to materials generated between the Reformation and the end of the 18th century.
The source include monastic chronicles, biographies, informal notices, and even works of art with historical motifs, such as paintings, sculpture, or whole iconographic programs. The scholarly value of these previously undiscovered or overlooked materials is hard to overstate. Although the focus is on the sources for the study of historical consciousness, the volume also provides rich information about the contents of monastic libraries, the history of orders and individual communities, church politics, and more. There is a helpful index of names as well as a subject index. [mf/as]
The Second Vatican Council of 1963 mandated a renewal of the liturgy during worship services in the Catholic Church, which would necessitate reeducating the clergy in a new approach to worship, leading to a more open and accessible liturgy and a more engaged and participatory role for the congregation. To that end, the Kleines Liturgisches Wörterbuch [Small Liturgical Dictionary] was published in 1969, followed by the Pastoralliturgisches Handlexikon [Pastoral Liturgical Handbook] in 1980. This work was revised and republished a number of times and last appeared in a revised version in 1999. The 5th edition of 2013 now appears in newly revised form. Though its primary orientation is to the liturgy and rites of the Roman Catholic Church, the work relates to the liturgical traditions of the Orthodox and Protestant Churches as well. As the subtitle declares, the handbook is intended to serve as a guide for “all questions about worship.”
The more than 700 entries of the handbook follow a similar pattern. A definition of each term or concept is followed by an explanation of its origin and historical development and then its current form and application. In terms of content, the work includes the whole spectrum of liturgical life in the broadest sense, from specific liturgical questions, occurrences, and activities to those dealing with anthropology, church and art history, and systematic theology. Although the introduction alludes to changes that have taken place in society and the Church, a closer inspection reveals that few new articles have been added to the handbook and the text of the previous articles remains largely unchanged. However, the bibliographies in the articles have been expanded and updated, which greatly enhances the value of the work. This reliable, informative handbook serves primarily as a useful tool for those engaged in pastoral work but also functions as a reference work for anyone interested in the Catholic Church in its German context. [mbe/akb]
Vol. 1. Kardinäle unter Benedikt XVI., Kardinäle 1058-2010: Buchstabe A [Cardinals Created under Benedict XVI … Letter A]. 2012. 485 p. ill. 24 cm. ISBN 978-3-939160-38-0: EUR 20.00
Vol. 2. Am 18.2. und am 24.11.2012 kreierte Kardinäle, Kardinäle 1058-2010: Buchstabe B [Cardinals Created on February 18, 2012 and on November 24, 2012 …. Letter B]. 2013. 340 p. 24 cm. ISBN 978-3-939160-45-8: EUR 20.00
It is a rather odd coincidence that two biographical dictionaries should appear in the same year, both focusing on the same exclusive club: that of the cardinals of the Roman Catholic church, who have been for more than 1,000 years the closest and most influential colleagues of the pope and who exercise the right of papal election. Nothing comparable has been published since 1857, when Abbé Charles Berton issued his Dictionnaire des cardinaux.
The Catholic Church historian Hans-Joachim Kracht is the primary compiler of the Lexikon der Kardinäle 1058-2010, which is planned to comprise eight volumes. The intended scope is to cover all cardinals from the middle of the 11th century, when the office of cardinal began to take on significance for the church as a whole, up to the present day. The complete lexicon will contain some 3,500 biographical entries, each entry giving (1) family name, given name(s), birth and death dates, family background, and variant forms or spellings of name; (2) studies and positions held before creation as cardinal; (3) date of elevation to cardinal; (4) offices held while cardinal; and (5) sources.
A general introduction provides welcome insight into many aspects of the College of Cardinals, for example in the areas of canon law, vestments, papal proclamations concerning the office of cardinal, the conclaves, and processes of beatification or canonization. At the end of the introduction is an extensive report on the available biographical sources and a bibliography.
While the volumes are primarily organized in alphabetical sequence, the two initial volumes both contain a special initial sequence: in volume 1, an overview of all cardinals living as of 2010; and in volume 2, an overview of the cardinals created by Pope Benedict XVI on February 18, 2012, and on November 24, 2012 (so that the coverage of the lexicon actually extends beyond the end-date of 2010 announced in its title).
A biographical reference work of this type, covering a narrowly defined set of individuals, cries out for some kind of systematic overview, in this case a list showing all the cardinals created by a specific pope in the order of their creation. Such an overview is for the moment absent, but it is to be hoped that it will appear in a subsequent volume of this work.
Martin Bräuer, the compiler of the Handbuch der Kardinäle, 1846-2012, is a Protestant pastor and specialist for Catholic affairs at the Institut des Evangelischen Bundes [Institute of the League of German Protestant Churches]. His work covers the approximately 900 cardinals created by Popes Pius IX, Leo XIII, Pius X, Pius XI, Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI.
The handbook begins with a brief but thorough summary of the history of the College of Cardinals up to the present. The glossary at the end of the volume provides helpful supplemental information. The organization of the work is chronological by papal reign; under each pope, the cardinals are listed in the order of their creation. The biographies found here are more comprehensive than the brief entries found in Kracht’s handbook. Unfortunately, the entries contain no citations of sources, a lack which is not made up for in the general bibliography (on three pages) of sources consulted. The volume’s organization turns out to be a disadvantage; it would have been better to offer the systematic chronological listing as a separate overview while giving the biographical entries in alphabetical order. As it is, even with the index of names provided, it is not always easy quickly to locate a particular cardinal among the entries. [jli/crc]
Medieval sources document that in the year 313 Bishop Maternus of Cologne participated in a synod meeting in Rome, the first time a Christian bishop from this area is mentioned. This otherwise insignificant event marks the beginning of the history of Christianity in the North Rhine region of Germany, and the publication of this historical atlas celebrates this 1700-year history. In its concept, the atlas is closely linked to a previous work, Atlas zur Kirche in Geschichte und Gegenwart [Atlas to the Church in Past and Present—see IFB 09/1/2], also edited by historian and former rector of the Campo Santo Teutonico in Rome, Erwin Gatz. After his death in 2011, Marcel Albert completed work on the atlas and wrote the introduction.
The atlas includes 76 historical maps from early medieval times to the present, with emphasis on the period after 1870, depicting primarily dioceses but also pilgrimage sites, monasteries, and locations of bishops and cathedrals. Since North Rhine-Westphalia is primarily Catholic, the atlas focuses on the history of the Catholic Church in this area but also seeks to encompass the total life of the Church by including themes like the medieval worship of relics, witch trials in Paderborn, pilgrimages up to the 18th century, and others. The maps are accompanied by substantial narrative, giving the historical context and background information necessary to unlock their content. They vividly illustrate some aspects of church history in North Germany in a way that narrative alone could not.
Numerous reference works of church history in North Rhine-Westphalia have been published in recent years, most reviewed in RREA, including Christen an der Ruhr 1998-2006 (see RREA 11:252); Die evangelischen Gemeinden in Westfalen (see IFB 10-2), Nordrheinisches Klosterbuch (see RREA 15/16:80), and Protestantische Profile im Ruhrgebiet: (see RREA 15/16:203). This historical atlas will probably be most useful as a reference work, but the attractive book could well pique curiosity and invite readers to page through it, particularly those with an interest in German religious history. [mbe/akb]
Vol. 2. E - J. 2013. 482 p. ISBN 978-3-7749-3733-8: EUR 52.80
The second volume of the Rhenish Theological Encyclopedia (volume 1, published in 2011, was reviewed in IFB 11-2) covers the letters E through J, adding to the work more than 3,500 new biographies of Lutheran preachers, including many living clerics, in the Rhineland and spanning 500 years of history. The biographical entries include many details pertaining to the education, family, and service of individual preachers. These details will be enhanced through links in a future electronic version of the work. [mk/ldb]
Vol. 6. Das Herzogtum Sachsen-Altenburg [The Duchy of Saxony-Altenburg]. Thomas Walther. 2013. 725 p. ISBN 978-3-374-03051-4: EUR 119.00
Worth repeating is the series description from the RREA review of volume 4: “The aim of the series is to document the biographies, careers, and family history of the pastors who lived and worked in Thuringia from the beginning of the Reformation in the 16th century to approximately the end of World War I. The territorial history of this area is a complex one, and each volume deals with one part of the region, named according to its earlier political designation under the feudal system.”
Over twice the size of volume 5, devoted to the Principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and published in 2010 (see IFB 11-1), volume 6 compares in size only to the 1995 volume 1, which dealt with the Duchy of Gotha. (Volumes 3 and 4 were reviewed in RREA 12:59 and 7:339 respectively.)
Volume 6 indexes 2,315 pastors. The entries vary in size but all offer names, dates and places of birth and death, parents, school and university education, and offices held. Marriages are noted, with details about the wife and her family along with the date of the marriage. The articles close with a list of archives and relevant literature. A list of pastoral offices, in double columns, is found on pages 19-66, subdivided into duchies and then by pastoral office. Volumes 1-6 contain almost 9,000 biographies. A volume 7 is planned for 2016. [sh/ga]
The present work fills a long-standing desideratum in Koran studies: the compilation of a comprehensive bibliography of works about the Koran. Until now there has been no such bibliography published, either in Islamic countries or in the West, only some bibliographies of Koran translations, a notable example of which is Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu’s World Bibliography of Translations of the Meanings of the Holy Qur’an: Printed Translations 1515-1980 (Istanbul, 1986). A bibliography of translations of the Koran into German appeared recently as well: Umm al-kitâb: ein kommentiertes Verzeichnis deutschsprachiger Koran-Ausgaben von 1543 bis 2013 (see RREA 19/20:50).
Ramin Khanbagi has published other large bibliographic works, each with the subtitle A Comprehensive Bibliography. These include Arabic Language (Tehran, 2006), Kurds and Kurdistan (Tehran, 2003), Muslim Minorities (Tehran, 2003), Persian Classical and Modern Poetry (New York, 2004), Russian Muslims (Moscow, 2007), and Shii Islam (Tehran, 2007). His Interkulturelle Koran-Bibliographie contains 6,542 titles representing some 30 European and non-Europan languages, for example Russian, Arabic, Persian, Swahili, Yoruban, and other African languages, as well as Malaysian, Javanese, and other Asian languages. A cursory examination reveals that the cut-off year for citations was 2008, which should have been mentioned in the introduction. In addition, there is no indication of the relative predominance of languages represented.
The work is arranged in three parts: a bibliography of Koran translations; a bibliography of Koranic studies; and three indexes covering book titles referenced in the bibliographic sections; names; and subjects. Despite the drawbacks mentioned, this publication is an extremely valuable compilation of material for future research. It deserves to have a place on the library reference shelf. [ww/rlk]
Umm al-kitâb—”The Mother of All Books” and the designation of the Koran since early Islamic times—shows the great meaning that this book of revelation enjoys in the Islamic world. Whereas in Christendom holy scripture reflects divine inspiration, in the Islamic world the Koran is verbatim the word of God.
The author Michael Fisch traces the history of German efforts with regard to Koran Studies, offering explanatory texts on the individual editions and translations. He presents information not only on the editions themselves and their dependencies on one another, but also information on the personalities of the translators and editors.
The work begins with an informative introduction to the history of the Koran text and its translation into European languages. He also describes German scholarly occupation with this holy book throughout the various literary ages: Reformation to French Revolution; the age of Romanticism; from the First World War to the epoch of secularization; from 1980 to the end of the century; and in the 21st century. Within each section are sub-chapters on the individual translators. A 20-page bibliography and five-page personal name index close the volume. Date spans are given both in the Roman calendar and in the Islamic calendar.
The chronology begins not with the first German translation of the Koran but with translations into Latin by Luther’s contemporaries (1529-1543) as well as into other European languages (1547-1734). German translations begin in the year 1554. In flowing and readable language the volume offers a wealth of information on the history of the reception of the Koran in Germany, and it also provides a concise, fundamental introduction for orientalists and theological laypersons. [ww/ga]
This work is a joint publishing venture of the Centrum Judaicum at the Stiftung Neue Synagoge Berlin [Foundation of the New Synagogue in Berlin] and the Center for Military History and Social Sciences of the German Army. An introduction illuminates the origins and development of the presence of spiritual advisors for Jewish soldiers in the First World War, which took place gradually only after both major Christian denominations had established their own pastoral care. Biographies for 45 army field rabbis and assistant rabbis give details for each, such as name, family origins, education, training, military service, distinctions, awards, and publications. These data are documented in footnotes, but no further secondary literature is offered. The biographies themselves are richly illustrated with contemporary photos. The largest portion of the volume by far is devoted to “Selected Documents,” including, among other things, minutes from rabbinical conferences on the both the western and eastern fronts. An appendix includes various indexes, a glossary, and similar ancillary information; unfortunately, a bibliography is lacking.
This biographical work is a useful complement to the larger Biographisches Handbuch der Rabbiner, part 2 of which covers the period 1871-1945 (see RREA 15/16:86; part 1 was reviewed in RREA 10:73). Another related work worth mentioning is the 2011 bibliographical compendium entitled Jüdische Soldaten–jüdischer Widerstand [Jewish Soldiers–Jewish Resistance] (Berlin, 2011), although it discusses World War I field rabbis only in passing. It remains unclear whether rabbis also served as spiritual advisors in the German Navy. [sh/rdh]
From 2009 through 2013 Insa Meinen and Aldrich Meyer led a DFG (German Research Council) research project at the Carl-von-Ossietzky-University in Oldenburg with the title Zwangsmigration und Holocaust. Jüdische Flüchtlinge in Westeuropa 1938-1944 [Forced Migration and Holocaust. Jewish Refugees in Western Europe 1938-1944—seehttp://www.zwangsmigration-und-holocaust.uni-oldenburg.de/50151.html for a detailed description of the project]. This book, Verfolgt von Land zu Land, presents the results of this five-year research project. An abstract of the book, in English, can be found at http://www.zwangsmigration-und-holocaust.uni-oldenburg.de/62514.html.
In this methodologically original study of the fates of German and Austrian Jewish refugees who fled to Belgium between March 1938 and May 1940, Meinen and Meyer rely on both statistical data and biographical information gleaned from collections of documents and files to give a powerful and moving historical portrayal. The book is structured chronologically, following events as the refugees were hounded from Poland, Germany, and Austria to Belgium and, after the German invasion in May 1940, to France, from where 5,500—about 20% of Belgium’s holocaust victims—were eventually deported to Auschwitz. On the other hand, over half of these refugees survived the war, many of them in Unoccupied France.
Meinen and Meyer’s book focuses on those refugees who were not able to escape the German authorities’ intense dragnet and apparatus of persecution and who eventually perished. In order to identify these murdered victims, Meinen and Meyer made use of a wide range of extensive resources, such as personal dossiers compiled by the foreign and border police forces of the respective countries, residency documents, the so-called “Jewish roster,” deportation lists, and files from camps. Most of these had been previously digitized and are open-access or otherwise available to researchers. It is in large part due to the wartime bureaucrats who fastidiously compiled records and the long document trails they left that such research has been possible.
The authors electronically analyzed the data from the many sources and by extensions and projections from partial results were able to generate a quantitative picture of the composition of the refugees by nationality, profession, class, and family members. Meinen and Meyer were further able to supplement these quantitative analyses with descriptions of the fates of individual refugees.
The authors’ methodology breaks new ground in historical research, but their methods are also applicable to the study of contemporary involuntary migrations. Their work on the fates of Jewish refugees in France is also original and a welcome contribution to the field. The volume concludes with several lists: an index of abbreviations, a selective bibliography, a list of tables and illustrations, notes, and indexes of personal and place names. [wub/sl,ga]
“Sh’erit ha-Pletah” [surviving remnant] is the Hebrew term for the survivors of the Shoah, and one wonders why this term is not used in Germany. Instead, survivors are referred to as “Jewish displaced persons” and thus subsumed into the large number of refugees wandering through Germany at the end of the Second World War. Of the 6.5 to 7 million displaced persons, 50,000 to 75,000 are estimated to have been Jewish Holocaust survivors. Their number was increased to about 250,000 Jewish displaced persons by the spring of 1947 by Jewish refugees fleeing from the Soviet Union and Poland. Most ended up in displaced persons camps in the British and American Zones of occupied Germany. In the British Zone, Jews were housed with refugees of other nationalities. The British displaced persons camp with the largest number of Holocaust survivors was Hohne, near Bergen-Belsen. In the American Zone, Jewish survivors were placed in their own separate camps. The American camp that was in longest use (until 1956/1957) was Föhrenwald in Wolfratshausen near Munich. Most camps were closed by 1950 due to the large emigration of Jews to Israel and the USA.
During 1945, after chaotic beginnings, Jewish cultural life was revived in the camps and included the production of magazines, newspapers, and other publications. There were “at least 400 or as many as 1,000 publications” (p. 158), most using the Hebrew alphabet, in either Yiddish or Hebrew. Many of them are now lost. The Jüdische Historische Kommission tried to collect a wide range of objects, pictures, written sources, and imprints, which ended up in Israel and the USA after the displaced persons camps were closed. Leaving the collections in Germany did not seem like an option to the Holocaust survivors. The National Library of Israel in Jerusalem owns fewer than half of these publications, and the state libraries in Berlin and Munich are trying to strengthen their collections. The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York has 150 periodicals of the “Displaced Persons Press,” accessible in microfilm since 1990. The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz State Library in Hannover has about a third of the imprints from the Bergen-Hohne camp, acquired much later, and the Gedenkstätte Bergen-Belsen [Bergen-Belsen Memorial] itself has about half, including almost the entire run of Yiddish camp newspapers from Bergen-Hohne.
The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz library and the Gedenkstätte Bergen-Belsen are breaking new ground with the work being reviewed here. What little has been published in Germany on this topic has appeared mainly in connection with research on the bibliographic provenance of Jewish property stolen by the Nazis. These publications are referred to in the introduction and various other places in the volume, but a separate and complete bibliography would have been helpful. This work consists of nine independent contributions that discuss fundamental aspects of the collections, individual publications, and genres, as well as the necessary historical context. References are included in footnotes.
In the first part, Juliane Wetzel sketches the historical context, including publishing in the camps. She is the co-author of the most widely distributed book about Jewish displaced persons: Lebensmut im Wartesaal: die jüdischen DPs (displaced persons) im Nachkriegsdeutschland [Courage in the Waiting Room: Jewish Displaced Persons in Postwar Germany] (Frankfurt am Main, 2004). However, that book’s index notes only nine pages on which the search term “press” can be found. Anne-Christin Sass presents an overview of Yiddish publishing in Germany since 1879, concentrating on the 1920s in Berlin and after 1945 in the camps. (See also Presse im Transit: jiddische Zeitungen und Zeitschriften in Berlin von 1919 bis 1925, in RREA 9:10).
The next four contributions are devoted to Jewish media in the displaced persons camps. In a condensed version of one chapter from her unpublished dissertation, Jacqueline Giere discusses education and culture in the American Zone camps, where a diverse press flourished in spite of the difficulties of reporting, printing, and distribution, all compounded by a lack of paper. Thomas Rahe discusses the British Zone camp newspaper Unzer Sztyme [Our Voice] (July 1945-December 1947), describing its clear Zionist orientation, its contents, and the formation of a culture of remembrance, as well as comparing it to publications from the American Zone. The newspaper was superseded in December 1947 by another, Vochnblatt [The Weekly Paper], which was more focused on the practical concerns of life in the camp. Anne-Katrin Henkel presents some of the camp inmates’ attempts to document the Holocaust. In particular three publications initiated by the newly founded Jüdische Historische Kommission [Jewish Historical Commission] are discussed: the 1947 exhibition broschure Unser Weg in die Freiheit [Our Path to Freedom], the 1946 book Unsere Verwüstungen in Bildern [Our Devastations in Pictures], and Samuel Drelichman’s 1947 documentation in stories and reports Schtill wie in Reiwitz [Silent as in Reiwitz] about his hometown of Reiwitz, Poland, which served as a ghetto and transit camp from 1941 to 1943. Lastly, Jim G. Tobias addresses the various activities undertaken to relieve the shortage of textbooks and teaching materials in the camps of the American Zone.
The scarcity of surviving publications is dealt with in the three final contributions. Jehoshua Pierce gives criteria by which displaced persons imprints can be identified. He includes a table of 58 titles from the camp at Föhrenwald along with their current locations at either the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin or the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München, but without giving detailed holdings information or descriptions. In the next two chapters the collections of both these libraries are respectively described. A more systematic overview is given of the collection in Berlin, while the chapter on Munich concentrates on Talmud printings and newspapers and is richly illustrated with images from Talmud tracts. The work is completed by a detailed list of contributors, and a combined name and subject index. There is also a title index that emphasizes 17 newspapers and 6 magazines from among the 49 publications listed (but does not include the titles in Pierce’s Föhrenwald bibliography).
This collection is the first book about the publishing activities of Holocaust survivors in the Jewish displaced persons camps. That it is the first work on this theme to appear in the 70 years after the fact, and only prompted by the interest awakened not much earlier in the origins of library books formerly belonging to Jews, clearly shows how little interest there has been in the specific fates of the few Holocaust survivors in Germany. The introduction quotes the historian Norbert Frei on the subject of how unspecific and lacking in facts was the early German research into the Holocaust. The publications of the survivors themselves are where the concrete beginnings of the documentation of the Shoah can be found. These publications were not written for the Germans, but for fellow survivors, and unfortunately they did not find their way into German libraries until the 1970s and later. This work discusses the research that remains to be done and also the increasing interest among younger scholars for these materials. However, existing collections still must be improved: many more imprints need to be acquired, cataloged, and made accessible by German libraries. [wub/db]
The Kraichgau is a region of southwestern Germany bounded by the cities of Heidelberg, Heilbronn, Stuttgart, and Karlsruhe. This region was once home to the largest Jewish community in the province of Baden. The Kraichgau History Society [Heimatverein] and the Society for Jewish Life Kraichgau [Verein Jüdisches Leben Kraichgau] have collaborated on projects to promote the memory of the area’s once-thriving Jewish culture. One such project was a traveling exhibition entitled Dem Vergessen entrissen [Wrested from Oblivion] (Ubstadt-Weiher, 2011) that portrayed the lives of 30 Jewish citizens from the 19th and 20th centuries. The 47-page 2011 exhibition catalog illustrates family, social, political, commercial, and educational life of the Jewish communities. Jüdische Persönlichkeiten continues the narrative, portraying the Kraichgau area’s Jewish history through the lives of 60 exceptional Jewish men who flourished in the region in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Prior to 1800, Jews with few exceptions were confined to the edges of society and excluded from economic life except in the realm of small trade and peddling. Beginning with a constitutional edict in 1809, Jews were granted legal equality in exchange for assuming family surnames and sending their children to public schools. In due course Jews were able to enter all walks of life: the workforce, becoming entrepreneurs and factory owners, entering the professions, and gradually gaining an equal role in politics and government.
Despite social equality, mixed marriages, conversion to Protestantism in several cases, and equal service and sacrifice in the First World War, by 1945 the Nazis had exterminated or driven out almost all Jews from the region. Those who survived managed to make new lives mainly in Israel or the United States, and virtually no one returned to the region after 1945. The lives described in this book represent a cross-section of those who survived and those who did not. In the past decade, citizens of the Kraichgau have worked extensively to promote reconciliation and rehabilitation. Since 2010 the two organizations have hosted cultural events, school exchange programs with Israeli schools, special exhibitions, and the sponsored remembrance of individuals through the re-naming of streets and plazas.
The 60 biographies in this book provide a very readable history of Jewish life and culture in the Kraichgau and surrounding areas. Each entry comes with a brief bibliography and suggestions for further reading. Thus this book is a major contribution to historical research on this region; one wishes for more such writings, as well. [mkt/ga]
This volume is a recent example of the many heavily illustrated books that trace in pictures and text the vestiges of Jewish life remaining in Germany after the Holocaust. Some focus on synagogues, for example, the 2007 Synagogen in Baden-Württemberg (see RREA 12:81), others on cemeteries. Some mix contemporary photographs with those taken before 1933, as in the especially impressive Jüdisches Kulturerbe in Nordrhein-Westfalen published 1997-2005 (see RREA 6:153), while others limit themselves to just historical images, for example Die Inventarisation jüdischer Kunst- und Kulturdenkmäler in Bayern published in 1997 (see RREA 6:151).
The volume reviewed here documents the remains of the once flourishing Jewish community in the Swabian district of Bavaria. The different parts of this work do not cohere perfectly as a whole. There are 112 black-and-white photographs taken by Martin Paulus in the years 1997-2008, mostly depicting Jewish cemeteries, but also houses, synagogues, schools, and memorial sites and plaques. Corresponding with the volume’s title, the prevailing mood is one of decay and fleeting time—all but one of the photos are empty of people. The photos have only minimal captions and are not individually dated.
The essay “Jüdisches Leben in Bayerisch-Schwaben: eine architektonische Spurensuche” [Jewish Life in Bavarian Swabia: A Search for Architectural Remains] by Stefan Paulus gives a short history of the Jews and their buildings for each of the places depicted, but is lacking in detailed information. (Such details can be found for Swabia in the first volume of Mehr als Steine: Synagogen-Gedenkband Bayern (see RREA 19/20:57). An appendix, “Orte jüdischen Lebens in Schwaben” [Places of Jewish Life in Swabia], gives information about the current state of buildings and sites.
However, the places mentioned in each of the texts and the bibliography and those depicted in the images do not completely correspond to one another. Finding all the information about a particular place is also made harder by the fact that the photo section and the preceding texts are not alphabetically arranged, but are presented in the order of a possible travel route. The volume contains no index to place names.
The volume also contains the personal memoirs of the writer Rafael Seligmann, “Eine Familie aus Ichenhausen” [A Family from Ichenhausen] and a long contribution by the exiled Holocaust scholar Edith Raim, “Die Verfolgung der Juden in Bayerisch-Schwaben” [The Persecution of the Jews in Bavarian Swabia]. The latter essay has 173 footnotes, which does not fit well with the rest of this volume that is aimed at a broader audience.
This work would be good to use in planning a trip, particularly as other works, such as volume 3, Schwaben, of the Dehio-Handbuch Bayern (2008) and Peter Hirsch and Billie Lopez’ 1992 Travel Guide to Jewish Germany, translated into German in 1993 as Reiseführer durch das jüdische Deutschland (see RREO 95-3-377), have significant deficiencies. [sh/db]
In recent years numerous publications have detailed the predatory activities of German commandos and troops in countless European libraries and archives (see, for example, NS-Raubgut in Museen, Bibliotheken und Archiven reviewed in RREA 18:13; this RREA issue contains numerous references to and reviews of other works on Nazi-looted books). Collections in Poland and the Soviet Union were particularly affected. The murder of the Jewish population in Eastern Europe was accompanied by the confiscation or destruction of many cultural properties.
Especially active was the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR) [Reich Leader Rosenberg Taskforce], which collected Bolshevist and, especially, Jewish materials from all of Europe for the Frankfurt Institute for Research on the Jewish Question, as well as for a planned National Socialist university. Millions of documents were brought to German storage facilities in locations such as the “Eastern Library Rosenberg” in Ratibor [now Racibórz], Annenheim Castle in Carinthia, Austria, and many other hiding places. At war’s end, allied troops discovered innumerable collections. The Americans transported the materials they found to the Offenbach Archival Depot in western Germany, where large rooms in what had previously been factories provided space for collecting and sorting millions of books.
The first chapter of this volume, which stems from the author’s Ph.D. dissertation (Universität Leipzig, 2011), describes the daily work carried out in the Offenbach facility. A post-war aim was to make sure the salvaged books and other articles belonging to Jewish owners were directed to locations where Jews still lived. At the time it seemed impossible that Jews would ever again wish to reside in Germany. And pogroms carried out among the few surviving Jews in Poland and Russia appeared to indicate the similar impossibility of a rebirth of Jewish life in those countries. Hence most of the Jewish materials in the Offenbach Archival Depot that could not be returned to their original owners were sent to Israel or the United States, thus preserving an immense number of cultural goods vital to the Jewish identity. Between 1946 and 1949, with “Herculean efforts”, the facility processed and transported 1.4 million books and objects to institutions or private owners in 14 countries. Thankfully, the books were not really corpses in Offenbach and elsewhere, but were rescued there from their agony. One could, however, see them as grave markers for their murdered owners.
Making use of archival materials in Germany, the U.S., and Israel, the author offers a thorough and profound overview of the fate of Jewish cultural property, especially from Germany and Eastern European countries that had been occupied and plundered by German troops. Huge numbers of items were damaged irremediably, but this study shows that much could be saved and at least in part returned. An extensive bibliography offers additional inducement to an immersion in further detail. Carefully selected illustrations, an annotated name index presenting the main players with brief biographical sketches, a place index, and a subject index covering mostly institutions round out this successful synthesis of the current state of research on the topic. [mk/nb]
Partial vol. 1. Oberfranken, Oberpfalz, Niederbayern, Oberbayern, Schwaben. 2007. 560 p. ill. ISBN 978-3- 98870-411-3: EUR 39.00
Partial vol. 2. Mittelfranken. 2010. 816 p. ill. Kt. ISBN 978-3-89870-448-9: EUR 49.00
Partial vol. 3, Pt. 1. Unterfranken. Ed. Axel Töllner et al. 2008 [appeared 2015]. 882 p. ill. ISBN: 978-3-89870-449-6: EUR 49.00
The publication date for volume 3, part 1 was postponed for several years, but it is included here for the sake of continuity. Mehr als Steine is the third and most extensive volume of the series Gedenkbuch der Synagogen in Deutschland of the Synagogue Memorial Jerusalem. The series portrays, in texts and pictures, not just the synagogues but extends also to the entire religious community: the cemeteries and schools as well as individual persons and all of Jewish life in Germany before the Nazis and post-1945.
Three other volumes appeared before this three-part third volume of the title Gedenkbuch der Synagogen in Deutschland, with similarly moving subtitles: Feuer an Dein Heiligtum gelegt: zerstörte Synagogen 1938, Nordrhein-Westfalen (see RREA 6:154); Synagogen Rheinland-Pfalz, Saarland: “... und dies ist die Pforte des Himmels” (see RREA 12:69); and (4) Synagogen in Baden-Württemberg: “Hier ist nichts anderes als Gottes Haus” (see RREA 12:81).
The basic selection criterion is that the synagogue existed ca. 1930, which encompasses around 200 synagogues and provides a meaningful picture of Jewish life in the state of Bavaria at that time. The larger the community, the greater the number of pages, for example Munich (26), Augsburg (17), and for Buttenweisen in the Swabian district of Bavaria, eight pages. Buttenweisen had 35 Jewish families in 1705, 344 Jewish inhabitants in 1840, and zero in 1942. The entries are in small format, with historical and current photographs both of buildings and people, including memorial plaques and sites. A recent memory book for Bavarian Swabia is Martin and Stefan Paulus’ Das leere Haus: Spuren jüdischen Lebens in Schwaben; Fotografien und Essays (see RREA 19/20:55).
The volumes offer maps showing Jewish community districts; several statements of greeting from government and church representatives; and survey articles on the history of Jews in Bavaria, the architecture of synagogues, and the life of the Jewish house of worship. The articles conclude with extensive references to bibliographies and archives, often including newspapers. Each volume also contains addenda with general literature and electronic resources, indexes, and a glossary. The project’s website (http://www.synagogenprojekt.org) also provides .pdf files of significant excerpts from all three volumes: (http://www.synagogenprojekt.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=89&Itemid=66) [sh/ga]
Books that are concerned with research on Jews in the individual German states, regions, and cities, are legion and are concerned not only with the fate of Jews in the Third Reich but also are dedicated to their history in earlier centuries. One example is Michael Heitz and Bernd Röcker’s Jüdische Persönlichkeiten im Kraichgau (see RREA 19/20:54). So it is with this work on the history of Jewish life in Hannover. The first edition was published in 1998, on the 60th anniversary commemoration of the Kristallnacht pogrom on November 9, 1938. This second edition appeared on the 75th anniversary of remembrance of the Kristallnacht.
The authors intend this to be more of a work for readers than a reference volume. Biographical information is limited to brief sketches that are concentrated in the five-page annotation section (p. 162-67), with only very brief bibliographical reference to the personages mentioned. The selection criteria are not elaborated. The work concludes with a chronology and a register of persons, of whom the 100 most prominent are given more detailed sketches and typographically distinguished from the others. A larger and much more detailed work is Hanno Müller’s Juden in Giessen (see RREA 18:38). [sh/ga]
An RREA Original Review by Sarah B. Sussman (Stanford University)
The Dictionnaire du judaïsme français depuis 1944 is a valuable resource for researchers working on contemporary France in the fields of history, Jewish studies, literature, and the social sciences. The dictionary includes 360 entries on topics related to Judaism as it is practiced and experienced in France and on French Jews as part of French society and culture. This reference work reflects the diversity of the postwar French society and French Jews, recognizing the pluralism of origins, traditions, and religious practices and beliefs. The entries demonstrate both the ways that “Jewish topics” have entered into the national dialogue and the specifically Jewish ways in which events and intellectual productions have been read.
This dictionary provides a useful guide to important institutions and people. On the back cover the editors describe their choice of articles as exploring the most important questions, moments, and figures of French Judaism, broadly including history, sociology, politics, economic conditions, religion, and intellectual and cultural life. They succeed in their goals; the articles reflect the ongoing influence of intellectual and cultural trends on French society, with a noticeable focus on how ideas, literature, the arts, and politics, both domestic and international, impact French Jewish life. Likewise, entries for specific events concentrate on their effects on French Judaism. French Jewry is brought together as a community by the presence of entries about national organizations, institutions, and people. There are many entries for key figures in French society, but the editors only identify as Jews those people who self-identify as Jews.
Examples of entries on institutions include the Consistoire central israélite de France, Hotel Lutétia, the Fonds social juif unifié [Jewish Federation of France], and the Centre Medem. The focus on intellectual life and cultural production is evident in entries on cinema and genocide, the media, Albert Memmi, and Sartre’s Reflexions sur la Question juive. The impact of World War II is keenly felt, with entries on various members of the Resistance and several articles addressing aspects of the Vichy government’s Statut des Juifs, of Vichy and the Shoah, and of the Eichmann trial. The influence of literature on Jewish life is also present, with articles on topics including the rediscovery of Proust, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Philip Roth, Céline, and Jewish poets. The impact of decolonization and the arrival of Jews from North Africa and the Middle East is an important part of the postwar Jewish experience, and many articles examine aspects of this process.
Two hundred authors wrote the 360 articles in this dictionary. An opening index lists them in alphabetical order with brief biographical notes and the entries that each contributed. The list reads like a “who’s who” of French Judaism. Most are known specialists on their topics, and most either are affiliated with a French academic institution or are well known and respected in the Jewish intellectual sphere; the contributors also include religious figures, as well as other key participants in French Jewish community life. These connections are important because of the contemporary focus of the dictionary. While some topics have previously received general attention by scholars and journalists, others are little known outside of the French Jewish community and its publications or have not yet been the subject of study. Articles written by close observers thus provide a valuable overview for historians and other scholars.
As is usual in French books, the table of contents is found in the final pages of the book. Consisting of an alphabetical list of articles, it serves as an entry point into the work, especially for expected subjects such as Derrida or Yiddish literature. However, some of the titles are unexpected or unconventional. For example, “Compagnons de route” (on non-Jewish supporters of French Judaism or of Israel) merits an entry, as does “Progrès (ambivalences),” an article on the intellectual debates around Jewish progress in France. Non-French speakers also must remember to look for the proper terms in French, for example, “Guerre de six jours” rather than “6 Day War” and “Biens spoliés” rather than looted or dispossessed goods. For these reasons, the inclusion of a thematic index would have been extremely helpful for users. Once one finds an article of interest, an internal system of links helps users to jump between articles for additional related information.
Fortunately, there is a general index of proper names, also located at the back of the book, that will be quite helpful to users. Most of the names in this index simply indicate the page numbers where they appear in other entries rather than having their own entries. Names that do have individual articles devoted to the person or institution are in bold type. Most of the people appear on multiple pages, usually in multiple articles. This index is a good way to chart the influence of certain figures (e.g., Raymond Aron, Charles de Gaulle, and Robert Paxton), both Jewish and non-Jewish, on French Judaism.
The articles themselves are rich and informative, but they are definitely aimed at scholars and those with some knowledge of the field rather than the general public. They are not introductions, but rather dense theoretical explorations of topics as they relate to French Judaism. Authors appear to have made an effort to incorporate different perspectives and to reflect the diversity of Jewish life in France. All articles are signed, and many, although not all, end with useful bibliographies for further reading. Occasionally, articles will have a separate mini-essay foregrounded in grey that serves as an introductory background to the entry’s subject, or a related piece that gives additional information relevant to the article. These supplementary items are not indexed separately, even though sometimes they are on distinct enough topics—such as a short biography of the medieval scholar Paul Fenton that appears next to the entry on his mentor, Georges Vajda—that indexing would have been useful.
The Dictionnaire du judaïsme français depuis 1944 is recommended as a source on recent and current Jewish intellectual, cultural, and political life in France. It is the first reference work to provide valuable summaries of many topics, events, issues, and intellectual trends of contemporary France from the Jewish perspective.
In her introduction to this dictionary of motifs of the Old Testament, Jutta Krispenz defines “motif” as a “small, independent and characteristic building block . . . whose content is transformed by its application in different contexts,” thereby giving interpretative access to the texts in which it appears, as well as to the theological significance and historical context of the individual biblical stories. It aims to enable us to understand biblical themes or motifs in literature, music, or art when these references no longer have meaning for us.
The dictionary consists primarily of 120 articles that present selected motifs from the Old Testament, e.g. miraculous nourishment, seductive woman, light versus darkness, divine punishment for human pride, God’s anger—characteristic phenomena or features of biblical stories that reappear in different contexts. Also included are entries for themes that show other aspects of the concept of motifs, typically their symbolic and metaphoric content, e.g., mountain, earthquake, law, war, plants, temple, forest. Unfortunately, while one finds some generally unfamiliar themes—donkey-rider, suspicious woman, endangered childhood—other, more expected terms are absent, for example, drought, fear, temptation, remorse, faithfulness. Name and subject indexes would have given readers better access to the articles. Nonetheless, this will be a useful reference work both for theologians and, thanks to its accessible language, lay readers. [mbe/sl]
This book is an attempt by the linguist Karl-Heinz Göttert to answer the question of what is happening to the German language in the world today. It considers whether the German language will be able to survive in the future, or if it will be pushed aside and then overtaken by English.
Göttert grounds his analysis not in the feverishly emotional expressions found in the public press on the topic, but rather in a reasoned way by looking at the facts and history intertwined in its current status. He maintains that German is not necessarily being threatened strictly from the outside, but that it is also changing under internal pressures as well, since Germany has for many years now been a land of immigration. Against this backdrop, Göttert counters the myth of the “mother tongue” by considering different aspects of the development of the German language in the past.
Stating that modern day German is not a gift from heaven that suddenly appeared in its present form, he sees modern German instead as the result of numerous political, cultural, and social changes over time. One of these changes was the political nation building of Germany in the 19th century that saw various regions attempting to come together through language standardization. Another was the more recent decline in use of the language after Germany lost two world wars in the 20th century. Göttert sees present-day concerns over the supposed imminent demise of German, which he dubs “cultural pessimism,” as arising from similar political and social upheavals. He names implicit anti-Americanism as an element of this stew, arising from resentment over the perceived easy acceptance of English words entering the German lexicon. He notes, however, that this movement has occurred in the opposite direction as well. In order to counter cultural pessimism over the changing use and status of German, Göttert posits that Germany needs to embrace a new type of multilingualism that neither demonizes nor exalts English, but that instead uses it pragmatically. He also underscores that the EU guarantees the right of current working languages to exist, and that the EU does not favor one language over another.
Göttert concludes his work with an emphasis on the need for a deeper and more objective consideration of the status of all languages, not only German, in a time of globalization. The book closes with a bibliography and with name and place indexes. [ks/kab]
Appearing now in its fourth edition, this handbook represents an uneasy union between a traditional descriptive grammar of German and a reference work. The informative introduction is followed by chapters on Morphology; Verbal classification; Conjugation; Nouns; Adjectives; Articles, pronouns, numerals; Adverbs; Particles; Sentence structure; Sentence classification and word order; Syntactic models; and Script and spelling. Chapters on phonetics or phonology are conspicuously absent. The book concludes with a bibliography and a well-organized general index. While the material has been much rearranged compared to the third edition, some omissions and typos remain, and a few new ones have been introduced.
In general, the handbook succeeds in presenting its material concisely and with clarity. It provides accessible definitions and etymologies of the foundational terms, such as case, number, subject etc., all the while managing to avoid much of the usual linguistic jargon. This should make it quite useful as a beginner’s introduction to German grammar. Professional linguists, on the other hand, will probably want to give this handbook a miss. [ks/as]
Vol. 4. Nachträge [Addenda]. 2014. ix, p. 1970-2699. ISBN 978-3-11-019649-8: EUR 239.00 [14-4]
Vol. 5. Sachregister [Subject Index]. Ed. Werner Wolski. 2015. xxxii, 660 p. ISBN 978-3-11-034095-2: EUR 269.00 [16-1]
The first three volumes of this bibliography appeared in 2006 and 2007 (see RREA 13:86). After a hiatus of several years, the bibliography has now been completed with the publication of the fourth volume, containing 9,556 citations of works published between 2007 and 2014, and a subject index, in a fifth volume, which has long been advocated for by this reviewer.
The editor, Herbert Ernst Wiegand, was for nearly 30 years professor of Germanic linguistics at the University of Heidelberg and founder of the serial Lexicographica. This Internationale Bibliographie covers four major areas: research into dictionary use; critical dictionary studies; historical dictionary studies; and systematic dictionary studies. While extensive, the bibliography does not claim to be a comprehensive work of reference: there is a definite emphasis on Germanic-language dictionaries, with lighter representation of lexicographical materials on languages from other language groups. The thorough index volume has been prepared with care by Werner Wolski, a former academic assistant of Wiegand. [sh/as]
An RREA Original Review by Sarah G. Wenzel (University of Chicago)
It is important to remember that Gaulish is a dead language, of which we have only partial record. As such, any attempt to define or describe it is subject to a certain amount of uncertainty. Gastal, history and geography professor, took up the study of language and devoted it to Gaulish. While in the first part of the book he discusses Celtic languages in Europe generally, the dictionary itself only covers Celtic words within the current boundaries of France. Gastal deliberately did not avail himself of Jean-Paul Savignac’s Dictionnaire français-gaulois (Paris: Éditions La Différence, 2004) or Xavier Delamarre’s Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise (1st ed. 2001; 2nd rev. and expanded ed. Paris: Éditions Errance, 2003), so as to follow his “intuitions” freely, although he cites both works at the end in his bibliography of recommended reading.
In some cases, he is willing to decipher Gaulish words through the lens of present-day spoken languages, including dialects and Celtic tongues, depending entirely on modern languages as guides to pronunciation. He also uses original translations, distinguishing those that he considers unambiguous from those that are only conjectural interpretations, which are marked with an asterisk.
The dictionary contains over 700 entries. Each one consists of a headword, designation of part of speech, and definition in modern French. Many indicate the modern French département where the word was found. Depending on the word, there may be references to an ancient Greek or Roman text, disputes among etymologists, references to other languages with a similar word, or references to scholars. One standard word is mesco, which in French is ivre [drunk]. After the definition and an association of mesco with the Orgenomesci tribe of Cantabria, Gastal compares the word with currently spoken Irish and Breton, completing the entry with a disquisition on the Indo-European radical, which, he says, appears identical to “to mix” in Greek and Latin. A more conjectural entry is Gastal’s abolos for érable [maple]. For this term, Gastal cites other terms for the tree, such as the Latin (acer-abulus) and Cisalpine Gaulish (opolos) and notes that the second face of the Celtiberian Botorrita tablet has abulos on it seven times, although in those cases, he says, the term clearly does not refer to a tree.
Following the dictionary are a French-Gaulish lexicon, an alphabetical list of French words of Gaulish origin, a classified list of those words, a chronology of the history of Gaul, brief biographies of the ancient authors cited, a short glossary, a bibliography, and a general index.
In contrast, Delamarre’s volume is a linguistic study that does not admit intuition, as he calls his 850 words those of which linguists are most certain (“les plus sûres”). Thus, even though it contains more entries than does the Gastal dictionary, Gastal includes words that Delamarre does not venture to define—for example, abolos (instead, for érable, Delamarre gives opolos). Delamarre’s source list of texts runs to several pages; he does not rely on any living languages. Savignac’s approach is different from both in that he presents the vocabulary from French into Gaulish instead of the reverse; however, like Delamarre he takes a linguistic approach, and his bibliography cites prominent linguists.
If a library owns the Delamarre Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise, there is no need to acquire Gastal’s Nos racines celtiques unless complete coverage of research into Gaulish is desired.
This bibliography lists in chronological order by year, (with sub-arrangement by author within each year) 791 French-Italian dual-language dictionaries published between 1583 and 2000. Fifty titles with unknown publication date are listed alphabetically by author as the last entries (no. 742-791). The bibliographical descriptions are based on on-site examination of physical copies in over 400 (chiefly Italian) libraries by no fewer than 38 contributors. The goal of this government-financed project was to produce a precise description of these dictionaries to serve as a basis for further lexicographical research. The entries for each title are very thorough. In addition to minute bibliographical description (including complete tables of contents), each entry has a section (often quite extensive) on the work’s “paratext” (introductions, cited reference works, other additional texts or contents) as well as a special section for general notes of all kinds, including a discussion of the vocabulary contained in each publication. Although the content of the entries is very extensive, the arrangement is sometimes unnecessarily detailed. All title pages are given diplomatic transcriptions, i.e., the original title page is transcribed as printed with regard to capitalization, line breaks, and type (regular, cursive, bold-face). This is appropriate for early printed works; it is not useful for the newer titles which make up the great bulk of this bibliography. The sections containing publication and format information are also presented in an unnecessarily elaborate and extremely confusing style. On the whole, however, the work contains much useful information on the history of dual-language dictionaries, especially with regard to paratextual and vocabulary information. [sh/jc]
An RREA Original Review by Sarah G. Wenzel (University of Chicago)
It is indeed a small dictionary at a featherweight 119 pages with blank numbered pages for notes at the end. The compiler intends it to be used for teaching. He has arranged the words in each category progressively from easiest to most difficult so that it can be used in a variety of settings. There are 13 thematic sections, from the human body to communications technologies, followed by an appendix covering colors, numbers, weights, shapes, and time. Each word, be it noun or verb, is accompanied by a photograph. Sometimes the same photograph is used for two different concepts, even on facing pages, which can cause confusion (the scarf used for seta [silk] and il foulard [scarf], for example). While some of the examples work quite well, such as the illustration of l’esterno della casa [the outside of the house], others are frankly confusing, such as the nearly identical images for lo scaffale [bookshelves] and la libreria [bookcase]. Attempts to demonstrate verbs in a static image fail.
The Dizionario visuale of the Dizionario di base della lingua italiana, compiled by Tullio De Mauro and Angela Cattaneo (Torino: Paravia, 1996), envisages children as its audience—yet, in the same number of pages, it covers more topics. It also avoids repetition of images and frequently dissects an image to illustrate the composite parts that make up the whole of an object, such as a pianoforte. Libraries that own the Dizionario visuale or that have a multi-language visual dictionary that they find adequate will probably want to eschew this Piccolo dizionario visuale.
An RREA Original Review by David D. Oberhelman (Oklahoma State University)
The Diccionario histórico de la traducción en Hispanoamérica offers a broad introduction to the art of translation as practiced in the Spanish-speaking countries of the New World. The editors, Francisco Lafarga of the University of Barcelona and Luis Pegenaute of the Pompeu Fabra University, both experts in translation studies, previously edited the Diccionario histórico de la traducción en España (Madrid: Editorial Gredos, 2009), which covered Spanish-language translators from the Iberian Peninsula. With the publication under review, they have extended their study of key translators and national practices to the Americas, concentrating primarily upon literary translation. Contributing scholars are affiliated with universities in Spain and the Americas, including the United States and Canada.
This historical dictionary consists of entries on important Spanish-language translators in Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean from the Spanish Conquest to the modern era; institutes, academies, and schools devoted to translation; and individual countries, including Puerto Rico. The entries on countries focus on the translators, presses, and subject matter translated in their national traditions, providing a general overview of contributions to the field. The volume begins with a master list of the countries covered and the translators of each nationality, with a separate listing for colonial Spain under Virreinato [Viceroyalty].
The entries themselves, which vary from a few paragraphs to several pages in length, are all accompanied by a detailed bibliography of secondary sources on the life and work of the translators or, for the national entries, sources on translation in the literary production of the different countries. The earliest translator featured is La Malinche, the indigenous woman who assisted Hernán Cortés and his conquering army as they advanced upon the Aztec capital; she is also one of the few interpreters, as opposed to literary translators, who are represented in the volume. Other historical figures include colonial-era translators and translators associated with the 19th-century independence movement from Spain. The majority of the entries are on literary translators, many of whom are or were poets, novelists, essayists, or writers in their own right who also translated works from other languages such as English and French. For example, there are lengthy articles on noted Latin American authors Jorge Luis Borges, Pablo Neruda, and Julio Cortázar. Examples of other translators discussed include members of the clergy, journalists, periodical contributors, and political writers. Some of the entries are devoted to frequently translated languages and works in those languages (e.g., Quechua and the play Ollantay).
The national entries delve into the translation practices of the various countries and give readers a larger context for understanding the work of the individual translations. The entry on Mexico spans translations from its independence from Spain in 1821 to the present, examining the writers, periodicals, and groups associated with translation through the Revolution and the social changes of the 20th century. The roles of universities, publishing houses, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations in producing translations illustrate the effects of national political and cultural climates on translators. The article on Cuba, for example, notes that following the rise of Castro in 1959, the institutionalization of government and all aspects of cultural and academic life had a chilling effect on translators, who had to conform to state censorship.
The volume concludes with an index of authors discussed in the book whose work has been translated into Spanish. To supplement the geographical listing given at the beginning, a topical index and an index of translators would have been helpful.
This dictionary documents a valuable but somewhat overlooked chapter in the history of letters by highlighting the work of translators who have made a wide body of work available in Spanish in Latin America. There are more comprehensive histories of translation in Hispanic America, such as Aspectos de la historia de la traducción en Hispanoamérica [Aspects of the History of Translation in Hispanic America] (Vigo: Academia del Hispanismo, 2012), also edited by Lafarga and Pegenaute, and La traducción literaria en América Latina [Literary Translation in Latin America], compiled by Gabriela Adamo (Buenos Aires: Fundación TyPA / Paidós, 2012). Still, Diccionario histórico de la traducción en Hispanoamérica is an ideal reference book for quick consultation, as it provides both scholars and students easy access to the names associated with Spanish translation studies in the Americas.
Shortly after the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, the new Soviet authorities issued a decree separating the Orthodox Church from the state. The decree abolished the Church’s monopoly on naming newborn children and paved the way for a proliferation of outlandish Soviet-style names such as Atheist, Atom, Engels, Mandata, Lenina/Ninel’ or Traktor. It seems that, instead of leafing through the Orthodox calendar, many parents now entrusted their offspring to the secular “saints” of the new regime. About 5% of all newborns at the beginning of the Soviet era were named according to the new conventions.
In the end, bearing such names rarely turned out well for their owners. They were easy targets for teasing or bullying at school. More ominously, children named after persons who had fallen into disgrace (such as Trotsky) ran a very real danger of themselves being considered enemies of the state. Many people therefore tried to change their names if they could, most commonly upon receipt of their first internal passport at the age of sixteen.
The present dictionary aims to provide a nearly comprehensive list of such Soviet-style names and to explain their etymological origins. It showcases various ways of name formation, such as abbreviations, for example Agit [from Agitation], and acronyms such as Rem for [Revolution, Electrification, Mechanization], Gertruda for Geroi Truda [Hero of Labor], Dazdraperma [Long Live May 1st], or Lorik [Lenin, October Revolution, and Communism]. The volume is a rich source of material for researching an aspect of the remarkable (if not 100% successful) Soviet effort to build a completely new society from scratch. [ks/as]
An RREA Original Review by Erika Banski (University of Alberta)
This work offers a comprehensive bibliography of historical and current encyclopedias and dictionaries published in the Serbian language. Its bibliographic entries, arranged in a chronological order, guide the user through the history of Serbian reference-work publishing from the beginning of the 19th century to the present. Included are titles originally published in Serbian, along with translations into Serbian. The coverage ranges from general to subject-specific works aimed at adult audiences as well as young adults and children. The geographic criterion for inclusion in the main body of the bibliography is that the work was produced in the territory of today’s Serbia, although the compiler made a few exceptions. The first such exception is Panteleimon Mihailovič’s Enkyklopedīa, ili, Kratkoe opisanīe svïiu nauka [Encyclopedia, or, Brief Description of all the Sciences] (Budim [Buda, now part of Budapest]: Pismeny kral, Vseučil, Pettanskog, 1818), which represents the oldest Serbian encyclopedia.
The main body of the bibliography contains 1,516 entries, numbered in sequence; the appendix brings this number to 1,675. This appendix covers encyclopedic and lexical works in Serbian that are important for the history and culture of the Serbian people but were issued outside of the current geographical boundaries of Serbia—in Podgorica, Cetinje, Zagreb, Sarajevo, Banja Luka, and other cities. One interesting example is Stanoje Stanojević’s multivolume Narodna enciklopedija srpsko-hrvatsko-slovenačka [National Serbian-Croatian-Slovenian Encyclopedia] (Zagreb: Bibliografski zavod, 1925-1929), which was published in two parallel editions, one in Cyrillic script and the other in Roman script. In the main bibliography, one can learn that a reprint edition of the Cyrillic version of this encyclopedia was recently issued in Serbia (Novi Sad: Budućnost; Sremski Karlovci: Izdavačka knjižarnica Zorana Stojanovića, 2000).
This bibliography features an author index and a title index, each keyed to the numbers of the bibliographic entries, not to page numbers.
Bibliografija srpskih enciklopedija i leksikona is a valuable reference source for researchers of Serbian cultural history and, more specifically, of the publishing history of Serbian reference works.
In recent years the Metzler-Verlag has published some half a dozen handbooks in literary studies, for example, the 2013 Handbuch Komparatistik: Theorien, Arbeitsfelder, Wissenspraxis (see IFB 13-2) and the 2011 Handbuch Drama: Theorie, Analyse, Geschichte (see RREA 18:51)
The Handbuch Kanon contains ca. 70 studies that provide a comprehensive compendium of the current state of knowledge on literary canon building and the evaluation of literary works. The essays are designed to provide an examination of the many dimensions of the topic. A theoretical section addresses contemporary theories of value and of literary judgment, as well as theories of canon formation. All aspects of the publishing and literature trades (including literary criticism and reviews) are examined in relation to their contribution to evaluation and canon formation. Additionally, specific aspects of the topic (editions, anthologies, histories of literature, educational curricula, theatrical schedules, literary museums, archives, libraries) are considered.
A large number of contributions examine the formation and evolution of literary canons in specific countries, as well as in special genres (science fiction, crime fiction, comics, children’s literature) and specific subject areas (art, musicology, film studies, religious studies). A final section discusses evaluation and judgment in practice.
The essays are highly informative and provide the reader with the opportunity to study the cultural and material aspects of canon formation of on all levels. The work serves a good first orientation to this topic and would be a useful work for literary scholar as well as for those interested in canon building in other fields. [tk/jc]
Depictions of libraries are very common in the works of literary authors the world over. They span the gamut from the well-known monastery library in Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose to libraries in the novels of Paul Auster and in graphic novels by Monika Schmitz-Eman. This book seeks to investigate the topic of libraries as “rooms of knowledge” in literature. Libraries as physical manifestations of human knowledge offer a fascinating way to explore world literature. Common portrayals include libraries as labyrinths, as places of refuge for lonely readers, or as sources of inspiration. Libraries in literary works serve as places in which tensions between librarians and readers can play out, as well as places in which the boundaries between fiction and reality can become blurred.
This volume grounds its depiction of libraries in the travel literature of the Enlightenment. Libraries in these works are places of satire, as in the works of Johann Karl Wezel and Ludwig Tieck, as well as places that offer inspiration and discovery, as in the works of E.T.A. Hoffmann. Hoffmann’s “blue library,” for example, evokes the themes of education and intellectual growth. Many famous writers such as Borges, Lem, and Eco likewise incorporate these themes. Horror and science fiction writers such as Andreas Grünes and H.P. Lovecraft use libraries in different ways to explore themes of fear and terror. Fantasy authors such as Michael Ende, Cornelia Funke, and Walter Moers use libraries in even stronger ways as embodiments of threatening antagonists themselves. Contemporary authors who continue to embed libraries in their works of literature include Barbara Mariacher, Christian Ronneburger, Sarah Neelsen, Jasper Fforde, Elisabeth Décultot, and Angela Steinsiek. This book offers the reader many more examples of how libraries have been depicted in an astonishing number of literary works.
Libraries lend themselves to larger literary and philosophical questions involving the organization of human knowledge. Simultaneously, they can be understood as representations of intertextuality as well. Viewed in these different ways, the complex connections between libraries and literature offer fertile ground for many literary writers to explore further ramifications of these various meanings in their work.
A final note on the physical appearance of this book is also in order. The volume is an absolute pleasure to behold due to its beautiful printing, binding, and physical presentation. One hopes that the publisher will continue to produce such gorgeous books, in contrast to many contemporary print-on-demand works. Its single deficiency is the lack of a name index. [tk/kab]
An RREA Original Review by Sarah G. Wenzel (University of Chicago)
The purpose of this dictionary, which has been subsidized by the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie and Africultures, is to promote the work of francophone comics artists of Africa. It omits caricaturists and illustrators, focusing solely on comics. As its geographic scope covers francophone countries, not francophone authors or comics, it includes authors and comics in languages other than French, such as Kinyarwanda from Rwanda. Additionally, as the dictionary covers artists from Africa, African artists whose comics have been published almost entirely in Europe are also included; an example is Marguerite Abouet, born in the Côte d’Ivoire, whose work, originally published in France, has now achieved global acclaim.
The wide range of subject categories includes individual artists, groups, comics, characters, series, and events. Entries are concise. Critically, each one clearly states the country in which the entity is or was active. When appropriate, URLs are given for further reference. The extensive illustrations are an important feature.
This work stands apart for its coverage—both breadth and depth—of the topic. Dictionnaire de la bande dessinée d’Afrique francophone would be useful for library collections with either a focus on francophone or African comics or as a reference tool for libraries with a broad interest in comics as a genre. As a collection development tool, it would be useful for libraries desiring to acquire more francophone or African comics.
In this book Adolpho Blendinger gives attention to “356 German-language authors and nine important poets from other language areas,” based on his conviction that only since 1815 has there been a true Austrian literature. He says he arrived at this conclusion during his years of secondary school teaching in in southern Germany, where he had encountered no differentiation between Austrian and German literature. The only exception he had found was Herbert Zemann’s Geschichte der Literatur in Österreich: von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart [History of Literature in Austria: From the Beginning to the Present] (Graz, 1994- ). Volume 1, covering literature of the Early and High Middle Ages, was reviewed in RREA 2:130.
Blendinger’s work is divided into three main areas: (1) Old Austria, 1815-1918; (2) German-language literature of Bohemia/Moravia (1890-1918) and Czechoslovakia (1918-1939), and (3) the Republic and exile literature (1918-1945). Regional themes are also given emphasis, for example: realism in Galicia and Bukovina; poetry of the Sudetenland; or Viennese authors (1918-1945). “Viennese” refers both to those born there and to those who flourished there, for example, Karl Kraus, Oskar Jellinek, and Elias Canetti.
Each entry contains a concise biography, often with a black-and-white photograph and life dates, followed by fairly detailed description of the author’s literary creativity. The information on better-known authors is accompanied by quotations from their work. Brief bibliographies of primary and secondary works are given (unfortunately Wikipedia entries often appear among those secondary sources). In contrast to the inclusiveness of the term “Viennese,” the selection of authors is biased toward those from pre-1918 Austria—i.e. the imperial monarchy that encompassed large parts of eastern Europe. For example, Paul Celan gets only brief mention, because he was born in Czernowitz (Bukovina) in 1920, which by then had been absorbed into Romania. He is included in the small group of authors born after 1918, for example, Ilse Aichinger and Erich Fried.
The general bibliography is quite brief; in contrast, the personal name index contains 625 entries. There is also a chronological table of Austrian authors and their works between 1815 and 1945 superimposed over a chronological table of German authors for the same period. The work closes with four colored historical maps that give the reader a good historic and geographical orientation.
While this book brings many otherwise forgotten writers back to life, it is up to the reader to judge the author’s significance and importance, because Blendinger provides no aesthetic guidelines and can seem uneven in his treatment of authors. For example, the Galician-Jewish writer Emil Franzos, who specialized in stories from the ghetto, has remained unknown on the international scene but gets more treatment than many of the great novelists like Robert Musil or Hermann Broch. In all fairness, it may not have been Blendinger’s intent to provide comprehensive treatment of all authors. In any case, this handbook is a treasure trove of information on the brisk literary creativity and the linguistic and ethnic diversity of the lands of the Dual Monarchy between 1815 and 1945. It can serve as a stimulus for further research. [gr/ga]
Vol. 1. Steiermark. 2008. 376 p. ISBN 978-3-205-77809-7: EUR 39.00 [12-4]
Vol. 2. Kärnten. 2011. 311 p. ISBN 978-3-205-78653-5: EUR 39.00 [12-4]
Vol. 3. Oberösterreich. 2014. 476 p. ISBN 978-3-205-79508-7: EUR 30.00 [14-3]
A bio-bibliographical dictionary of Austrian literature from 1938 to 1945, Literatur in Österreich 1938-1945, is likewise an important contribution to our knowledge of writers during this period. Many such biographical dictionaries concentrate on authors who either left Austria during these years or withdrew from writing. By contrast, in this publication, all the authors presented were either born in Austria or lived there, and all were members of the official literary association of Austria that was directly connected to the Third Reich. Volume one is somewhat sketchier than volume two, but the main part of both is made up of bibliographies, that vary in their length. Depending on the availability of information, individual entries provide biographical information, information about memberships in literary organizations, publication history, and information about pertinent archival repositories. In volume two an introductory essay that discusses the political system in Carinthia that supported these authors, both men and women.
The third volume of this carefully produced bio-bibliographical dictionary follows closely the format of volume two. An introductory essay discusses the political system that supported this literature, followed by short biographies of and bibliographies pertaining to 85 men and women writers. All the authors presented were either born in Austria or lived there, and were members of the official literary association of Austria that was directly connected to the Third Reich. Authors who lived in exile or refused to join the official literary association are omitted.
The handbook will conclude with a comprehensive dictionary of the literary-political institutions in Austria during this period. It is to be hoped that the remaining volumes will be completed soon. [sh/ldl]
[Ed. note: Most bio-bibliographical reference works on German-language literature during the “Third Reich” emphasize those writers who chose exile or in some cases “inner emigration,” that is, those who did not publish in Nazi Germany during the years 1933-1945. Less frequently covered are writers who lived and published in Nazi Germany. Two that have recently been reviewed in Reference Reviews Europe include Rolf Düsterberg’s Dichter für das “Dritte Reich”: biografische Studien zum Verhältnis von Literatur und Ideologie and Hans Sarkowicz and Alf Mentzer’s 2011 Schriftsteller im Nationalsozialismus: ein Lexikon (see RREA 17:82). Dichter appeared in two volumes (2009 and 2011) and covers 19 poets; Schriftsteller was first published in 2000 as Literatur in Nazi-Deutschland, with a revised and enlarged edition appearing in 2002 (see RREA 7:90 and 8:115 respectively), and the two editions together cover 155 writers. Many more details are given in the respective RREA reviews.]
Since she won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2004, interest in Elfriede Jelinek’s works has increased exponentially. In that same year Pia Janke published a catalogue raisonnée of her works—Werkverzeichnis Elfriede Jelinek (see RREA 13:107). Her 2013 Handbook provides for the first time a published overview of articles, interviews, essays, and monographs on Jelinek published since 2005. Members of the Elfriede Jelinek Forschungszentrum [Research Center], who have already produced notable scholarship on Jelinek, contributed many of the handbook’s articles on her life, works, and influence.
Organized by genre, themes, traditions, and reception, the handbook is useful for both the novice Jelinek scholar and for more advanced users. The first section of the handbook thematizes significant aspects of Jelinek’s biography, while the second section depicts epic and dramatic traditions vis-à-vis Jelinek’s intertextuality and myth deconstruction. Section three, the largest section of the handbook, includes articles about individual novels and plays, as well as overarching articles covering her poetry, radio plays, librettos, essays, and translations. Although some of Jelinek’s online essays are noted, the lack of an explicit reference to the more than 10,000 manuscript pages which have been published since 1996 is also worth noting. The fourth section discusses themes and subjects in Jelinek’s works, such as the Nazi past, capitalism, and relationships among genders. The fifth and final section provides an overview of the reception of her works by directors, the public, and media. A detailed description of the theatrical productions of Jelinek’s works is also included, as is a thorough overview of her international reception.
The references in the selective bibliography in the appendix are divided up by topic and media. It would have been helpful to have the selection criteria for inclusion in the bibliography noted. This small criticism notwithstanding, the handbook is up-to-date and necessary for Jelinek scholarship. Given its user-friendly organization and thoroughness, it is certain to become a standard work. [jt/bwv]
Vol. 1. Afrika. 2013. x, 424 p. ill. ISBN 978-3-941629-06-6: EUR 27.95 [13-4]
Just when one thought that everything about this well-known and beloved author has been published (see the review of 100 Jahre Verlagsarbeit für Karl May und sein Werk, 1913-2013 in RREA 19/20:28), comes this new reference work.
While the second-named author, Kosciuszko, has written several books on Karl May and compiled a reference book, Der große Karl May Figurenlexikon (see RREA 8:107), the lead author, Lieblang, seems to be starting his publishing career with this initial volume of a geographical lexicon designed to encompass four volumes. The “topographical encyclopedia” compares and contrasts May’s literary fantasy world (of Africa in this case) with historical reality, identifying and documenting the narrative and geographical sources for both. This process recapitulates to some extent the working procedures of the author, who knew the lands he wrote about only from the “literature,” since he was able to visit just a few of these places, and then at an advanced age and only after having written about them. The co-critics thus examine the sources available to May from his library and other contemporaneous sources under the motto: “May was no geographer, but a storyteller.”
The appendix and apparatus include alternative place names, geographical and historical elucidations, quotes with page references, and historical maps produced for the volume. Indexes to fictional May journeys, to May sources, to illustrations, and to the map supplements close out the work. The diligent reader can decipher and demystify the “gripping power of imagination and conviction” that Karl May created, but who among his readers really wants to do that? Further volumes will cover Asia/Oceania, America, and Europe. [sh/rdh]
This represents a new edition of a two-volume work in the same series that provided coverage of the Heiner Müller literature up to 1995. The present volume extends coverage up to 2011; volume 1 contains 11 categories of works, including editions, theater plays, prose, translations, reviews, letters, interviews and discussions, and productions about and by Heiner Müller. The two parts of volume 2 feature numerous articles and essays on Müller’s literary themes, lyric poetry, prose, and his theater and audio plays and libretti. The final chapter contains an index of titles and of persons.
The previous edition of this Heiner Müller bibliography was criticized, perhaps unjustly, as a poorly executed work (see RREO 94-3/4-453 and RREA 3:134), but this new edition in no way merits such hostile criticism. However, it is unfortunate that the publisher did not see fit to provide these three thick volumes with a better binding. [sh/cjm]
An RREA Original Review by Sarah G. Wenzel (University of Chicago)
Rather than providing an exhaustive inventory, this dictionary sets out to portray a history of the 20th-century French-language literary journal through long, signed articles on a selection of journals. It deliberately omits those journals that have been extensively written about, either in print or online. Many of the titles may be relatively unknown, as “ce sont les minores qui méritent en priorité l’attention des chercheurs” [it is the minor figures on which researchers focus first]. While the dictionary extends La Francophonie to Québec, Europe, and the francophone Mediterranean, it omits Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.
Among the French literary authors associated with the featured journals are essayist and poet Jean Royère, founder and editor-in-chief of La Phalange (Paris, July 1906-May 1914; new series December 1935-January 1939), and Henri Bosco, who during his years in Morocco established Aguedal (Rabat: Société des amis des lettres et des arts au Maroc; May 1936-1944, with interruptions). Francis Picabia founded the Dadaist periodical 391 (1917-1924) in Barcelona, publishing later issues, as he moved around, in New York, Zurich, and Paris. Some journals are relevant for social history as well as literature—for example, L’Égyptienne, the first feminist francophone Egyptian journal, which was founded in Cairo in 1925 and lasted for 15 years.
Most of the articles conclude with bibliographies. The second volume contains a personal name index and a list of authors, matching them with the journals for which they were responsible. (The editor of this dictionary was himself responsible for three titles.) Finally, there is a list of entries, which is much appreciated and often omitted from reference works of this sort.
For the journals included in the dictionary, this work is an invaluable resource. Despite the geographical limitations, it will be an asset, as well, to anyone who needs information about French literary publishing. It does not, however, intend to replace—nor can it replace—the numerous other inventories or surveys of the French press or of literary journals, nor overviews of literary publishing in the 20th century.
An RREA Original Review by Wendeline A. Hardenberg (Southern Connecticut State University)
The two-volume Dictionnaire littéraire de la nuit, edited by Alain Montandon (professor emeritus of general and comparative literature at Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand), is an impressive 1,625 pages long. It begins with an alphabetical list of entries, which immediately makes clear that they have been contributed by various scholars from French universities. Montandon’s preface follows, consisting of 10 pages of dense, richly cited ways of thinking about the concept of night through literature. He begins with Greek mythology; passes through numerous 19th-century poets; references playwrights, novelists, and critics from many eras all over the world; and, finally, explains the idea behind this particular compilation. He stresses that although it is a dictionary in the sense that the entries are arranged in alphabetical order, they are necessarily incomplete, as being exhaustive about such a subject is impossible. The authors of the approximately one hundred entries were asked to write true essays exploring their topics and were given the freedom to bring in any portion of their expertise they desired. As a result, although the primary focus is on literature, other artistic forms such as film, painting, music, and photography are addressed as well.
The entries themselves cover a wide range of night-related items, such as “Chauve-souris” [bats], “Éclipse,” “Mélancolie,” “Opéra” (with the 18th century and the 19th-20th centuries meriting separate treatment by different scholars), “Peur du noir” [fear of the dark], “Romantisme,” “Sommeil” [sleep], and “Vampires.” Some essays are less than 10 pages in length, while others cover more than 20 pages, with an average length of around 15 pages. They typically are in well-written academic prose.
Each entry includes its own brief bibliography. The end of the second volume features short biographies of all the authors, a general bibliography, and a lengthy index. The bibliographies include both primary and secondary sources, the majority in French but also featuring many titles in English, German, and Italian. While the final index is generous in covering names, the lack of subject cross-referencing among entries means that each essay stands, in a way, as a self-contained meditation, leaving it up to the reader to make thematic connections among them while consulting this work.
Dictionnaire littéraire de la nuit is recommended for libraries serving large French departments with graduate students and faculty actively pursuing extensive literary research.
An RREA Original Review by Thomas M. Izbicki (Rutgers University)
The works of Dante have commended serious interest since they first appeared. The Divina commedia [Divine Comedy] was the subject of learned commentary soon after it began to circulate. Commentary on the Commedia was first produced in manuscript form but migrated into print soon after that medium became available in Italy. By 1865 individual cantos of the Commedia were receiving detailed expositions at article and even book length (lectura Dantis).
This bibliographic set offers thorough research into these expositions of Dante’s masterpiece. The sheer volume of scholarship, as well as the scattering of manuscripts and editions across the world, has complicated the labors of these scholars. In addition, the editing of Dante’s works for print publication has added another challenge. One can only marvel at the persistence of the collaborators on this census of Dante scholarship. The manuscript data in the first volume derive from the Edizione nazionale delle Opere di Dante [National Edition of the Works of Dante] project sponsored by the Italian government. Necessarily, there was more involved in the census project than merely listing handwritten items. Thought had to be given to the origin, date, nature, and survival of each work examined. Moreover, copies were sought in even the smallest libraries. Likewise, preexisting scholarship was examined for references to early works and their surviving copies.
The individual entries are arranged in alphabetical order by author or commonly known title of an anonymous commentary. Each commentary is provided with an introduction explaining the work. The descriptions of manuscripts include their shelf marks, physical format, scribal hands, illustrations, and textual content focused on Dante. Among other notes, some mention is made of works of different authors also contained in the handwritten books. Bibliographical references are provided in chronological order. Each entry carries the name of the scholar who wrote the description.
The content of volume one, I commenti di tradizione manoscritta (fino al 1480) [Commentaries in the Manuscript Tradition up to 1480] (edited by Enrico Malato and Andrea Mazzuchi and issued in two parts in 2011), provides evidence that some commentaries were more widely diffused than others. The 14th-century commentary on the Commedia by Iacomo della Lana is a good example, as manuscripts containing his discussions of the three parts of the Commedia can be found from Rome to Cambridge. In addition, copies containing the discussion of only one portion or two survive. Incomplete copies or those mixed with another important work, the Ottimo commento [Best Commentary], are recorded, as are known manuscripts now lost or no longer identifiable. Discussions of the editions and the critical studies are also provided in depth by Mirko Volpi. The first part of volume one concludes with 48 photographic plates illustrating the manuscript evidence and the beginning of a descriptive inventory of the manuscripts themselves. It is arranged alphabetically by city, including copies found as far apart as Chicago and Cape Town. The second part contains the rest of the manuscript listings, and it concludes with detailed indexes.
The second volume, I commenti di tradizione a stampa (dal 1477 al 2000) e altri di tradizione manoscritta posteriori al 1480 [Commentaries in the Printed Tradition from 1477 to 2000 and Others in the Manuscript Tradition after 1480] (edited by Enrico Malato and Andrea Mazzuchi and published in 2014) covers the printed commentaries to 2000, as well as some manuscript expositions written after 1476. This volume is divided chronologically: 1477-1700, a brief section; 1701-1900, which is longer; and 1901-2000, by far the longest section. Each entry takes the form of a brief essay with bibliography. For example, the entry for the manuscript commentary of Lodovico Castelvetro (1505-1571) includes a description of the surviving codex. Manuscript descriptions are also provided for the 17th-century commentary on the Inferno by Alfonso Gioia. Each section includes major cultural figures who worked on Dante, such as the humanist Cristoforo Landino (1424-1504, in the first section). The second and third sections open out to include non-Italian writers, among them Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (whose translation of the Commedia first appeared in 1867), John Ruskin (whose collection Comments of John Ruskin on the Divina commedia was published posthumously in 1903), and noted 20th-century scholars Charles Southward Singleton and Robert Hollander. A group of photographic plates illustrates the title pages and formatting of printed commentaries. An alphabetical index is provided.
The third volume, Le “lecturae Dantis” e le edizioni delle opere di Dante dal 1472 al 2000 [Readings of Dante and Editions of the Works of Dante, 1472-2000] (edited by Ciro Perna and Teresa Nocita and published in 2012), falls into two principal parts: critical works and editions. The first, which lists scholarly treatment of individual cantos, follows the order of the Commedia: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, with cantos listed in numerical order from Inferno 1 to Paradiso 33. Within the list for each canto, there are chronological subdivisions by commentary publication date, from 1865 to 2000. The section on editions arranges printed versions chronologically. Collected works, entire or selected, appeared beginning in the 18th century, whereas individual texts were printed as early as the late 15th century. Editions of Dante’s individual works are arranged in the following order: Vita Nuova [The New Life], Rime [Poems], Convivio [The Banquet], De vulgari eloquentia [On Vernacular Eloquence], Monarchia [Monarchy], Epistole [Letters], Ecloghe [Eclogues or Pastoral Poems], Questio de aqua et terra [Question Concerning Water and Land], and Divina commedia. This section includes another set of photographic plates. The volume closes with indexes covering both sections; the most interesting index lists the earliest printers who produced editions of Dante.
The entire set is impressive. Few authors have been as well served. Censimento dei commenti danteschi is recommended for libraries supporting advanced students and faculty in Italian, comparative literature, and medieval and Renaissance studies.
1. Von den Anfängen bis 1945 = Dalle origini al 1945 [From Its Origins to 1945] 2014. 198 p. ISBN 978-88-6046-066-0: EUR 19.00
Linguistic publications on the Ladin language, one of the Alpine Romanic languages, are part of the larger Rätoromanische Bibliographie, 1729-2010 = Bibliografia retoromanza, 1729-2010 [Raeto-Romance Bibliography, 1729-2010] (see an original review in RREA 17:7). Until now, however, there has not been a separate comprehensive index to all texts written in Ladin. The “Ladin Department of the Free University of Bozen” (founded 1997) has set about to meet this desideratum.
The Bibliografia ladina is a byproduct of the 2014 2nd edition of the Geschichte der ladinischen Literatur, which has appeared in three volumes and covers the period 1880 to the present, but so far only for the regions of Gröden, Gadertal, Fassa, Buchenstein, and Ampezzo. The bibliography strives for comprehensiveness as a retrospective Ladin national bibliography. This task is made more difficult because many pre-1945 texts are only partly in Ladin, sometimes containing just a few Ladin words. The post-1945 period has been relatively easier to document, due to the increasing number of relevant publications, but the future will bring challenges of identifying, cataloging, and documenting audio-visual media and non-literary publications.
A total of 1,072 titles have been compiled and ordered according to author and by date of publication under each author. Many entries, particularly periodicals and collections, are accompanied by abbreviations, making it necessary to leaf often between the bibliography and the abbreviation index. The bibliography’s arrangement is generous, with an alphabetical index; text index by date and idiom; an index of writings probably [sic] in Ladin; a text index for works only in manuscript; and a subject guide. A link to the online dictionary Vocabular dl Ladin Leterar [http://vll.ladintal.it] is also provided.
The Bibliografi ladina is a significant contribution to the entire Rätoromanische Bibliographie and to the efforts to keep these languages from dying out. The editors have not announced dates for future volumes, but let us hope that they appear in the near future. [sh/ga]
Written by a prominent German scholar of Russian literature, this collection of biographical essays explores the work of 20 writers of the 19th and 20th centuries through the prism of their lives. The table of contents reads like a who’s who of Russian belles-lettres: Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Herzen, Tiutchev, Turgenev, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Gorki, Bunin, Akhmatova, Pasternak, Bitov, Tsvetaeva, Nabokov, Solzhenitsyn, Petrushevskaya, Brodsky, and Sorokin. The lives of these authors, while seldom uneventful, were often downright tragic. This was largely a consequence of the privileged position of the writer in Russian culture, which sets him or her up for an inevitable confrontation with the power of the state.
This general-interest publication is a useful companion for the readers looking to deepen and enrich their understanding of Russian literature. [ks/as]
Die Geschichte der polnischen Literatur des 20. Jahrhunderts: Dokumentarfilm [The History of Polish Literature in the 20th Century: A Documentary Film]. Czesław Miłosz. Ewa Pytka-Chylarecka, Director. Original title: Historia literatury polskiej XX wieku. Warsaw: Telewizja Polska. 2013. 1 DVD-Video (58 Min.), 12 cm.
While the literary works by Nobel Prize winning author Czesław Miłosz are well known in Germany, his History of Polish Literature is not. The only other recent history of Polish literature, in German, is Dietger Langer’s Polnische Literaturgeschichte: ein Abriss [Polish Literary History: An Outline] (München, 2010).
Karl Dedecius himself published in seven volumes his Panorama der polnischen Literatur des 20. Jahrhunderts [Panorama of Polish Literature of the 20th Century] (Zürich, 1996-2000). A review of Błażej Mierczak’s annotated bibliography Dziela Karla Dedeciusa = Werke von Karl Dedecius [The Works of Karl Dedecius] (Wrocław: ATUT, 2009) appears in RREA 15/16:117.
The Geschichte der polnischen Literatur is a reprint of the 1981 German translation of Miłosz’s The History of Polish Literature (New York, 1969). While the text has not been updated, nor have discrepancies been reconciled, Miłosz’s history has been greatly enriched by Karl Dedecius’ introduction. The name index to Polish personages has been thoroughly revised, but the bibliography of Miłosz’s works has been eliminated. The book divides Polish literary history into 11 eras or time periods, the last being World War II, and the new Poland thereafter. There is also an additional section on Polish verse and a survey of Polish literature in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as editorial notes on the new edition and the expanded name index.
A welcome supplement to the book is the ca. one-hour DVD. The interwar and postwar periods are especially of interest to Miłosz, as he knew personally a great many of the authors and their work. Produced by Polish Television, the DVD features an extended lecture by him, as well as readings by several renowned Polish theater actors. [ks/ga]
One learns in the introduction to this volume that it is dedicated to the Third International Congress of Bulgarian Studies in 2013 (the first and second congresses took place in 1971 and 1986, respectively). Five broad sections follow: (1) Bulgaria and its relationships with Europe; (2) Interrelations in politics and history; (3) Observations on literature and language; (4) Bulgarian studies centers in German universities; (5) Bibliographies.
Individual essays within the sections tackle a variety of topics, such as the role of Bulgarians in building the monastery on Mount Athos, the cultural and scholarly links between Bulgaria and Italy, and modern Bulgarian agriculture. The last section contains two voluminous bibliographies, one on the Glagolitic script (the original Slavic script created by St. Cyril), the other on the publications of Bulgarian materials in Germany between 1990 and 2012. This book provides a lively, informative look at the state of modern Bulgarian studies. [ks/as]
Also available online as an HTML file and for download as a PDF file: http://www.mcu.es/promoArte/Novedades/DiccionarioFotografosEsp.html
An RREA Original Review by Kristen Totleben (University of Rochester)
This illustrated dictionary provides the first comprehensive reference source on 19th- to 21st-century Spanish photographers and photographs of Spain. It covers the full spectrum of photography, from its beginning, by Spaniards and (although not implied by the title) by notable photographers from elsewhere who took photographs of Spain, particularly during the 19th century. Published through collaboration between La Fábrica and Acción Cultural Española, Spain’s public agency for fostering and promoting Spanish culture, under the auspices of the Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte [Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports], one purpose of this work is to showcase and pay tribute to the country’s cultural heritage.
It was compiled under the direction of La Fábrica’s artistic director of exhibits and festivals, Oliva María Rubio (who has written or edited several articles, books, and other works about art and artists) and the coordination of Doménico Chiappe, an editor for La Fábrica. They were assisted by a group of professionals—photographers, curators, researchers, historians, and others—who culled recommendations from other artists and art scholars throughout Spain.
The dictionary includes over 500 photographers, as individuals, partners, or groups. The selection of 20th-century photography encompasses a range of genres, techniques, media, and decades, depicting historical moments such as the Civil War and movements such as fictional photography and documentalism. Young and noteworthy 21st-century photographers who are expected to gain relevance in the future are included, as well.
Each entry consists of two to five paragraphs about the artist (depending on the level of detail), at least one sample photograph, and, if available, a website URL. The biographical statement weaves together information about the photographer’s life, professional work, and accomplishments. A list of selected works includes representative published collections and written publications about the photographer. To complement information about a photographer’s œuvre, a few entries also quote written descriptions, poems, and other short pieces to assist in capturing its essence. For example, in the entry for photojournalist Martín Santos Yubero, there is text from an essay by Publio López Mondéjar, the photographer, journalist, and researcher who curated much of Santos Yubero’s work.
Following the main dictionary is a supplementary section on several artists who, while not primarily known as photographers, use photography as one of their media. One such example is Mabi Revuelta, whose oeuvre consists of plastic arts, video, and performance as well as photography. These entries include brief biographies and lists of selected publications.
Every dictionary entry identifies its author by initials. A list of these contributors, with their names and initials, is provided at the end of the book; for those who are not experts on Spanish photography, it would be very helpful to include further information about them. Also towards the end of the volume are a name index, which lists both the photographers themselves and other people referred to in the body of the dictionary, and a bibliography of books by and about the photographers.
In addition to being sold in print, this resource is freely available online in both Spanish and English, which increases its accessibility and enables readers to enlarge the view of images and text. The resolution choices in PDF format (50MG and 120MG) are adequate, but the pages appear as pairs of facing pages, which at times can be awkward for viewing and reading. Depending on readers’ needs, therefore, they may prefer the print, the online, or the downloaded version.
An English-language translation is also available in print (Madrid, 2013) and online: The A-Z of Spanish Photographers: From the XIX to the XXI Century: http://www.accioncultural.es/media/Default%20Files/activ/2014/multimedia/Diccionario%20Digital%20ENG_3.pdf
This dictionary would be helpful as an introduction to Spanish photography—for quick reference to help identify individual photographers, for a glimpse of the history of photography in Spain, and for citations to further resources for research. From the rigorous oversight, the caliber of the people brought together to create this collaborative work, and the appeal of the images in it, it is clear that the content has been thoughtfully chosen, taking into consideration a number of perspectives. Diccionario de fotógrafos españoles should prove useful for collections in Spanish cultural studies, photography, art, and history. It is suitable for faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, independent scholars, and interested general readers alike.
An RREA Original Review by Rebecca Price (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
Dating from the 13th century at least, Paris has long inspired a tradition of historical dictionaries highlighting the character, stories, and idiosyncrasies of its streets and neighborhoods. Among the best recognized of these are 19th-century descriptions such as Dictionnaire administratif et historique des rues de Paris et de ses monuments by the Lazare brothers, Félix and Louis (Paris: F. Lazare, 1844), followed by Charles Lefeuve’s five- volume work L’histoire de Paris, rue par rue, maison par maison (Paris, 1858-1867; 5th ed. Paris: C. Reinwald; Leipzig: A. Twietmeyer, 1875). The mid-20th century heralded the publication of Jacques Hillairet’s Dictionnaire historique des rues de Paris (Paris: Éditions de minuit, 1963).
The publication reviewed here, Dictionnaire historique, architectural et culturel des Champs-Élysées, has been compiled under the oversight of Parisian architect Patrick Mazery, working with Pascal Payen-Appenzeller and Brice Payen. Payen-Appenzeller is a poet, filmmaker, and founder of two journals on the heritage of Paris, as well as co-writer with Hillairet on the 1972-1997 supplement to the Dictionnaire historique des rues de Paris; Brice Payen trained at the University of Paris-Sorbonne as a historian and is currently an editor of reference works on French heritage for Flohic éditions.
This dictionary represents a new level of detail and focus, with its 640 pages devoted to the history of a single boulevard, arguably the most famous and historically significant street of Paris. It is the first volume in a proposed series, Le Dico des rues de Paris, whose purpose is to reveal the hidden histories and memories of place and thereby establish a link with current interpretations and readings of Parisian environs. In the preface Jean Favier writes, “Parce qu’une ville vit, elle change” [because a city lives, it changes]; that change over time, exposing the successive lives of the boulevard, is made evident throughout the text. The chronological development of the Champs-Elysées from the Place de la Concorde westward to the Place de l’Étoile indeed provides the organization of the dictionary.
The book begins with a focus on the Place de la Concorde, offering a history of the plaza followed by in-depth historical and architectural descriptions of the prestigious addresses facing it. The next sections delve into the history of the Champs-Élysées proper, followed by extensive descriptions of the 10 gardens and the 65 addresses lining the boulevard, including even the fictional address No. 202, the subject of a late 19th-century novel by Portuguese author José Maria Eça de Queiroz. Each entry consists of an illustrated history of the establishment, construction, and subsequent renovation or reconstruction of the property, as well as discussion of notable relevant persons, families, societies, and companies. Most entries are two to four pages in length, with a few extending up to 10 pages when warranted by a building’s illustrious history. (The entry for No. 101 at the corner of Avenue George V is such an example, tracing its development from an outdoor gathering space known as Chateau des Fleurs, upon which was built the luxury Hotel d’Albe, which itself has undergone a 21st-century transformation into an opulent shopping space by the company Louis Vuitton.) An interesting section on infrastructural features such as underground parking, the construction of the Métro, paving, lighting, and street furniture brings added dimension to the reader’s understanding of the street’s urban functions. The dictionary completes its tour with a survey of the history of the Place de l’Étoile, as well as descriptions of the addresses circling the Arc de Triomphe.
Historical quotes and anecdotes pepper the text, adding fascinating glimpses of the ever-changing life of the Champs-Élysées. The book is replete with thousands of illustrations, including historical and contemporary photographs, paintings, portraits, sketches, and watercolors depicting street views, façades, interiors, historical figures, and events.
A select, though extensive, bibliography with sources from the 18th century to the present provides a rich trove of titles. While sources are occasionally cited within the text, the lack of footnotes or endnotes precludes the ability to trace the precise origin of information. For a resource that offers so much historical material and potential documentation, this omission is significant. The two extensive indexes, for names and for places, are extremely useful. Spring 2015 has brought the announcement of the publication of an English translation of the dictionary, The Champs Elysées: The Story of the World’s Most Beautiful Avenue (Montreuil: Gourcuff Gradenigo, 2015).
The Dictionnaire historique, architectural et culturel des Champs-Élysées is a unique, prodigious, and monumental work that is recommended for academic and museum libraries serving scholars of Parisian and French history, art history, cultural studies, European studies, and general history.
Vols. 1-3. Barcelona. 2014. 7200 p. ill. ISBN 9788415072737 (vol. 1), ISBN 9788415072744 (vol. 2), ISBN 9788415072751 (vol. 3): EUR 240.00
An RREA Original Review by David D. Oberhelman (Oklahoma State University)
The three volumes of the Enciclopedia del románico en Cataluña published to date form part of the larger ongoing publication project, the now 45-volume Enciclopedia del románico (Aguilar de Campoo: Fundación Santa María la Real del Patrimonio Histórico (SMLR) [The Royal Saint Mary Foundation for Cultural Heritage], 2002- ), which was developed by the Fundación SMLR, an organization dedicated to the study and preservation of Spain’s artistic and architectural treasures, to catalog examples of Romanesque architecture across Spain. Together with the foundation’s online research portal Románico digital (http://www.romanicodigital.com/), the full encyclopedia series comprises an invaluable resource for scholars and students of medieval Spanish history, religion, and architecture. The set under review here, which was published in partnership with the Museo Nacional de Arte de Cataluña (MNAC) [National Museum of Art of Catalonia] and prepared under the direction of series editor José María Pérez González, gives an in-depth survey of the churches, monasteries, and other edifices from 1000 AD to the rise of the Gothic style in the 1300s in Barcelona and the Catalonian region.
The first volume begins with a series of prefatory material and introductory essays. The set editors, Jordi Camps i Sòria and Manuel Antonio Castiñeiras González, provide an overview of the encyclopedia’s structure and layout, followed by detailed essays on Romanesque visual art, sculpture, and architecture as well as a historical discussion of the Catalonian landscape during that period. The volumes then proceed through an alphabetical listing of towns and other prominent geographical areas in the region, with an extensive section devoted to Barcelona, then and now its largest city. Within each of the geographical areas are entries for churches, monasteries, castles, and other important structures. Each entry, written by one of the many expert contributors to the work, describes the design of the building, its construction, its role in medieval Catalonian history, and its current state (many are well preserved, but others are in a state of disrepair if not complete ruin). High-quality color photographs accompany each entry, and at the end of the third volume is a map of Catalonia with marks for all the communities as well as the architectural features covered. The encyclopedia, which is printed on heavy, high-gloss paper, is thus a highly visually pleasing resource.
This set on Catalonia, combined with titles in the Enciclopedia del románico series on other parts of Spain, constitutes a major contribution to the study of the architectural traditions of the Iberian Peninsula in the Middle Ages. There are other research sources such as the Catalan-language Catalunya romànica (Barcelona: Fundació Enciclopèdia Catalunya, 1984- ), but this modern encyclopedia combines the best of contemporary scholarship on the Romanesque style with a concise yet incisive presentation that will appeal to both experienced researchers and novice art history students. Enciclopedia del románico en Cataluña would be an excellent addition to any academic library with a substantial collection in European architectural history or Iberian civilization.
This edited volume of 12 essays grew out of a 2010 conference held at the Humboldt University’s Grimm Zentrum. It takes a decidedly historical approach to understanding the impact of photography and images on Germany’s long 20th century. Some of the book’s chapters look at institutions and how they used photographs of German colonies to help secure overseas possessions for Imperial Germany. However, as one of the book’s essays shows, images could be effective instruments for advancing pacifist ends as well—perhaps most memorably in Ernst Friedrich’s 1924 photo series depicting wounded and mutilated bodies in the wake of World War I. Three essays cover the use of photographs in promoting public images of particular governments, in this case those of Nazi Germany, the Bonn Federal Republic, and the German Democratic Republic. Other essays explore differences between images made for private versus public consumption and how images shape and reshape the memory of particular historical events and episodes across time and place. Collectively, the essays demonstrate not only the power of the image across Germany’s 20th century but also the rich interpretive potential images hold for contemporary scholars. [wub/bf]
Manfred Heiting‘s 2012 book Autopsie: deutschsprachige Fotobücher 1918 bis 1945 (see RREA 19/20:90) includes an essay on the importance of the yearbook Das deutsche Lichtbild, published by the Robert & Bruno Schultz Verlag from 1927 to 1938. Each issue generally included a yearly retrospective with full-page black-and-white photos; a section of “Literary Contributions;” and an extensive section with a list of authors and another naming photographers, with technical details concerning their photos. An appendix included information about advertisers and their products. Roland Jaeger’s publication indexes the 11 volumes of the journal in three categories—photographers, authors, and advertisers—in tabular form. They are preceded by a detailed table of contents for all the volumes. It would have been desirable to have some information about the significance of the journal here, as well, instead of having to turn to Heiting’s Autopsie volume to learn more about it.
It is surprising that few libraries hold his work, given the number of them that hold varying years of the journal Das deutsche Lichtbild. One hopes that they will acquire this useful index publication and that it will provide an impetus to focus anew on the journal. [sh/rlk]
ISBN 978-3-86930-433-5 (vol. 2): EUR 95.00 [15-2]
Although the term is found in few dictionaries, photobooks belong to the daily bread and butter of the book trade; an indication of this is that since 2003 the German Book Trade Association has awarded an annual German Photobook Prize. Thomas Wiegand in his Deutschland im Fotobuch (Göttingen, 2009) defines the term as “a self-contained work in which printed photographs play a decisive role. Neither a collection of art or of beautiful pictures, this is a work in which photography stands in the center” (p. 9). Photobooks have been produced since the beginning of the 20th century, but scholarly interest in this genre is relatively new. One of the pioneering studies is Martin Parr and Gerry Badger’s three-volume The Photobook (London, 2004), which spurred an interest in collecting and exerted an influence on auction and antiquarian prices, not to mention an increase in the number of extensive studies of this form.
Autopsie, in two weighty volumes, is edited by photograph collector Manfred Heiting and photography historian Roland Jaeger. Long employed by the Polaroid Corporation as a skilled compositor and later director of design, Heiting has written only the introductory essay to each volume. On the other hand, Roland Jaeger, who has published extensively in this subject and is a contributor to the journal Aus dem Antiquariat, has written half of all the articles. Eleven other authors (listed in a “who’s-who” section, p. 512-13) have written the other half of the 70 articles in both volumes.
The first four essays deal with general subjects, namely the development of printing techniques, advertising, advice literature for photographers, and an attempt to define the concept of “photobook.” Most of the other essays are about specific publishers or pioneering photographers. The essays close with bibliographical and bibliological data on the individual titles, for example series and their volumes, and images of the books’ covers front and rear. Volume 1 concludes with an index of all persons mentioned in the essays, as well as publishers, businesses, and other corporate bodies. Series are indicated in italics. The index does not give the contents of individual photobooks. For such information one would have to consult specific works, such as the catalog to the 2011-12 exhibition in Hamburg Eyes on Paris: Paris im Fotobuch; 1890 bis heute (München, 2011) or the Index zum fotografischen Jahrbuch “Das deutsche Lichtbild” 1927-1938 (see RREA 19/20:89). A database to accompany Autopsie (www.fotobuch-Autopsie.de) is in the planning stages, but progress has been quite slow.
Volume 2 features biographies of important photographers such as Albert Renger-Patzsch and Paul Wolff and information about publishers and publications. Forty essays by 12 contributors contain some 2,000 illustrations that show these photobooks, often for the first time, in their original layout and in all editions. As in volume 1, Roland Jaeger is the author of about half of the articles. The essays cover a range of topics, including the special features of the genre of photography, leading journal series and publishers, new art forms, the social and especially the popular cultural impact, and the use of photography in sports and propaganda (as well as sports as propaganda).
The 10-page index follows the same format as the index in volume 1, also with the exclusion of and index of contents of the books included. The lack of a subject index deprives the researcher of many study these books by their audiences, such as those in service to the National Socialist regime. Nonetheless, the information contained in the articles is substantial.
Given the plethora of photobooks published in recent decades, the study of the period 1918-1945 is particularly important as a document of the great changes in publishing and reading that occurred in those decades. Together the two volumes represent an immense treasure of solid information not only for the study of publishing and book history, but also for the study of photographs in and of themselves.
Autopsie is not only of great value to individual collectors of photographs and photobooks, but its reference character makes it indispensable for all large public and academic libraries.[sh/ga]
Part 1. A-F. Klagenfurt: Kleinmayr, 2013 [appeared 2012]. 422 p. ISBN 978-3-11-028460-7 [14-1]
Part 2. G-J. Klagenfurt: Kleinmayr, 2014 [appeared 2013]. 421 p. ISBN 978-3-11-028755-4 [14-1]
Part 3. K-L. Bern: Francke, 2015 [appeared 2014]. 413 p. ISBN 978-3-11-031137-2 [14-4]
Examples of multi-volume reference works taking decades to complete are seldom found in the Anglo-American countries, are found occasionally in France, and are an aggravating specialty of German publishers. Just one example (and by no means the only) is the second edition of the Lexikon für das gesamte Buchwesen (LGB2) [Dictionary of the Entire Publishing System] begun in 1985 and still not complete. Another snail’s-pace reference work is by the well-known lexicographer Wilhelm Kosch (1879-1960), who in 1953 began the Deutsches Theater-Lexikon that was later acquired by K.G. Saur and finally completed in 2011 with the last fascicle of volume 7 (see RREA 12:136 for a review of volume 5). And in 2012, almost six decades after the main work was begun, the first of four planned supplements appeared.
Most of the entries are brief. Longer articles provide dates of performances, but only the very longest articles offer detailed information about biographical data, works for the stage, libretti and musical settings, literature about the person and his or her works, and the like. The publicity statements on the dust jacket indicate that the personages covered include dramatists, composers, theater owners, directors, actors, singers, stage-designers and costume-designers, as well as numerous composers. [sh/ga]
At the time of the appearance of Part 3, reviewers were pleased that Ingrid Bigler-Marschall could produce one substantial supplement per year and were anticipating that this four-volume project would be brought to a smooth and orderly conclusion by the end of 2015. However, the producers underestimated the number of entries beginning with the letter S, and the project has been increased to six supplemental parts in all. Part 4 will carry the imprint date of 2016 and cover only entries from M-Pa.
One would assume that since the articles in the As were published the longest ago, in the 1950s, the supplement would show more revised and/or updated articles in the first letters of the alphabet, but this is not the case; of the 67 names in the A-Ak section of the alphabet, only 15 (22%) have been revised, while in in the Ju/Jü section, 38 of 79 (48%) and in the Lu-Ly section, 34 of 132 (26%) have been revised. In part 3 one finds a refreshingly large number of new entries, mainly for people making their stage debut after 1900. Bibliographies, available for the longer entries, are good and helpfully divided into works of the person and secondary literature on the person in general and on individual works. It would be nice to see in the final supplementary volume a brief history of the enterprise of the Deutsches Theater-Lexikon; the encyclopedia has earned it, and not only because of its lengthy publication timetable. [sh/rb]
An RREA Original Review by Anthony J. Oddo (Southern Connecticut State University)
In the introductory pages of this bibliography, Grazia Distaso states that its purpose is to provide a useful tool to encourage further research into the study of the theater in southern Italy in the modern age. Her definition of the modern age is not indicated, although it appears from the entries that it is treated as beginning in the 17th century. The geographical scope chosen reflects the distinctive historical experiences of the Mezzogiorno [the South], including the non-Italian, primarily Spanish, rule of the Kingdom of Naples until 1806 and of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (1815-1860), together with deeply rooted social and cultural structures that persisted in the region through the centuries.
The book’s title provides the reader with the thematic scope of the areas discussed, each of which is covered in a distinct division by an individual compiler: myth by Rosanna Marzano, history by Emilia Iacovelli, and religion by Monia De Bernardis. Each compiler has her own area of research expertise and provides her own individual introduction to her section. The separate introductions do, however, follow a common format of providing the reader with a very general historical background, the selection criteria, areas of major productivity, principal publishers, and common themes.
Perhaps reflecting the relative abundance of titles that fit each broad category, the three divisions differ considerably in extent, as the section on religion is 75 pages in length and the section on myth covers 53 pages, whereas the section on history adds only two pages to the overall content of the work. There is no indication of the total number of citations.
The arrangement of entries within each section is alphabetical by title; plays having an identical title are sub-arranged by date of publication. There is no general index by title or any indexes by author, genre, publisher, or other type of access.
Although there is general agreement on areas of research and selection criteria, the entries vary widely in content and level of detail. For example, in the “Mito” section, the citation for the 1745 comedy Achille in sciro includes not only the names of the composer of its music and its imprint, but also the exact date, place, and occasion of its first performance and the names of the people responsible for the scenery, choreography, and musical direction. In contrast, the entry for the 17th-century tragicomedy Ciro in the “Storia” section consists of only its dramatic genre, author, and imprint, without providing any details about its performance. Such lack of uniformity exists throughout the text, which may impact its usefulness.
Despite its limitations, Il teatro meridionale fra mito, storia e religione in età moderna does reflect much dedication and effort on the part of the compilers. Its chief value lies in its offering to the researcher a comprehensive resource on the dramatic and theatrical productivity of southern Italy during the modern period. Those academic and large public library collections supporting research in theater and in Italian literary and linguistic studies may find this specialized work of value. It would also be a useful addition to the personal library of an individual scholar who researches the theater.
Published in the 150th anniversary year of Strauss’s birth, this handbook—one in a series of composer handbooks published by Metzler in cooperation with Bärenreiter—contains chapters written by 26 writers (all German except for two Americans) and devoted to Strauss’s life, works, and influence. Beginning with three lengthy chapters describing the various aspects of his life beyond composing (conducting, cultural politics, business), the handbook then focuses on close analyses of his extensive compositional output (operas, ballets, vocal and instrumental music) and its influence. According to the foreword, the goal of this work is to stimulate musicians in their performances of Strauss’s music, but it will also be rewarding for lay readers and those new to the composer. [mst/sl]
The Richard Wagner Collection of the University of Bern Central Library was established in 1982, with the gift from Swiss businessman Paul Richard (1903-1991) of a collection of signed letters from the Bayreuth Circle [Bayreuther Kreis], among which were 10 written by Richard Wagner. The collection today is comprised of around 2,500 printed titles and 500 manuscripts, including all programs of the Bayreuth Festival since its beginning, photographs of Wagner productions, art folders, playbills, and theater posters, in addition to monographs and journals. The collection also includes 225 mostly unpublished autograph manuscripts by Wagner and his closest circle of friends.
The entire collection also appears in the catalog of the IDS Basel Bern library consortium, but without the additional information included in the printed catalog, especially that relating to the letters and autograph manuscripts.
After a comprehensive introductory essay on the collection (pp. 13-51), the catalog is arranged in three sections: (1) Primary Literature (pp. 57-78), including both works and letters; (2) Secondary Literature (pp. 79-215); and (3) Letters and Autograph Manuscripts (pp. 219-276). In addition, five Wagner letters, one previously unpublished, are printed with extensive commentary (pp. 277-300). The volume closes with an author index and a publisher index. However, the author index does not include the names of authors of material included in the third section, which has its own index of names of authors and letter recipients. One inclusive index of names would have been more desirable.
The catalog belongs in libraries with comprehensive music research collections. [mr/rc]
In 1927 Theodor Adorno described the organ as a sad instrument, one whose orchestration was unbelievably repetitive; this archaic instrument from Buxtehude’s time should be silenced once and for all (Musikblätter des Anbruch 9/4 , 162). The present-day movement for restoring northern German organs and the several voluminous recordings on these instrument by major performers are proof that the organ is not an historical curiosity but a dynamic instrument with a broad following of listeners. A few decades ago leading organists like Helmut Walcha and E. Power Biggs produced extensive recordings of works by the major composers—J.S. Bach, Dietrich Buxtehude, Vincent Lübeck, and Johann Pachelbel, for example—on Schnitger organs in Cappel, Cuxhaven, Groningen, and other cities and towns. The remaining Arp Schnitger (1648-1719) organs will be declared UNESCO World Treasures on the 300th anniversary of Schnitger’s death in 2019.
The work at hand is the fulfillment of a special project of Cornelius Edskes and Harald Vogel, who are experts on these organs and on northern German organ music of the baroque. The majority of the book’s contents are devoted to the history of 46 extant Schnitger organs and to the history of another seven lost in the 20th century. These entries discuss in detail the individual building projects and provide detailed color images (replacing the now lost black-and-white images), often featuring the church buildings as well. Harald Vogel also lists several Schnitger organists of the period, including the better known Vincent Lübeck, Dietrich Buxtehude, and Johann Nicolaus Hanff, and the two authors provide a history of Schnitger’s work in Portugal, a subject not much dealt with outside special circles. (One of Schnitger’s organs from Portugal found its way to Brazil.) The work concludes with some of Schnitger’s drawings in facsimile, accompanied by translations of the text into standard German.
The high level of Arp Schnitger’s technical and artistic achievement is preserved in the reconstruction and renovation of these instruments. Most of these have been restored in the past few decades, but the degree of painstaking effort is not adequately portrayed in these brief essays. References to recordings are given, if in a haphazard order. These comments aside, this volume should be acquired by devotees and of organ construction and performance and belongs in libraries’ core music collections. This book should sit next to Orgellandschaft Schleswig-Holstein (see RREA 18:93). [ar/ga]
Hot on the heels of historian Wolfgang Behringer‘s Kulturgeschichte des Sports (see IFB 13-1) comes Germanist Klaus Zeyringer‘s, Football: A Cultural History. Zeyringer focuses attention on football’s development since the founding of the Football Association in London in 1863. Among the unnumbered chapters, topics include the history and evolution of the sport, national narratives and global impact, as well as media and the business of football [Ed. note: only in the United States is it called “soccer”]. A bibliography, photo credits, and an index of names complete the volume.
Each of the chapters is subdivided into as many as 11 subsections, which have headings like “The First Match in Galicia—A Kick in the Tsarist Realm” or “Gender Differences.” Zeyringer employs a systematic approach to social and cultural studies, drawing connections between methodology, content, and presentation, and it is one of the distinguishing characteristics of this work. While parallel narratives can be captivating, it’s important to remember that correlation is not the same as causality. Zeyringer applies the principles of logic to tell the history of football across all continents through use of precise details, illustrative photos, and examples, and through accessible language he draws numerous connections between the sport and politics, history, economics, religion, and literature.
Even the most invested football expert will learn something new and remain riveted through his treatment of topics such as betting scandals and women’s football. The book can be recommended for a broad readership, but it is less appropriate for scholarly purposes, as it does not achieve a good balance between readability and still meeting scholarly standards. Factual errors, such as misattributing the first analysis of the relationship between the shape of the ball and chance to Peter Handtke and not F.J.J. Beutendijk, are almost inevitable when working with such a wealth of material. Other errors include minimizing the fate of players and spectators depicted in the propaganda film about the Teresienstadt/Terezín Concentration Camp Hitler Gives the Jews a City to merely suffering “restrictions,” when in truth they were deported to Auschwitz and ultimately murdered.
As this work has a definite academic bent, the sloppy proofreading is unforgivable, especially as Zeyringer is a Germanist! Not only are there factual errors and conceptual repetitions, missing commas, and shortcomings related to the new orthography, but there are numerous quotes that are either insufficiently cited or not at all. For example, a quotation on page 188 is from a book by Ursula Prutsch, but the relevant page is not cited, nor is her name found in the index. In general, the bibliography is not user-friendly. Sadly, inconsistent editing, a lack of verifiable citations, proofreading, and factual errors all mean that the author and publisher have missed out on an opportunity to score. [jc/jmw]
Research into the history of modern football (soccer) is often hampered by the lack of archival materials, because few clubs keep good documentation of their seasons, players, and coaches. This collection of essays on football history proves that, even with this shortcoming, it is possible to produce interesting historical writing. Many of the authors emphasize the history of the Bundesliga, the top division of professional football in Germany. The essays in the volume are from a 2011 conference in Cologne held on the occasion of the Bundesliga’s 50th anniversary.
Essays touch on numerous aspects of football history, such as the role of television in the growth of German football fandom; the development of league-centered competition (modeled after British and American leagues, especially the English Football Association, which was founded in 1863); the 1960s transition from amateurism to treating football like a profession; and varying levels of public interest in the sport, from a low point in the late 1960s and 1970s to a boom which coincided with the media and marketing revolutions after 1989. The book also considers the role of the German Football Association, an umbrella organization representing the interests of both professionals and amateur clubs; football in East Germany; and compares the history of the sport in Germany and the UK. The present book will be of value to sports historians, as well as to many who study modern social history. [mk/as]
[Ed. note: Other recent books cited in the footnotes to this review include:
This hefty volume of nearly 850 pages presents a highly informative history of the development of political science studies in the German Federal Republic through individual portraits of 50 important scholars in the field. An introductory chapter provides an overview of this development in a discussion of the two political science associations in (West) Germany: the dominant Deutsche Vereinigung für Politische Wissenschaft [German Association for Political Science] and the smaller Deutsche Gesellschaft für Politikwissenschaft [German Society for Political Science]. Important currents of political research, competing theoretical approaches, and political conflicts in the field are exemplified in discussions of selected representatives of these associations.
The main section consists of the 50 individual entries. Criteria for inclusion with an individual portrait are based on subject competence (defined as “high-quality productivity”), influence in the field, and public prominence. Nearly all of the individuals included are at least 70 years old. The editors used a number of approaches to determine the importance of each person, including examination of publications in the field, memberships in the two political science organizations, surveys of political scientists, and even the number of festschrifts devoted to each person. Inclusion was also limited to those who are known as political scientists and whose research is predominantly in that subject area, so that figures such as Jürgen Habermas and Niklas Luhmann, whose research is more sociologically oriented, are excluded, even though their political thought is influential both in Germany and beyond. Figures who are not only active as researchers but are known beyond the field as public intellectuals, political advisors, political practitioners, or political writers are, however, included. Long-time Bavarian Minister of Culture, Heinrich Oberreuter, is such an example. Also included are some scholars, such as Karl Dietrich Bracher, who were influential in their day but now are of mainly historical interest. The individual scholars selected are intended to reflect the mainstream history and developments in German political science. A peculiar characteristic of this collection is that many of the profiled writers are themselves authors of an included profile. Several of the profiles are by students of the persons discussed and many of the scholars profiled are still living. The editors were well aware of dangers in this regard. They note that scholars close to those portrayed are in the best position to know their subject’s work, but that they (the editors) have been aggressive in fact-checking the submissions to maintain objectivity and avoid all too mild or even hagiographic essays.
The individual profiles average 13 pages in length and include an introductory section, a brief vita, a description of each scholar’s main research interests, research “schools” founded, a critical evaluation, and a discussion of the person’s influence in the field and in the wider public. Bibliographies of primary and secondary literature are also included. Subject and name indexes at the end of the volume are useful for access to personalities who are mentioned in the introduction but did not receive a separate profile.
This very informative compilation and is a useful reference resource, particularly for political scientists and contemporary historians interested in the history of the field. Political science teachers will also find the work helpful for an understanding of various approaches to political analysis. [tk/jc]
In 2015 the Christian-Albrechts-Universität in Kiel celebrated its 350th anniversary, with numerous jubilee events taking place. This collection of essays traces the university’s history from 1665 to the present. Highlights include the university’s situation during the 18th century and the period of the Northern War. The founding of the Danish General State in 1773 brought financial stability to the university, which became the second largest in Denmark, after Copenhagen. Particularly after 1815 tensions grew between the German faculty and the Danish administration, and after 1850 the Danish king showed little interest in supporting the university. After the provinces of Schleswig and Holstein were taken from Denmark by Prussia and Austria in 1864, and after the unification of Germany in 1871, the university’s German character became firmly established.
One chapter is devoted to Walther Schücking (1875-1935) and his “seven years on the Fjord”. Schücking was an ardent pacifist and a thorn in the flesh of the National Socialists, who sent him into exile in 1933. In 1995 the University honored his memory with the establishment of the Walther Schücking Institute for International Law. In the 1970s the historical geographer Christoph Degn (1909-2004), himself half Danish, was instrumental in increasing the presence of Danish studies. In 1976 a Chair for Nordic History was founded, greatly enriching the study of Schleswig’s and Holstein’s history. Another very thorny problem then and now is the status of women on the faculty. While many have reached the rank of associate professor, very few women are full professors.
Of special importance to reference research is the online availability of the Kieler Gelertenverzeichnis [Kiel Scholars Register] at http://gelehrtenverzeichnis.de. This online directory gives brief but extensive information on some 1,000 persons who taught at the University at some time between 1919 and 1965. Many of them continued teaching past that date. Each entry includes personal data (including family information), dissertation topics, where the person taught, and academic or other awards.
For those who would like to learn more about faculty members at Kiel through 1954, the university library provides free on line a digitized version of Friedrich Volbehr and Richard Weyl’s Professoren und Dozenten der Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel: 1665-1954 [Professors and Lecturers at the Christian Albrecht University in Kiel, 1665-1954] (4th ed. Kiel, 1956) at http://dibiki.ub.uni-kiel.de/viewer/resolver?urn=urn:nbn:de:gbv:8:2-1453225). [mk/ga]
Vol. 7. Die Jahre 1901 bis 1909 [The Years 1901-1909]. 2012. 841 p. ISBN 978- 3-89739-670-8: EUR 148.00 [13-4]
Personenregister der Teilbände I bis VII [Personal Name Index to Volumes 1-7]. Ed. Jens Blecher and Gerald Wiemers. 2013. 2 vols. 941 p. ISBN 978-3-89739-798-9: EUR 175.00 [14-4]
Volume 7 completes the edition of university matriculation records for the Leipzig Albertina for the long 19th century. The closing year, 1909, was also the 500th anniversary of the founding of the university, and the publishing project was intended to coincide with the 600th anniversary in 2009. Volumes 1 (1809-1832), 3 (1863-1876), and 6 (1892-1900) were reviewed in RREA 12:168, RREA 15/16:154, and RREA 18:97 respectively.
In all, some 98,000 male and female (after 1900) students enrolled between 1809 and 1909, making the University of Leipzig the third most important university in Wilhelmine Germany after Berlin and Munich. Students came from all parts of Germany, many European countries, and overseas, including the United States and East Asia. Enrollments numbered a few thousand students per year, although this figure included transfer students and those at other universities with an address in Leipzig.
This work benefits from having the same two editors for all volumes. Blecher and Wiemers had to deal with enormous quantities of data, involving the verification of tens of thousands of persons as well as small communities throughout Europe. Often they had to work with barely legible handwritten documents. There is no geographic index, obligatory for this kind of work. However, each volume is also available as an e-book, which helps facilitate the search for obscure localities.
This seven-volume publication was preceded by a three volume-work, edited by Georg Erler and published between 1895 and 1902: volume 1 appeared in 1895 under the title Die Matrikel der Universität Leipzig and covered the years 1490-1559; volumes 2 and 3 were published in 1909 under the title Die Iüngere Matrikel der Universität Leipzig 1559-1809. These works can easily be found in the HathiTrust catalog (www.hathitrust.org).
Blecher and Wiemers have provided historians and genealogists with a giant resource for personal data which can also be used to study migration patterns. Their work is a successful conclusion to a number of jubilee publications on the University of Leipzig, for example, the five-volume Geschichte der Universität Leipzig (see RREA 15/16:155).
As above, the lack of a geographical index to the seven volumes of this work has been compensated for in part through the availability of e-book versions of all of them. A supplemental volume with an alphabetical cumulative index to personal names (fore- and surnames) also contains information on each person’s place of birth or origin. Entries include references to the specific volume in which a student’s name can be found, and to the handwritten record and year of matriculation. However, in order to compile cumulative data, for example on how many students from various cities attended the University of Leipzig, one must still resort to the e-book versions for electronic data analysis.
Leipzig is one of the few German universities to have published its matriculation records into the 20th century. The Humboldt University in Berlin has published matriculation records for 1810-1850 (see RREA 15/16:149). The University of Heidelberg has made its matriculation records for the years 1386-1920 available digitally at http://www.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/helios/digi/unihdmatrikel.html, both as scanned images and in OCR full text. Because of the steep increases in the number of students in the 20th century, a continuation of this work for the University of Leipzig is not under consideration. One could also question whether such a work would be consulted enough to justify the tremendous effort required.
All in all, Jens Blecher and Gerald Wiemers, with the help of many assistants, have produced an accurate index to a very important resource in the history of higher education. [mk/ga]
Jews were admitted to many German universities since the end of the 17th century. Early on, almost all of them elected to study medicine. By 1800, many had received doctorates from a number of Protestant universities and a few Catholic ones. A significant exception was the Lutheran University of Tübingen, which in early modern times had admitted only a single Jew, due to the 1489 “Regimental Decree” of Eberhard the Bearded which forbade Jews from settling in the realm. This changed after 1806, but even then the number of Jews settling in Württemberg grew slowly, with only 34 living in Tübingen in 1869. The Jewish community did not establish a synagogue there until 1882. In this same period, very few Jewish students enrolled at the University of Tübingen—an average of five to six in an annual class of over 700 students, with rarely more than a dozen in any one class.
These Jewish students came primarily from the southwestern part of Germany. Medicine, law, and rabbinical studies were the most frequently chosen areas of study. See, for example, the reviewer‘s Bio-bibliographisches Verzeichnis jüdischer Doktoren im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert [see RREO 95-1-060]. Sone Jewish students also specialized in pedagogy and the sciences. The study of Mosaic theology was situated in the philosophy faculty, which in turn was heavily dominated by Christian theologians.
This book is a revised and expanded version of Matthias Märkle’s 2010 master’s thesis. He makes detailed use of university’s archival resources, especially those concerning students. Märkle also makes good use of sources from the Main State Archive in Stuttgart and the Württemberg State Library. A 30-page bibliography lists numerous published and unpublished sources as well as appropriate specialized literature. Märkle’s detailed documentation gives the students’ birth- and death-dates, names of parents and wives, years attended, area(s) of study, any scholarship aid, and other details. The book concludes with a detailed personal name and place index. This richly illustrated book, with its extensive use of sources, is an important contribution to the history of the University of Tübingen and to the history of Jewish students and scholars there. [mk/ldl]
An RREA Original Review by Anna L. Shparberg (Rice University)
The modern discipline of ethnology—the comparative study of ethnicities and cultures—had its roots in the great wave of national self-awareness that swept across Europe in the 19th century and was accompanied by a fascination with the unique and comparable traits of its peoples. Since then, ethnology has matured and evolved, spreading to other continents and engendering a whole family of anthropological disciplines in the process. Therefore, it is surprising that there is still a shortage of basic historiographic, biographical, and bibliographical publications about its origins.
The present biographical dictionary, the brainchild of well-known Czech ethnologist Richard Jeřábek, aims to close this gap at least partially by compiling information about the European ethnologists who have made the cultures of European peoples their primary field of study. Halted by Jeřábek’s untimely death in 2006, the book project was eventually completed by his students, who did not expand on the dictionary’s concept as envisioned by the author, instead limiting themselves to fact-checking and updating the original entries. The compilers used copious print and online reference publications as well as materials obtained through personal contacts with colleagues abroad.
Besides ethnologists per se, the dictionary encompasses those scholars who have contributed to the development of the discipline from other angles, including historians, folklorists, linguists, museum workers, art historians, musicologists, archaeologists, and in some cases even non-professionals such as travelers and photographers. In view of the great diversity of the disciplines represented in the book, the authors had to chart a careful course between the Scylla of inclusivity and the Charybdis of specialization. It was decided to include only those individuals who put their scholarship into a context that transcended national boundaries. In addition, the contributions they made to the emerging field had to be significant as well as consistent, criteria that eliminated a large number of amateur ethnologists. Any European ethnologists and anthropologists who focused their study on the cultures of other continents (for instance, Boas, Malinowski, and Miklukho-Maclay) were also excluded from the dictionary. Finally, for several obscure scholars, biographical and other data were especially difficult to find or confirm, so their entries were withheld from the published version of the dictionary.
The national origins of the dictionary’s subjects cover the whole span of the European continent, from the Iberian Peninsula to Russia and from Norway to Greece. The emphasis, however, is on Central Europe. Articles on Czech scholars tend to be the longest and most detailed, which is understandable given Jeřábek’s background. The reader will encounter well-known figures, such as Johann Gottfried Herder, Béla Bartók, and the Grimm brothers, as well as those unlikely to be known outside the discipline (such as the Italian folklore scholar Giovanni Battista Bronzini and the Finnish ethnographer Niilo Valonen), who may be of particular interest.
The articles, which range from half a page to two pages in length, concentrate on the person’s scholarly achievements, including major publications. Biographical details tend to be sketchy; for example, the article on Polish ethnologist Cezaria Anna Baudouin de Courtenay Ehrenkreutz-Jędrzejewiczowa contains no mention of her father, the eminent Slavic linguist Jan Baudouin de Courtenay. A brief bibliography at the end of each article cites essential secondary sources, beginning with any bibliography of the author’s published works that exists.
Knowledge of Czech, while helpful, is not obligatory for using this book. The introduction, which defines the scope of the work and outlines the structure of the articles, is available in both Czech- and English-language versions. Since the bibliographies present the primary and secondary sources in their original languages, they are easily accessible, as well.
To realize the need for a publication such as the Biografický slovník evropské etnologie, the reader need only compare its name index with that of a standard reference work, the Routledge Dictionary of Anthropologists by Gérald Gaillard, translated into English from the French (London: Routledge, 2004), which provides broad but shallow coverage of anthropology worldwide. Out of the 267 entries in the present book, only about 30 overlap with the Routledge dictionary.
In spite of its incompleteness and rather arbitrary selection of entries, the Biografický slovník evropské etnologie constitutes a good starting point for research into the origins and modern history of European ethnology. An expanded, updated edition in a more widely used language, such as German, English, or French, would be useful. This dictionary is recommended for academic libraries with collections in ethnology, cultural anthropology, or general European studies.
An RREA Original Review by George I. Paganelis (California State University, Sacramento)
Despite the vastness of the literature on Modern Greek folklore, there is a paucity of publications dealing with subjects ranging from the bawdy and erotic to the scatological and obscene. As the compilers of this annotated bibliography indicate, an underlying moral prohibition on the open publication and distribution of such material prevailed in Modern Greek society, restricting its production and circulation, especially prior to the 1980s. This slim volume aims to shine a light not only on the existence of such literature, but also on its worthiness as a subject of serious study.
An extensive introduction situates the subgenre in its historical, sociolinguistic, and symbolic contexts. The body of the bibliography consists of 58 dated works presented chronologically followed by two undated titles (all but five in Greek), with annotations ranging from half a dozen lines to a page in length, many with embedded references not separately described (though cited in the index). The termini of works profiled are 1842 and 2012, with the majority dating from the 1980s to the present—and a remarkable void from 1936 to 1970. Most entries are from discrete publications, with some periodical articles and sections of larger works also included.
Topics include, among others, folksongs (for example, Contes licencieux de Constantinople et de l’Asie Mineure [Immoral Tales of Constantinople and Asia Minor]); gay lingo; jokes; dictionaries of street talk (e.g., Lexiko tēs piatsas [Dictionary of the (Town) Square]); military ditties; and proverbs. Titles also cover the folklore of various locales, such as Euboea, the Mani Peninsula, Samos, and Crete, as well as Cyprus. The works of major figures such as Elias Petropoulos and Mairē Koukoulé are cited frequently. Following a bibliographical note and epilogue, the final sections include a general bibliography of sources and secondary aids in Greek and other lanuages, seven facsimile book covers of works profiled, a general index in Greek and other languages, and brief biographies of the compilers, both professors of folklore at Greek universities.
While no pretense is made toward comprehensiveness, Asemnē hellēnikē laographia collects and describes the principal works of “indecorous” Greek folklore for the first time. It is a recommended tool for folklore collections as well as collections in Greek language, literature, society, and local history.
Also available online as a PDF file: http://ftp.gbpizs.home.pl/Bibliografia%20nr%20129.pdf
An RREA Original Review by Anna L. Shparberg (Rice University)
Since joining the European Union in 2004, Poland has become an important player in the EU labor market, due to the veritable wave of Polish economic migrants taking advantage of the newly open borders. The existing body of research on the economic, legal, and social aspects of living and working in the EU has created a demand for reference works dealing with this comparatively young field.
The Polish bibliography under review, according to its preface, aims to present economic and labor issues in Poland in a broad European context. It contains selected works that appeared between 2005 and 2012. It is number 129 in a series of bibliographies published by the Główna Biblioteka Pracy i Zabezpieczenia Społecznego [Central Library of Labor and Social Security], which is attached to the Ministerstwo Pracy i Polityki Społecznej [Ministry of Labor and Social Policy] in Warsaw. The compiler, Joanna Więckowska-Trzyszka, is the author of several bibliographies in the same series, including Pomóc społeczna i praca socjalna 2008-2013: literatura polska i obca w wyborze [Public Assistance and Social Work, 2008-2013: A Selection of Polish and Foreign Publications] (2014). Among the sources that she consulted are card catalogs; the annual Bibliografia ekonomicznych i społecznych zagadnień pracy = Bibliographie oekonomischer und sozialer Probleme der Arbeit = Bibliography of Economic and Social Problems of Labour (Warszawa : Książka i Wiedza, 1967- ); databases hosted by the Biblioteka Narodowa [National Library] of Poland and Główna Biblioteka Pracy i Zabezpieczenia Społecznego; and the monthly Praca i Polityka Społeczna: przegląd piśmiennictwa zagranicznego w wyborze [Work and Social Policy: A Review of Selected Foreign Publications], published by the latter institution (Warszawa, 2006- ).
There are 1,588 entries distributed across five broad sections, which cover: (1) labor law and the law of the European Union; (2) employment; (3) social security; (4) living conditions; and (5) trade unions and work councils. Each section is further subdivided; for example, within the section on social security are subsections on general questions, social insurance (yet further broken down into social insurance in general, pension schemes, and pension reform), health insurance, and family benefits.
While many of the citations are for journal articles, monographic titles are also present.
As a rough estimate, about two-thirds of the entries are in Polish, but a sizable minority are English-language works. There are also entries in German, French, and, very occasionally, Czech. Some sections, such as the first subsection on law of the EU, contain almost exclusively Polish-language publications, while others are weighted towards English-language ones. The number of German- and French-language works is surprisingly low, and this reviewer could not find any citations in Spanish, Greek, Dutch, or, indeed, any other European languages. The relative numbers of cited sources in different languages can probably be explained by the fact that the book is clearly primarily intended for a Polish audience—lay as well as scholarly—and reflects both their research preferences and their foreign-language competence. (Most educated Poles have a working knowledge of English, but considerably fewer know other languages. The fact that so many Poles work in the United Kingdom is likely to be an additional factor.) The titles of foreign-language works are translated into Polish. Some entries also include extremely abbreviated (one- to two-line long) abstracts to clarify the scope of those works.
The bibliography is equipped with extensive lists of abbreviations for serial publications, publishers, commonly used terms, and acronyms and with bilingual Polish and English tables of contents, complemented by an index at the end. The index consists mainly of the contributing authors’ names. Curiously, a smattering of randomly picked subject terms is also present, but they are too few and too arbitrarily chosen to be useful. For example, the term “European labour market” does not reference two entries entitled Europejski rynek pracy [European Labor Market]. The index entry Rynek pracy [labor market] inexplicably points to only a single entry, even though a large section on the labor market stretching over 13 pages comprises 104 entries. In any case, the table of contents is admirably detailed for easy navigation of the book. Thus, the index should have been limited to author names.
The print version of this publication was issued in a small run of 100 copies, each accompanied by a DVD-ROM containing a PDF file of the complete bibliography. The file can also be downloaded, free of charge, from the website of the Główna Biblioteka Pracy i Zabezpieczenia Społecznego, at http://ftp.gbpizs.home.pl/Bibliografia%20nr%20129.pdf.
The limitations of this publication, such as its selective nature and narrow linguistic and geographical scope, are nonetheless offset by the present dearth of bibliographic scholarship on labor issues in the EU. Searches in OCLC’s WorldCat for such Library of Congress subject headings as “Labor market—European Union countries—Bibliography,” “Social security—European Union countries—Bibliography,” “European Union countries—Social policy—Bibliography,” and “European Union countries—Social conditions—Bibliography” have brought up virtually no results apart from the present title.
To conclude, this modest bibliography on the EU labor market serves a useful purpose, in spite of its obvious Polish slant. Praca i życie w Unii Europejskiej 2005-2012 is recommended for libraries with collections on labor issues and the Polish and European economies as well as in Polish and European studies more generally.
There have been two editions of Deutsche Kommunisten: Biographisches Handbuch 1918 bis 1945. The first was published in 2004 and contained biographies of 1,400 persons (see RREA 10:221) and a second edition appeared in 2008 with an additional 275 biographies (see RREA 15/16:171). This supplement to the second edition adds another 194 new biographies, bringing the total number to 1,868. The supplement also contains revisions of 77 biographies from the previous edition and 314 new photographs. Of these, 150 are for persons covered in the previous edition, while the remainder are for persons newly added or receiving a revised biography in the supplement.
This handbook has proved to be a comprehensive and reliable reference work and one can assume that additional names will continue be found. For this reason it might be wise to consider establishing an online database as a supplement or replacement in the future. [jli/jc]
No newcomer to German parliamentary history, Joachim Lilla has already published several guides on the two branches of the German legislature, the Reichs/Bundesrat (upper house) and the Reichs/Bundestag (lower house), for example: Der Reichsrat ... 1919-1934; ein biographisches Handbuch which also includes the Bundesrat and State Commissions from 1918-1919 (see RREA 13:221); Der Preußische Staatsrat 1921-1933: ein biographisches Handbuch; mit einer Dokumentation der im “Dritten Reich” berufenen Staatsräte which also includes documentation on members appointed during 1933-1945 (see RREA 12:194); and Statisten in Uniform: die Mitglieder des Reichstags 1933-1945 which includes nationalist and National Socialist members of the Reichstag from May 1924 onward (see RREA 10:216).
In the work under review, Joachim Lilla presents the first biographical handbook of German legislators in the Bundesrat. The opening section lists the delegates systematically and chronologically, providing details of their service. This documentation establishes that the Bundesrat, unlike the Reichstag, was not marginalized during the revolution of 1918-1919. The second section contains 725 biographies of delegates and their deputies in the Bundesrat. The individual biographies provide birth- and death-dates, religion, academic rank, public offices held, party membership, publications, and, where possible, the location of the person’s archive. In the third section the orders of protocol in the Bundesrat after 1867 are described, and sources and references are listed.
The documentation assembled in this volume enables biographical access to the members of the Bundesrat, providing a sort of “Who’s who” of members of the parliament who, while not operating in public view, yet exercised their competencies in the legislative chamber. [ms/rlk]
The phrase “Austrian Central Parliaments” is misleading, because these two legislatures represented, particularly after 1867, only the “cisleithanian” or non-Hungarian, constituents of the Monarchy. The name “Österreich” as an official designation of the various kingdoms and states in the Reichsrat was applied only in 1915, just a few years before the end of the Monarchy.
The present work documents for the first time the approximately 3,500 members of the Reichstag and Reichsrat. The biographical and official data for each entry comprise the usual categories within the educational, social and political arenas before, during, and after their service. An informative and comprehensive introduction offers an overview of the constitutional and organizational underpinnings, election law, and development/activity of the parliament from its beginnings in the Viennese Hofreitschule [Royal Riding School] to the fall of the empire at the end of World War I. With this publication a further contribution to the documentation of the parliament in Austria has been achieved, despite some minor absent organizational and biographical relationship data. The contribution of Franz Adlgasser to the lexicon is praise-worthy. [jli/rlk]
[Ed. note: An interesting and extensive work on the Czech representatives in the Reichsrat is Robert Luft’s two-volume Parlamentarische Führungsgruppen und politische Strukturen in der tschechischen Gesellschaft (see RREA 19/20:137). Also of related interest is Martha Greifing‘s Biographisches Handbuch der österreichischen Parlamentarier 1918-1998 (see RREA 6:256). This work is continued on line as Die ParlamentarierInnen seit 1918 [Parliamentarians since 1918) (see https://www.parlament.gv.at/WWER/PARL) produced by the Parliament of the Republic of Austria.]
In 2012 the Bundesverfassungsgericht [Federal Constitutional Court] declared the existing election law null and void due to cases of unequal distribution of parliamentary seats based on the first and second votes. Specifically the issue dealt with the Überhangmandat—the additional seat in the Bundestag when a party wins more direct seats based on the first vote than the percentage based on second votes would guarantee. In a few cases this meant a party could lose one or more seats in one round that it had won in the other.
Following the revisions to the proportional representation system, a new, 9th edition of the commentary was necessary. Wolfgang Schreiber had edited the first eight editions, now Karl-Ludwig Strelen took over that responsibility.
The publication begins with a reprinting of the current text of the 1956 law, in the version published 1993, last revised 2013. Part I offers explanations of the law; part II, 750 pages of commentary on individual paragraphs; part III (appendix), 24 related laws. Special accolades are due the editors and publisher for bringing the volume to print within a small window of opportunity in time for the Sept. 22, 2013 elections. [jli/rlk]
This two-volume reference work details the fate of Hamburg’s Jewish lawyers under National Socialism. The 2003 edition of the first volume (see IFB 04-1-34) was among the first of a number of publications about exiled and murdered Jewish legal professionals from 1933-1945. [Ed. note: See, for example, reviews of books on Jewish legal professionals in several areas of Germany in RREA 10:227 and 228; RREA 12:203; and RREA 14:128-130.]
This 2013 updated version, now in two volumes, reflects new knowledge and insights that accumulated in the intervening decade. The revised first volume, for example, which covers the early years of social exclusion and persecution, contains newly published illustrations and footnotes, which have greatly enhanced the volume’s utility to researchers. The second volume details the fates of 234 Jewish jurists with civil service status. The entries are arranged in alphabetical order and include name, title, birthplace, address, religion and other important biographical information.
The two-volume set will be of interest to persons conducting advanced research on the Third Reich, particularly those focusing on the years of persecution before the Holocaust. Most interested libraries that already own the 2003 volume will still likely want to acquire both recent volumes, in order to obtain volume two. While the first volume contains important general information about the pre-history and background of Hamburg’s Jewish lawyers, the second fills in important gaps and adds necessary detail omitted in the first. [sh/bf]
In Simone Ladwig-Winters‘ Anwalt ohne Recht: Schicksale jüdischer Anwälte in Deutschland nach 1933 (see RREA 14:128-129), Hubert Lang wrote the chapter on the fate of Jewish lawyers in Leipzig and their fortunes abroad. Lang is also the author of two works on the German Lawyers Union during the pre-Nazi era. His present work, an expansion of his 2013 doctoral dissertation, describes the fate of 289 “jurists of Jewish heritage,” a term used to include both confessing and non-confessing Jewish attorneys. Although the large majority were confessing Jews, every one of them suffered greatly from anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism and a general exclusion from their profession.
As the subtitle indicates, anti-Jewish feeling among the Leipzig legal profession was not confined to the years 1933-1945. The narrative is enclosed by two events: in 1848, the year of revolution, Isidor Kaim opened his office in Leipzig—the first Jewish lawyer in Saxony. He was dramatically forced out of his profession some years later. The closing date is 1953 when Fritz Grunsfeld, a survivor of the Theresienstadt concentration camp, was forced out of Leipzig due to Stalinist persecution. Grunsfeld was the last Jewish lawyer in Leipzig. The conditions of persecution and exclusion were remarkably consistent throughout this long period of many different regimes. Instead of being part of Leipzig’s middle class, these jurists of Jewish heritage found themselves always “between all chairs.”
The first quarter of the book gives a survey of this history, which is dominated by the fate of lawyers, judges, and scholars of Jewish heritage after 1933, when Leipzig was proclaimed the “City of German Law” on the occasion of the German Jurists Congress. Some 30 legal professionals are highlighted as well. Almost 400 of the 970 pages are devoted to individual biographies, followed by a number of tables and lists of data on Leipzig’s legal students and professionals, both of Jewish and of non-Jewish heritage. There is also a 30-page bibliography, eight pages of sources, and an extensive index of personal names.
Following 289 brief biographies (Biogramme) are several appendices: a chronological listing of doctors of jurisprudence; an alphabetically ordered and annotated list of students of Jewish heritage in the Leipzig University School of Law; a list of attorneys and notaries of Jewish heritage; legal societies arranged by religious confession; marriages and families; and finally a bibliography, list of abbreviations, an index of sources, and an index of persons. The author’s expression of gratitude extends to several persons around the world and to the city of Leipzig, the Saxony and federal justice ministries, and private foundations, such as the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, who provided grants for the work.
A practicing attorney in Leipzig, Hubert Lang has produced a distinguished work that sets new standards for research into the field of legal professionals of Jewish heritage in Germany and their fate in history. While focusing on Leipzig, Lang’s book is intended to be a guide to research for the entire country’s history. This is a treasure trove that will inspire much more research. [ms/ga]
Vol. 5. T-Z, Nachträge [...Supplements]. Ed. Bernd Isphording, Gerhard Keiper and Martin Kröger. 2014. xiv, 548 p. ill. ISBN 978-3-506-71844-0: EUR 148.00
Volumes 1-4 were reviewed in RREA 6:265; 11:166, 13:224, and 18:105.
This biographical dictionary covers all officials and employees of the German Foreign Service, from academic assistants in the central office to the state secretaries and ministers to the heads of diplomatic and consular missions abroad. Experts in trade, economics, culture, and the press are included, even if they employed only briefly. The data are based on systematically analyzed Foreign Service personnel files made available for the first time, as well as files from other official sources.
Each entry includes a running description of the person’s activities before and, if applicable, after the Foreign Service. Work in the service is described in tabular form with dates as exact as possible for the initial appointment, assumption of service, assignment and completion of portfolios, the handing over of credentials, and date of departure from the Service. Volume 5 includes additions or corrections to entries in volumes 1-4 (letters A-S), as well as an index to all of the persons covered in the five volumes. With the publication of this fifth volume, scholars’ long-held wishes for a quick conclusion to this extremely helpful and commendable research work have finally been granted. [jli/ga]
The first edition of Baumgart’s dictionary of historical and political terms appeared in 2010 (see RREA 17:126) and contained some 15,000 entries. This second edition contains around 16,500 in more than 50 additional pages. Baumgart explains that a second edition was necessary because many once-contemporary political concepts frequently disappear from current editions of dictionaries as soon as they have passed into the realm of the historical. Maintaining a collection of these superseded dictionaries is of valuable historical importance, as they offer an indispensable aid to research into older historical and literary writings.
The book provides an alphabetical list of German-language nomenclature from history and politics, terms that are also given in English and French translations or synopses. Entries are quite brief; for analyses of their meanings one must look in more specialized reference works. Since the dictionary is intended for those already interested in history and politics, this arrangement was felt to be justifiable. It should be noted that negative nuances of terms in German are not included, so that the English translations appear to be more neutral.
The dictionary covers the years from 1800 to 2000 and contains a wealth of words, phrases, and concepts from specific periods within these centuries. They include historical events and terms (for example, characterizing the later Ottoman Empire as “The Sick Man of Europe”); obsolete occupations, objects, and words, (for example, “Bahnsteigkarten,” i.e. railway platform tickets); obsolete forms of address, titles of nobility, and bureaucratic ranks and classes; hard-to-translate German expressions no longer in frequent use (for example, “Burschenherrlichkeit,” meaning the camaraderie among university student fraternities); words and terms from specific wars and chronological periods (for example, the Cold War); and more recent infrequently used words, ideas, and terms from society, the sciences, the economy, and other areas, in almost 60 different categories.
Some German terms are not directly translatable. For example, the German Radikalenerlass is rendered in English as the “ban on the employment of teachers and civil servants with radical political views.” (p. 436). A number of terms are taken from languages other than German (e.g., Establishment, Élan vital).
.The print version is easy and efficient to use, but the e-book and on-line versions (see http://www.degruyter.com/search?f_0=isbnissn&q_0=9783110396935&searchTitles=true) provide much more expansive searching possibilities, including beginning with English or French definitions and working backwards to the German.
Baumgart’s impressive dictionary is intended primarily for the German historian needing English and French for historical terminology. It provides much useful information for writers as a thesaurus and for translators as a dictionary. It also serves as a general resource for words and terms from decades past. [tk/ga]
[Ed. note: Also in 2014 Wilfried Baumgart published the 18th edition of his Bücherverzeichnis zur deutschen Geschichte: Hilfsmittel, Handbücher, Quellen (see RREA 19/20:118), whose first edition dates back to 1971.]
This volume offers a rich source for information about World War I collections in German and Austrian libraries, archives, and museums. Following four opening essays, 25 contributions provide descriptions arranged by city, with Berlin being most prominently represented. An index to the printed volume provides personal and corporate name searches, while the subject index with cross-references enables thematic searches. Enhanced by many illustrations, this publication makes a valuable contribution to the field of World War I studies. [mk/rlk]
[Ed. note: In 1917 lieutenant-colonel Albert Buddecke (1858-1931) was assigned to the Library of the General Staff in Berlin and charged with the re-cataloging of the General Staff’s collections. From this assignment he produced Die Kriegssammlungen: ein Nachweis ihrer Einrichtung und ihres Bestandes [The War Collections: A Guide to their Organization and their Contents]. This work has been digitized and is freely available from the Lippische Landesbibliothek [Lippe State Library] at http://s2w.hbz-nrw.de/llb/urn/urn:nbn:de:hbz:51:1-7685. In addition, Buddecke’s original work forms the basis for the web portal Kriegssammlungen in Deutschland 1914-1918 (http://www.kriegssammlungen.de), which is edited by Julia Freifrau Hiller von Gärtringen and Aibe-Marlene Gerdes (Universität Freiburg). Kriegssammlungen.de is a web portal that provides descriptions and links to, at this point, 236 World War I collections in Germany and Austria. It can be searched by name of library and also by the type of collection, for example, postcards, letters, newspapers, brochures, flyers, and the like.]
This work has run through numerous editions in both print and electronic formats between 2003 and 2014. The 2003 first edition was reviewed in RREA 10:237 and the 2009 revised third edition in RREA 15/16:180. In 2014 the on-line International Encyclopedia of the First World War was published (see RREA 19/20:115). In 2012 Brill’s Encyclopedia of the First World War appeared, edited by Gerhard Hirschfeld and an English term headed by James S. Corum. But even after four German editions, the Enzyklopädie itself has not undergone significant revision with respect to its content or organization.
This latest study edition includes a new 49-page section devoted to trends in First World War research (“Perspektiven der Forschung” [Research Perspectives]), as well as a revised and updated bibliography. In earlier reviews this encyclopedia was described as “monumental” (see, for example, IFB 09-1/2), and this judgment applies no less to the newest edition. However, the favorable reception of this work should not blind us to the fact that a more comprehensive bibliographical coverage than is provided would be desirable once the World War I centenary has passed. The editors and the publisher should consider bringing out another edition, one considerably enriched by a bibliography of all the publications that have appeared in the years since 2014. [sh/cjm]
An RREA Original Review by Gordon B. Anderson (University of Minnesota)
The International Encyclopedia of the First World War is a collaborative international research project designed to develop a virtual English-language reference work on the First World War. “Innovative navigation schemes based on Semantic Media Wiki technology provide nonlinear access to the encyclopedia’s content” (in the “About” section).
As the introduction states, the First World War (1914-1918) was a global war, a long war, and a total war. The War affected many parts of the world, from the non-belligerent countries of Western Europe to the intensive fighting among the German, Austrian, and Russian empires; the wars at sea; war in the Ottoman Empire and the Arabian Middle East; the war in Africa in Germany’s colonies, particularly involving South Africa; the role of Japan; the effects on China; the involvement of Australia and New Zealand; and major effects on Britain and France’s other colonies around the world. It was a total war because of the impacts on civilian populations, from deportations and genocides to national liberations (particularly in central and eastern Europe), the destruction of parts of the ecosystem, and famines that affected hundreds of thousands of people. It was a long war, because of the years of conflict that preceded the 1914-1918 fighting in Europe, the post-1918 political and civil upheavals, and the rise of dictatorships that followed in the next decade.
The project’s editors are Ute Daniel (Technische Universität Braunschweig), Peter Gatrell (University of Manchester), Oliver Janz (Freie Universität Berlin), Heather Jones (London School of Economics and Political Science), Jennifer Keene (Chapman University), Alan Kramer (Trinity College Dublin), and Bill Nasson (Stellenbosch University). The greater editorial board consists of 90 experts from some 20 countries, and altogether almost 800 authors from around the world, including the Caribbean, East Asia, and Africa, have contributed to the encyclopedia.
The project’s primary sponsors are the Freie Universität Berlin, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek [Bavarian State Library], and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft [German Research Council]. It also has a number of important institutional sponsors, including several major research libraries and institutes in Europe, with leading German research organizations the most prominent.
While it is difficult to ascertain the exact size of the database’s corpus, the numbers are impressive. To date there are 945 articles (419 handbook articles, 526 encyclopedic entries) by 682 authors and 116 other contributors. There are 6,968 entries in the general bibliography. The index contains 6,651 entries (4,416 personal names, 1,908 place names, and 327 subjects).
Each article contains a list of related subjects and a selected bibliography. Within the text and bibliography, important names, places, topics, and works are hyperlinked to other entries and sources in the database. For example, a search for the Campaign and Battle of Gallipoli retrieves 74 articles. Those entries that are active are clearly linked, whereas a word or phrase enclosed in rectangular outline indicates that an entry on that subject or term is pending. Given the sweeping scope of the subject matter, the extensive hyperlinking is an extremely useful feature of this encyclopedia, as these links can lead the researcher to closely related or to entirely new topics and persons.
Entries are accompanied by illustrations (usually photographs) and maps marking relevant places. Options are provided for downloading—as PDF files or as ePUB or Kindle files for e-readers—as well as for printing.
Several new and innovative digital resources have been produced for this commemoration, for example, First World War: Different Perspectives (Microform Academic Publishers, 2014), which contains papers of key personages and archives of anti-conscription groups; and The First World War (Adam Matthew, 2012- ), an extensive digital archive of posters, postcards, photographs, interactive maps, and three-dimensional objects, along with numerous documentary sources. By contrast, 1914-1918 Online: International Encyclopedia of the First World War is all the more remarkable and useful for the sheer volume of information and study of the War in its entirety. Furthermore, through the generosity of its sponsors and supporters, it is made available free of charge. This open-access treasure-chest is a remarkable and indispensable resource; every library should guide researchers and students to it.
This final biographical work by Ernst Klee (1942-2013) builds on the author’s 1997 publication Auschwitz, die NS-Medizin und ihre Opfer [Auschwitz, Nazi Medicine, and its Victims]. Klee was the author of scores of books on victims and perpetrators during the Third Reich, as well as the Nazis’ persecution of marginalized persons (especially the mentally and physically handicapped), and he carried his investigations into the issues of the postwar West German Federal Republic. His research on the Third Reich also produced two major dictionaries, Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich: wer war was vor und nach 1945 [The Dictionary of Persons of the Third Reich: Who Was What Before and After 1945] (see IFB 05-2-281) and later (with the same subtitle) Das Kulturlexikon zum Dritten Reich (see RREA 13:31 and 15/16:26).
The present work offers over 4,000 biographical entries of varying lengths. Frequent reference is made throughout to the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials of 1963-1965, from which Klee harvested information over the next 20 years. Individual entries do not include bibliographical information, but a list of references is provided at the end of the work. The appendix supplements the biographical entries with a list of around 1,500 names of SS members about whom little or next to nothing is known. In all, some 7,000 SS-men (including 200 women) were assigned to duty in Auschwitz during the war. Thus, this work this represents a very significant contribution to our knowledge of individuals connected with the Auschwitz concentration camp. [sh/cjm]
An RREA Original Review by Rebecca R. Malek-Wiley (Tulane University)
Recent events having spurred on a host of questions about Islam and the Middle East together with an abundance of misinformation, the need for reliable and dispassionate reference sources on these subjects has increased. Diccionario de historia árabe & islámica is one resource intended to address such a need, based on scholarly research and aimed at nonspecialist readers as well as more advanced students.
The author, Felipe Maíllo Salgado, a retired professor of Arab and Islamic Studies at the Universidad de Salamanca, is an expert on medieval Islamic civilization—particularly on Islamic Iberia, or al-Andalus—Arab historiography, and Islamic law. While he initially planned this historical dictionary as an update to his Vocabulario básico de historia del Islam (Madrid: Akal, 1987) and its later edition Vocabulario de historia árabe e islámica (Madrid: Akal, 1996), the result is essentially a new work, significantly expanded by the addition of many new entries, combined with the revision of older text, updated figures and dates, and a revised bibliography and index. It covers periods from the foundation of Islam to the present day, with a greater focus on the medieval period (in European historiographical terms), which Maíllo Salgado considers the most fertile period of Islamic civilization. Geographically, it ranges across the entire Islamic world, leaning towards a greater emphasis on the western Islamic world, especially al-Andalus.
The introduction and the initial orientation comment on criteria for inclusion, the length of entries, transliteration, pronunciation, certain translation choices, Islamic dates (entries include Islamic dates followed by their Christian-date equivalents), and abbreviations. The transliteration convention is not standard ALA-LC or Encyclopaedia of Islam romanization (e.g., for the Arabic “th,” thā’, it uses “t” with a line underneath), but it is close enough to LC romanization to be understood by North Americans familiar with that system. Spanish pronunciation accounts for some differences, such as “j” instead of “kh.”
Topics include historical and political dynasties, movements, and organizations; places; theological beliefs and branches; juridical terms; religious practices; social, professional, and ethnic categories; types of constructions; and themes of folklore and legend. It should be noted that there are no entries for individuals, not even the prophet Muhammad (although he is, naturally, referred to throughout the dictionary), and names of individuals do not appear in the index. For example, a mention of the famous 12th-century Kurdish leader Saladino (Salāḥ al-Dīn, Saladin) is tucked into the entry “Kurdos.”
Entries in the dictionary proper vary from definitions to concise essays, typically a couple of paragraphs to a page-and-a-half. Particularly significant or complex topics, including ones of current interest, can get longer treatment; for example, “Regiones del Islam clásico” takes up about two pages and “Fundamentalismo islámico” about two and a half. The more common subjects are often listed under Spanish-language entry terms, followed in parentheses by a more rigorous transliteration from the Arabic, often with a translation of its meaning. Examples include “Almohades (al-Muwaḥḥidūn, los que profesan la unicidad divina [those who profess divine uniqueness])” and “Liga Árabe, propiamente Liga de Estados Árabes, Ŷāmi‘at ad-Duwal al-Arabiyya.” A few Turkish terms are included, for example, “Jenízaros (ŷeni çeri, ‘nuevos soldados’ [janissaries, from the Turkish for new soldiers]).” Entries note the derivation of Spanish place names and terms from Arabic, such as Alcalá from “Qal‘a (castillo, fortaleza [castle or fortress]),” which is a common basis for many place names. Other etymologies are occasionally given, e.g., the Arabic qānūn [law or law code] from the Greek kanōn. Arabic-language entry terms are given with both singular and plural forms. Since those forms do not always look similar to a reader who has not studied Arabic—for example, the plural of waqf [pious charitable foundation] is awqāf—this feature is helpful.
Appendices include (1) a standard list of 99 names of the divinity; (2) a 10-page set of brief entries on Eastern Christian denominations and communities; (3) a genealogy of the prophet Muhammad and his descendants, family, and clan members; (4) a list of Muhammad’s wives and concubines; (5) Caliphal dynasties; (6) a summary (in family-tree form) of the branches and sects of Islam, with their principal areas of expansion; (7) kingdoms, principalities, and rulers in al-Andalus, with their chronological sequence; and (8) the application, partial application, or non-application of shariah law in majority Muslim countries and a few non-Muslim-majority countries as of 2011, including two simple, line-drawn maps. Apart from the genealogical tables, these maps are the only illustrations in the dictionary. While an abundance of useful information is packed into these appendices, finding it is not always simple. In the table of contents, there is only a general reference to the supplementary material with the page number of the first appendix. A detailed listing right at the beginning of the volume, with each appendix identified by its title and initial page number, would have been helpful.
Following the appendices is a bibliography consisting predominantly of secondary sources, which begins with general works and then is divided by broad subject. The titles listed include standard classics in the field plus a few more recent studies and editions, such as Pedro Chalmeta’s El zoco medieval: contribución al estudio de la historia del mercado [The Medieval Souk: Contribution to the Study of the History of the Market] (Almería: Fundación Ibn Tufayl de Estudios Árabes, 2010); the majority of titles listed are in Spanish, although a number are in French or English. For North American readers, this bibliography is probably most useful as a pointer to Spanish scholarship on Arab and Islamic studies—which can be overlooked in bibliographies in English-language reference sources.
The book closes with two alphabetical listings. The first and more useful one is essentially a compilation of cross-references to entry titles, as no actual page numbers are cited. The majority of its terms are in Spanish, particularly references from a Spanish-language term to the Arabic one used as the entry title. It also lists variant Arabic forms and spellings. The subsequent list of dictionary entries provides title and entry numbers, not page numbers, with fewer cross-references than those in the preceding index. Since the entries are not explicitly numbered within the dictionary, the value of the entry numbers is rather limited. As additional navigational features, see-references also appear within the body of the dictionary, e.g., “Derviche (v. Faqīr),” as do see-also references, for example to technical terms used within an entry, from broader subjects to more specific topics or vice versa, and between opposite terms.
This dictionary provides brief yet authoritative and objective reference information helpful for readers of Spanish. It is particularly strong in its concise explanations of technical theological and legal Arabic terms, and it usefully distils a variety of historical, political, and geographical topics into a compact resource, even if its navigational aids could be improved. Its most serious limitation lies in the lack of any biographical entries and the very limited, scattered content about individuals. For al-Andalus, that gap can be addressed with the bio-bibliographical set Biblioteca de al-Andalus [Library of al-Andalus], edited by Jorge Lirola Delgado and José Miguel Puerta Vílchez (see RREA 18:18). While Diccionario de historia árabe e islámica will clearly not substitute for major reference works—most notably the massive Encyclopaedia of Islam (Leiden: Brill, 2nd/3rd ed. 1954- ; available online since 2002)—it nonetheless fills a useful niche, especially for students of medieval Spain. It is recommended for collections of institutions with programs in medieval history, Spanish history, and Islamic studies, as well as Middle Eastern studies, European history, and religious studies more broadly.
An RREA Original Review by David D. Oberhelman (Oklahoma State University)
Dicionário de etnologia angolana represents a major contribution to the anthropological study of Angola, a former colony of Portugal in southwest Africa, that will be an invaluable tool for researchers seeking a reference source on its ethnic groups, customs, cultural artifacts, and other subjects. Written by Adriano Parreira, the former Angolan ambassador to the United Nations and a distinguished lecturer in anthropology at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa [New University of Lisbon], the dictionary offers a comprehensive overview of the peoples of Angola and their heritage. It covers places, ethnic groups, facets of religion, daily life, and terminology in indigenous languages such as Umbundu, Kimbundu, and Kikongo. The volume contains over 30,000 entries arranged alphabetically, making it an especially rich resource for both quick consultation and in-depth research.
Most of the entries are very brief and contain only short definitions, together with notes indicating the ethnic group with which a given term, concept, or place is associated. More complex entries include multiple definitions as well as substantial commentary, in order to provide anthropological and ethnographic researchers with a good grasp of the cultural significance of the word within the various indigenous groups. For example, “Mukanda,” a circumcision and rite-of-passage ritual for boys as they come of age in several Angolan ethnic communities, is a particularly detailed entry spanning several pages, with a highly analytic discussion and citations to secondary sources in the scholarly literature. On the other hand, the briefest entries often simply translate terms from the indigenous languages into Portuguese with little ethnographic commentary or interpretation. Parreira concludes with a bibliography of key sources for the study of peoples of Angola, an excellent compilation for researchers seeking additional information on Angolan ethnography.
This dictionary would be useful for a collection supporting anthropological research on Africa as well as the former Lusophone colonies. Parreira has published an impressive body of other reference sources on Angola, including Dicionário glossográfico e toponímico da documentação sobre Angola, séculos XV-XVII (Lisboa: Editorial Estampa, 1990) and Dicionário de biografias angolanas (séculos XV-XVII) (Luanda: Kulonga, 2003). Due to its wider scope and its focus on the various ethnic groups, however, Dicionário de etnologia angolana is a much better tool for those studying the peoples and cultures of Angola.
Professor Winfried Baumgart has published this bibliography since 1971, albeit with different publishers—Ullstein, Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag—and since the 17th edition in 2010 with Franz Steiner. Comparing the tables of contents for the 17th and 18th editions, one finds that the work is still organized into 19 chapters, with the bibliography portion having increased by only three pages. However, the editors have moderately “revised and expanded” the 18th edition, in large part by removing obsolete titles and adding new ones. This makes the bibliography up to date as of 2014. Of special importance are chapters 17-19 (pages 123-205), which contain an extensive bibliography of primary sources. Nonetheless, some important sources are missing, such as Hans-Joachim Kracht’s Lexikon der Kardinäle 1058-2010 (Köln, 2012- ), a planned eight-volume work of which vols.1 and 2 (2012 and 13) have appeared to date (see RREA 19/20:44); and Martin Bräuer’s Handbuch der Kardinäle, 1846-2012 (also reviewed in RREA 19/20:45).
These 18 editions of the Bücherverzeichnis were compiled at first according to the “Prussian Instruction” cataloging rules of 1909, and later using the long-established Regeln für die alphabetische Katalogisierung [RAK]. This reviewer wishes Prof. Baumgart success in producing a further volume, one that he hopes will avoid employing the recently adopted RDA (Rules for Description & Access), which are as unnecessary as another hole in the head. Two different sets of rules are enough for one lifetime. [sh/ga]
Section 3. 1871-1898
Vol. 8. Schriften 1888-1890 [Writings, 1888-1890]. Comp. Andrea Hopp. 2014. xciv, 679 p. ISBN 978-3-506-76636-6: EUR 79.00
Begun in 2004, the Otto von Bismarck Foundation’s publication of the Neue Friedrichsruher Ausgabe (NFA) [New Friedrichsruh Edition] of Bismarck’s collected works supplants the 1924-1935, the so-called Friedrichsruher Ausgabe. The NFA contains a wealth of new, previously unpublished documents from before and after 1871 and covers subjects and critical inquiries that were not in the historiographical field of vision some 80 years ago.
The NFA begins with Bismarck’s term as Reich Chancellor in 1871 (the unification of Germany) and runs to the end of his life in 1898 (Section 3, 1871-1898). At least nine volumes of his Schriften are planned, and six have appeared so far. An additional two volumes of his Gespräche [Conversations] and three volumes of his Reden [Speeches] will be published in this third section. The six previously published volumes of Section 3 were reviewed in RREA 18:123, with references to previous RREA editions. Unfortunately, there are no current plans to publish a volume 7 (1886-1887). Section 4, Gedanken und Erinnerungen [Thoughts and Remembrances], is edited by Michael Epkenhans and Eberhard Kolb and appeared in 2012, albeit with a 2011 date of publication. It was reviewed in RREA 18:124.
Volume 8 covers the final two years (1888-1890) of Bismarck’s term as Reich Chancellor. The editor collected some 3,000 documents, of which 553 were unpublished until now (287 from 1888, 219 from 1889, and 47 from 1890). Document number 553 (dated 18 March 1890) is Bismarck’s petition for dismissal. In this volume foreign affairs slightly outweigh domestic politics. A major domestic political theme is the repercussions of the two changes of emperor in 1888—the “Year of the Three Emperors.” Bismarck’s relationship with Kaiser Wilhelm I was so close that the Kaiser supposedly said that it was not easy being emperor under Bismarck. Relations with Kaiser Friedrich III were likewise nearly unproblematic. Contrary to Bismarck’s expectations that the old patterns would be re-established under the new emperor, relations with Kaiser Wilhelm II were conflicted and ended with Bismarck’s dismissal as Reich Chancellor.
As has been lamented in every review so far, the lack of a subject or at least a key-word index persists. The chronological listing of documents with brief annotations does not suffice as an aid to subject searching. Volume 9 of Series 3 promises to cover the years following 1890 and document Bismarck’s continuing influence over the Reich Chancellor’s office. One hopes that this will appear at a pace quicker than the one so far. [jli/ga]
Vol. 1. 1570-1870. ISBN 978-3-86732-055-9: EUR 220.00 [14-1]
Pt. 1. Künstlerlexikon [Artists]. Gernot Ernst. 863 p. ill.
Pt. 2. Stadtbildlexikon [Cityscapes]. Ute Laur-Ernst. 676 p. ill. + 1 DVD-ROM, 12 cm.
This work, produced by admitted non-experts (a retired financial entrepreneur and a retired psychologist), contains flaws in organizational usability and occasional errors of fact, yet it is still a remarkable reference work and set of 2,600 images from published and unpublished sources, including, most likely, the authors’ personal collections of prints (despite some prints’ inexact provenance description as “Berlin-Sammler” [Berlin Collector]). All manner of prints, except for woodcuts (due to the huge number of these), are included, and there are more of them listed here than in other comparable works, such as the non-illustrated Berlin in der graphischen Darstellung: Handbuch zur Ansichtenkunde Berlins [Berlin in Graphical Depiction: Handbook of the Art of the View] by Werner Kiewitz (Berlin-Steglitz, 1937). All but 200 prints not reproduced in the volumes themselves may be found in reproduction on the DVD-ROM (with a large copyright stamp diagonally over each).
The first volume is laid out in standard format, with articles for the approximately 560 artists that include name, birth and death dates, brief biographical information, references to sources, and individual works, designated by an abbreviation and described with the original title of the work, date, technique, size, name of the draftsman or engraver, information on its portfolio if any, publisher and applicable item numbers, and public collections where it may be found. The second volume’s organization is much more complicated, involving much cross-referencing and several appendices (for example, a list of publishers, art dealers and booksellers) and indexes. The main index, the index of themes, is rendered unwieldy by the fact that only the top level of the multi-level subject-matter classification is used there, resulting in much needless page-flipping.
It is somewhat unclear, based on the copy of the work itself and the publisher’s website, whether or not there will be a continuation for printmaking after 1871, but assuming the authors do continue this project, it will be interesting to see how they deal with the overshadowing presence of the photographic medium during that time frame. [sh/rb]
The ongoing series, Prominente … und ihre Geschichten [Famous People … and their Histories], first appeared between 2006 and 2008 and contained the biographies of city leaders of Berlin. It began in 2005 with Klaus-Martin Kersten’s Berliner Prominentenlexikon: ein Adressbuch (see RREA 14:139). Radio journalist Harry Balkow-Gölitzer took up the project, publishing five guides, to the former West Berlin neighborhoods of Dahlem, Grunewald, Lichterfeld, Wannsee, and Westend (see RREA 14:140-144). The additional volume on Friedenau reviewed here had been planned since at least 2010 but only appeared in September 2013, authored solely by Balkow-Gölitzer.
From the four parts of the first section of the volume on Friedenau, only two entries are listed under the subjects of resistance and poetry. The rest of the section contains 17 biographies (including name, birth and death dates, occupation and address in Friedenau) of famous deceased Berliners from this neighborhood, like artists Hans Baluschek and Ernst Barlach, actors and entertainers Bully Buhlan, Marlene Dietrich, Werner Finck, Otto Gebühr, and Brigitte Helm, musicians Max Bruch and Harry Frommermann, politicians Joseph Goebbels, Elly Heuss-Knapp, and Luise Kautsky, and authors Günter Grass, Kurt Hiller, Friedrich Luft, R. M. Rilke, and Kurt Tucholsky. Some entries are illustrated with a small portrait of the person and a picture of her or his home or monument, with further details available through endnotes. A list of graves of famous people then follows, along with seven city maps and plans. The most extensive section contains about 300 short biographical notes of deceased Friedenau Berliners. [sh/kab]
Six districts and one address book of prominent Berliners from districts of the former West Berlin have already been published between 2005 and 2013 (see RREA 14:139-144 and RREA 19/20:122). Next in this ongoing series of biographies of famous citizens of Berlin are volumes covering former East Berlin districts, beginning with Pankow, the residential area favored by GDR individuals prominent in politics and culture.
As with earlier volumes, this one begins with four introductory essays (including one on resistance during the Third Reich). It also contains 17 biographies that offer readers names of individuals, their birth and death dates, occupation, and address in Pankow. Balkow-Gölitzer penned three of the entries, his co-author Ralph Hoppe the others. As a guide to the city, this volume also contains a city directory of graves of famous Pankow residents. The last section offers a collection of about 220 short biographical notes of well-known Pankow residents, most of whom are already deceased. [sh/kab]
The 2013 Berlin “Theme of the Year” focused on “Diversity Destroyed” and had as its central motif the ostracism and persecution of participants in the city’s rich cultural scene who, for whatever reason, displeased the authorities after the National Socialist takeover. In conjunction with 40 exhibits in various parts of the city that expanded on this theme, another organization, the “Kulturprojekte Berlin” [Berlin Cultural Projects] mounted an open-air collection of outdoor advertising columns (Litfaßsäulen) presenting portraits of many of these persons, which are presented in this bilingual volume. An extremely short (and lame) introduction is followed by the first main section with just under 200 full-page reproductions of the portraits; below each likeness the name and birth and death dates of the person are given, along with just eight lines of biography. The second, shorter section contains a general map and 11 “city markers” with the title “11 Places—66 Stories” that serve as “starting points to spotlight Berlin’s Nazi history.” A two-page index of persons and a list of 11 “selected titles” are included. [sh/nb]
This large, grand, weighty volume published for the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Wende Museum (http://www.wendemuseum.org) in Culver City, California, documents the world of art and design in almost all aspects of life in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), which existed from 1949-1990. Not only are the book’s physical quality and its format impressive, but the systematically assembled pictures impart a fascinating glimpse into the styles and the aesthetic of life in the second German state, which today appears to be from an entirely different world.
Many daily phenomena of the GDR have disappeared and are understandable only through remembrance and documentation. Therefore, this work will not only appeal to those who remember the GDR experience but will also give a lasting impression of it to those who never set foot there.
The work begins with an introduction to the museum by its founder, director, and editor of this book Justinian Jampol and is a 2014 snapshot of the Wende Museum’s collection, featuring over 2,500 items. While it does not give a complete history of the GDR, it offers a multilayered picture of life there, with chapters on consumer goods; design; commemorative objects such as plates, flags, banners, plaques, and signs; music; photography; paintings and sculpture; fashion and textiles; and documents of historical witness. Each chapter begins with a brief text in both German and English.
The central political organizations of the GDR are represented: political parties (the Socialist Unity Party / SED, for example), paramilitary organizations (e.g., the Pioneers and the Free German Youth / FDJ), the police, the border police (Grenztruppen), and the dreaded secret police (Stasi). Socialist holidays, festivals, and objects of commemoration are presented, and there is an entire chapter on Erich Honecker, that pale and bland apparatchik who might otherwise be completely forgotten. All of these events are documented in illustrations from pages of Neues Deutschland, the official party organ, many issues of which were collected by the museum’s curator.
One area not covered in this volume is a systematic picture of the book culture of the GDR. In part this gap is due to the miserable quality of paper used, but it is a shame that this aspect has not been documented because here, too, a specific aesthetic applied, from the obligatory blue Marx-Engels Collected Works and the brown Lenin Collected Works to the special charm of Reclam editions and books of similar publishers.
The book concludes with a section on dissident art and culture and the eventual dissolution of communist hegemony over GDR society. One may be happy that the GDR no longer exists as a state, but it was more than just history. By way of balance and comparison, it would be informative and illuminating to have a similar work about daily life and culture in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) during the Cold War period.
At the end of the book are credits for the authors of the chapter introductions and the photographs and a short history of the Wende Museum. Whoever is interested in the visual culture of the GDR should consult this mammoth compendium, which requires many hours of study fully to digest. Browsing the Museum’s website [www.wendemuseum.org] provides an intriguing tour of the museum. An actual visit to the Museum in greater Los Angeles is also recommended. [tk/ga]
The year 2006 saw the publication of the first anthology about the primarily Jewish citizens who were persecuted in Stuttgart during the Third Reich, whose fates, thanks to the voluntary labor of individuals, were reconstructed and whose lives were commemorated by placing a “stumbling block” paving-stone inset with a small memorial inscription in the sidewalk in front of the houses where they lived (Stuttgarter Stolpersteine: Spuren vergessener Nachbarn; ein Kunstprojekt füllt Gedächtnislücken [Stuttgart Stumbling Stones: Traces of Forgotten Neighbors. An Art Project Fills Memory Gaps] (see IFB 13-2).
This new anthology describes in 31 essays the project’s progress over the past 10 years, with some contributions covering general themes, such as resistance to the memorialization by some current homeowners fearing lowered property values, and new stone placements by the Cologne artist Gunter Demnig that go back to the “stumbling block” idea. In the middle of the volume is a section titled “Pictures and Documents 1933-1945.” Most contributions, as in the prior volume, narrate the fates of individual persons and families, illustrated with portrait photographs and other attestations, followed by a photo of the corresponding stumbling stone and a list of sources. While the earlier book dealt primarily with Jews, this one focuses on the stories of political resistors, Sinti and Roma, disabled people, homosexuals, Christians and “Asoziale” (literally: “Asocials”—social misfits). [sh/rb]
This volume explores Nazi economic policy and the Aryanization of Jewish property and assets through a case study of the city of Mannheim. Through a series of 26 portraits of local business leaders and officials, the book details the formal polices and mechanisms by which the National Socialist regime was able to expropriate Jewish wealth, and also the complicity of ordinary non-Jewish Germans and a city government eager to snap up Jewish business and assets at deeply discounted rates. In all, Mannheim’s 6,400 Jewish citizens lost some 1,600 businesses and 1,250 properties.
A particular strength of this 960-page volume lies in its examination of not only the attitudes and reactions of victims, but of the perpetrators as well, a balance one sees particularly in the considerable space devoted to the second of the book’s primary concerns, namely restitution efforts. Drawing on city and provincial archives, the author presents 430 individual cases of restitution. Due to its rich detail and analysis, this volume delivers more than its title promises—a history not only of theft and restitution but of the people of the city of Mannheim itself over the period 1930-1960. [mkt/bf]
Vol. 1. 2004. 182 p. ill. ISBN 978-3-932949-41-8: EUR 14.90
Vol. 2. 2005. 198 p. ill. ISBN 978-3-932949-51-7: EUR 14.90
Vol. 3. 2007. 237 p. ill. ISBN 978-3-932949-68-5: EUR 14.90
Vol. 4. 2013. 221 p. ill. ISBN 978-3-86328-123-6: EUR 14.90
The Society for East Bavarian Local History Research numbers around 800 interested laypersons, hobby historians, and scholars who pursue research into their local and regional history. The Society is focused on the history of the city and region of Passau, a historical territory whose borders do not coincide with current state or administrative boundaries. This Ostbaiern/Ostbayern [Eastern Bavaria] existed until 1806 and included parts of Upper Austria and southwest Bohemia (see http://www.ostbairische-heimatforschung.de for more information about the Society).
The arrangement of biographical entries is similar to that in other regional histories. Subjects include persons born in the region and those who settled there from outside and who contributed to the region. Only non-living persons are included, from all epochs and walks of life. Each entry includes a small black-and-white photograph and a list of the subject’s important positions in life. Sources, secondary literature, and a bibliography of publications (where appropriate) are also given. Most volumes contain 10 biographies (volume 3 contains 11), organized chronologically. Three of the 41 are for women; men are from the church are widely represented, including a fourth-century martyr, Florianus, one of the few persons from early medieval history to be included. Other vocations include music, politics, literature (including two women writers), and art.
Volume 5 is in progress, for which this reviewer expresses his strong hope that a cumulative name index be included. [sh/ga]
Vol. 2: Aus der Stadt Braunschweig und den ehemaligen braunschweigischen Landkreisen Blankenburg, Braunschweig, Gandersheim, Goslar, Helmstedt, Holzminden und Wolfenbüttel [From the City of Braunschweig and the former Braunschweig Districts Blankenburg, Braunschweig, Gandersheim, Goslar, Helmstedt, Holzminden, and Wolfenbüttel]. With contributions by Herbert Blume. 2014. 320 p. ill. ISBN 978-3-925268-49-6: EUR 14.95 [14-2]
The first, unnumbered volume of this biographical lexicon (see RREA 12:136) contains brief biographies of 68 prominent persons from Braunschweig who died after 1900. Several of the entries are for persons who were connected to the Braunschweig Technical University, six of them women. Among the better-known persons are Otto Grotewohl, Ricarda Huch, Wilhelm Raabe, and Ina Seidel, but the volume is most useful as a source of information about personages of local or regional renown.
The second volume of this biographical lexicon dealing with significant men and women from the district of Braunschweig provides five-page biographies of 56 people who lived in the 20th century. Entries again include a black-and-white photograph, bibliographical information, and, where appropriate, information about the houses or streets where these persons lived.
The criteria for selecting the subjects are not provided, and a decision to exclude persons who committed a crime means that persons associated with the National Socialist period are not included. Nonetheless, these two volumes serve as a useful companion and complement to other biographical works pertaining to Braunschweig, for example the 2006 Braunschweigisches biographisches Lexikon (see RREA 11:246). [sh/ldl]
Vol. 7. 2013. 339 p. ill. (..., 7). ISBN 978-3-7950-3752-9: EUR 29.50 [13-3]
This volume from the ongoing biographical dictionary for Mecklenburg (1995- ) continues the excellent tradition of the preceding volumes. Volume 5 (2009) was reviewed in RREA 15/16:197, and volume 6 (2011) in RREA 17:151. The coverage is from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, and there is a wide mix of occupations or fields of activity. A typical entry is approximately five pages long, in contrast to Grete Grewolls’ Wer war Wer in Mecklenburg und Vorpommern [Who was Who in Mecklenburg and Vorpommern] on-line collection of over 9,000 brief entries (see RREA 17: 152) . Together with the previous volumes, a total of 360 people have been covered to date. Included in the current volume are six literary authors: Gräfin Ida Hahn-Hahn and Luise Mühlbach from the 19th century, and from the 20th Max Dreyer, Willi Bredel, Brigitte Reimann, and Uwe Johnson, whose prominent bald head graces the dust jacket of the book. A cumulative name index covers all the existing volumes. [sh/ldl]
Vol. 1. 2013. 277 p. ill. ISBN 978-3-412-20936-0: EUR 44.90 [13-1]
Using the model of the Biographisches Lexikon für Schleswig-Holstein und Lübeck (see RREA 17:160), two archivists from Greifswald and Wismar have produced this excellent biographical encyclopedia of Pomerania, which covers the period from the 15th to the early 20th century. There is a good cross-section of occupations or fields of activity; the region boasts at least two prominent German writers, Uwe Johnson and Hans Fallada. Accompanied by a black-and-white portrait, each entry provides brief genealogical information, a summary of the person’s life, and bibliographical information. An earlier complement to this biographical work is Eckhard Wendt’s 2004 Stettiner Lebensbilder (see RREA 10:256). One hopes that Alvermann and Jörn will rapidly produce further volumes and provide an ongoing cumulative index of personages. [sh/ldl]
The Sorbs are a West Slavic minority people living predominantly in Germany and Poland. This relatively small population (the number of German Sorbs does not exceed 100,000) has managed to preserve a distinct culture despite centuries of external pressures, especially their oppression in Nazi Germany and their neglect in the GDR period. Created after German unification, the Stiftung für das sorbische Volk [Foundation for the Sorbian People] has provided a solid basis for and supervision over a variety of cultural conservation efforts. Currently, globalization is counted among the most significant threats to the Sorbian language and culture. Strip mining of coal in the region often leads to the displacement of whole ancient villages, accelerating the disappearance of an old way of life.
In spite of all the challenges, the 230 entries in the present dictionary (the result of collaboration by the most significant figures in Sorbian studies) present the Sorbian culture as very much alive. The strongest thematic motifs in the dictionary are history, history of the culture, and language. The latter, in particular, is represented by insightful entries such as “Alphabet,” “Language Policy,” “Grammars,” etc. There is also a good overview of the private and state institutions that are involved in language policy. An index of names and places, a complete list of headings and a guide to the provenance of images further enhance the quality of this excellent dictionary. [ks/as]
[Ed. note: Franz Schön (Franc Šěn), has also devoted many years to the Serbska bibliografija = Sorbische Bibliographie. Five-year installments have been reviewed in RREO 95-1-139/RREA 1:545 (1986/90); RREA 7:310 (1991/95); RREA 10:249 (1996/2000); and RREA 15/16:205 (2001/2005).]
Vol. 1. 2009. 104 p. ill. ISBN 978-3-933827-81-4: EUR 14.95
Vol. 2. 2011. 99 p. ill. ISBN 978-3-941908-20-8: EUR 14.95
These relatively new biographies covering the Oberlausitz [Upper Lusatia] region join several other biographical sources on the Sorbian lands. These include Jan Šołta’s Nowy biografski słownik k stawiznam a kulturje Serbow [New Biographical Dictionary of the History and Culture of the Sorbs] (Budyšin, 1984) and Franc Šěn’s Sorbisches Kulturlexikon (see RREA 19/20:132).
Ingrid Seltmann’s two-volume Berühmte Persönlichkeiten contains 87 chronologically arranged biographies whose average entry is a mere two pages in length. Selection criteria are not mentioned, but entries feature well-known persons from the region, most of whom lived prior to the 19th century. Bibliographical references are lacking, except for the appendixes “Literature Consulted” (vol. 1) and “Bibliography” (vol. 2.) The author, who has published periodicals and almanacs, and who has nearly inexhaustible funds, expects to publish more volumes in the future.
The grandfather and grandson team of Frank and Uwe Fiedler have been publishing their biography collections on demand since 2011, in some cases making them available several times per year in online, subscriber editions. In this most recent 6th edition, they have included 60 biographies, or “Life Portraits.” This choice of wording refers to the extensive biographical detail in each entry. The biographies include many illustrations and are typically five pages long. Entries are arranged alphabetically, as one would expect in a biographical dictionary. Included as part of each entry heading are the subject’s name, profession, birth- and death-dates and places, followed by genealogical information and the text of the biography. References either are given after the article entry or, likely due to space issues, appear at the beginning, beneath the portrait. A bibliography is set against a grey background. Figures include people from all walks of life who were born in Oberlausitz or who worked there; the focus is clearly on the 19th and 20th centuries, and the most recent death date included is 2010. [sh/jmw]
The “journalist and historian Bernd Philipsen ... born 1941 in Schleswig [and] for many years the editor of the Schleswiger Nachrichten [Schleswig News]” (according to the blurb), has gathered 72 short biographies on persons from the city of Schleswig; the biographies have all appeared previously in the forenamed newspaper. The entries average about three pages in length and have been revised and in many cases expanded; each has a black-and-white portrait of its subject. They are arranged chronologically, beginning with the 11th-century Benedictine monk Ansverus and continuing up to Heinz Kruse, a well-known Wagner interpreter who died in 2008. Among the 72 entries are nine women from many different occupations in the 19th and 20th centuries. Elementary data, for example birth- and death-dates, have to be gleaned from the text. Unfortunately, the articles include no bibliographical references, but there is a seven-page bibliography of “sources consulted.”
Among those sources is the large, multi-volume Biographisches Lexikon für Schleswig-Holstein und Lübeck, several volumes of which were reviewed in RREA 12:233 (vols. 10-12) and RREA 17:160 (vol. 13). All in all, this work is purely of local historical interest and should reside only in public libraries in Schleswig-Holstein. [sh/ga]
This project has been planned since 1988 as a significant desideratum of the principality of Liechtenstein, supported by the government and parliament. Thus it is not surprising to find forewords by the currently ruling prince and a member of parliament at the beginning of the volume. In the following “History and Concept” introduction to the work (pp. xv-xx) we learn that the Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz (see RREA 9:193) served as a major model; its main editor also sat on the advisory board of this project.
The two-volume Liechtenstein work contains over 2,600 articles on geography, families, personalities, and subjects related to the history of the country from earliest history to the present. Lengths and types of articles vary. Included from those families are living and deceased individuals who are native to Liechtenstein, naturalized, or of direct relevance to its history. A list of 202 participating contributors does not link authors to their articles. Each article claims to reflect the latest scholarly, secondary understanding of a given topic, but without involving new primary archival work. Particularly noteworthy throughout are the richly illustrated and annotated maps, diagrams, tables, and family trees. At the end are lists of sources and literature. Yet there are no systematic indexes to the articles themselves, which would be of help to users wishing to find correlated themes or topics. [sh/rdh]
At the beginning of the 20th century, Czech participation in the politics of the Habsburg monarchy increased, in large part due to the election reform of 1907. The number of Czech deputies to the parliament of Austria, the Imperial Council, grew without endangering the primacy of the German majority. The parliament was suspended in 1914 and not called back into session until May 1917, at which time it remained open until the monarchy’s end.
This biographical dictionary focuses on the Czech members of the lower house (Abgeordnetenhaus, or the House of Deputies) of that body. The materials presented in volume one lay the foundation for a collective biography of the deputies. They touch upon corruption and the creation of political camps as facts of the Czech political culture of the time, socioeconomic representation and the formation of party strategies such as faction building, and the social background of the deputies, along with the highlights of their parliamentary activities. The relation of the Czech political class to the local political culture is analyzed with regard to the broader trends in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Volume two begins with party profiles and concise biographies of 163 deputies to the Abgeordnetenhaus from the lands of Bohemia, Moravia, and Czech Silesia. They are followed by: a substantial bibliography containing a plethora of primary and secondary sources; a discussion of Czech political parties ca. 1913, which classifies them by structure and type; and an alphabetical listing of all Czech members of the House of Deputies from 1907 through 1914. Toward the end there are extensive biographies of the 163 deputies, the most remarkable among whom is surely Tomáš Masaryk (1850-1937), future president of the Czechoslovak Republic. These biographies contain extensive personal information, as well as details about activities in the subjects’ professional and political lives and their biographies after 1914. At the end of the book are an index of personal names and a place name index containing both German and Czech toponyms.
This excellent biographical reference work is highly recommended for academic libraries with holdings in European history. [jli/as]
Gardening is a creative endeavor in which many hobbyists, for lack of experience and the inheritance of a yard overrun with pine and thuja trees, soon fail. This beautiful book instructs readers how to cultivate sophisticated gardens complete with flowers, woody plants, and trees. Basic chapters cover design, planting, and the care of garden flowers and trees.
The plants in this book are divided into the following groups categorized by colored bars: bulbs and tubers, summer flowers, perennials and grasses, shrubs, and deciduous conifers. Within these categories, plants are listed alphabetically by their scientific name; an index with German names further assists with identification, as do the exquisite photos. Additionally, information regarding appearance, use, location, care, and reproduction is provided. Several tables summarize recommended varieties/hybrids, hallmark flowers, plant height, and flowering time. With regard to deciduous trees and conifers, it is important to consider which will fit within the garden; a sequoia, for example, is probably less suitable for a small German garden.
The chapter “Service” lists sources for soil testing. The references include titles published almost exclusively by the Ulmer Verlag. This lavish, idea-laden volume is for anyone willing to delve into the world of sophisticated garden design. What is missing from the book, and not to be underestimated, is the lasting entertainment that gardens provide as well as the significant financial commitment required by them. [jr/jmw]
What has changed and will continue to change our world could be a matter of some debate. That animals, too, have changed the world is the belief of the author of this work, originally published in English as Fifty Animals that Changed the Course of History (Richmond Hill, Ont.: Firefly Books, 2011). Fifty animals are presented in no particular order, from the mosquito by way of the dodo to the elephant. The reason each species is included is briefly explained, followed by a discussion of its significance for change in the areas of food, medicine, commerce, and history/culture. Portrait number 50 is of Homo sapiens, the species that has changed the environment to suit its own wishes. Most of the other animals included have been domesticated and changed by humankind.
The texts are easy to read and informative and are generously illustrated with historical images. Unfortunately not all the entries are up to date. For example, the author claims that leeches have been replaced by synthetic hirudin, but in fact hirudotherapy with leeches continues to play an important role in naturopathic medicine. Such small inaccuracies may disturb the professional biologist, but will not bother the general reader. But have the Spanish fly, leech, cod, pearl oyster, or Oriental rat flea as plague carriers really changed the world? Even the greatest plagues have had little demographic effect in the long run. The text on the back cover tells us that these species have decisively influenced human civilization and this corresponds more closely to the original English-language title. An extensive bibliography and useful Web pages encourage further reading. This work is a worthwhile treatment of species that are closely associated with humans and that may have changed the course of history, but it is less certain that they have changed the world. [jr/db]
Throughout history, the disappearance of plant and animal species has mainly occurred over an extended period of time, usually as the result of climactic or geological events. Once homo sapiens arrived in its present form in Africa roughly 10,000 years ago, extinctions sped up. In 2013, we surpassed the 7 billion mark in population, and it is expected that by the year 2100, there will be 10 billion people living on Earth. In spite of major pandemics such as the Plague (1347-1353) which killed an estimated 25 million, and the Spanish Flu (1918-1920), which left more than 50 million dead, not to mention both World Wars, the population continues to explode. One might call it a success story for the species, were it not for the devastation caused by man. Why and how man has contributed to the rapid acceleration of species extinction is explained in 69 selected articles about vertebrates—almost two thirds of which are birds—over four periods: (1) Prehistoric Extinctions, (2) Exploration and Colonization (1681-1945), (3) Acceleration and Economic Growth (1945-present), and (4) Mutations and Controversies. Plants and invertebrates, which are also rapidly disappearing, are not covered in this volume.
Each species has a two-page spread: on the left, a brief profile of the animal with a description of its the habitat and causes for its extinction, along with its systematic classification and mapping; on the right is a brilliantly presented image provided from the collection of the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden (Netherlands). While the causes of extinction of prehistoric species in chapter I can only be theorized, the reasons for extinctions in chapters II and III become apparent. Rarely has man walked into uncharted territory and not wrought havoc. For example, Rodriguez Giant Tortoises, once abundant, were extinguished over a period of 100 years, since they became popular as a meat export; similarly, the passenger pigeon was eradicated thanks to hunting contests. Chapter IV covers species that are essentially extinct save for small populations in captivity, like Spix’s Macaw, or the California condor, a species with a small population that might be saved. A detailed bibliography, organized by species, includes web addresses and invites further reading. This book clearly illustrates man’s significant contribution to environmental destruction. [jr/jmw]
Worldwide, there are 249 owl species, 13 of which are native to Europe, and all of which are presented splendidly here. (see for example the 2008 Die Eulen Europas review in IFB 08-1/2-373). Typical characteristics such as size, prey and hunting, habitat, and behavior, as well as physical characteristics such as vision, hearing, claws, beaks, flight, and ear tufts, are discussed in the first chapter, and in the second chapter, courting and mating behavior, brood care, and protection are detailed extensively. Briefer chapters cover evolution, distribution, taxonomy, and protection of owls, as well as man’s relationship with these fascinating birds. Although owls play an important role in pest control, in some cultures they are associated with bad luck and witchcraft.
With the exception of lesser-known species, most entries are two to three pages in length and include a full-page rendering of the bird, as well as the German, scientific, and English names, size and weight, biological characteristics, food and hunting, habitat, geographic distribution (incl. maps), geographical differences, and similar species. This information is complemented by 750 exquisite photos. Due to large-scale deforestation in the southern hemispheres (for example, in Brazil and Indonesia), and since most of owl species are arboreal, fear for the future of many species of owls is well founded. In Europe, there is plenty of support for the protection of the species. For reasons of space only a few bibliographical references are provided, but the author has provided his email address and will share a list of over 5,000 references with those who request it. Fortunately, societies and online groups that have been overlooked in other works are included here. This book is not only a must for owl afficionados, but for libraries of every size and type. [jr/jmw]