State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda: Fiction

Updated: January 26, 2019

Selected titles from the Los Angeles Public Library's collection about propaganda in connection with a special exhibit at the Los Angeles Public Library, Central Library, Getty Gallery, March 10th - August 31, 2016. The following is a list of novels and short stories.  Some of these are a direct reflection of the Nazi era, and others represent propaganda in general, and its spawn:  lies, rumor, innuendo, chaos, confusion and injustice.

Book cover for 1984
Orwell, George, 1903-1950.
Call Number: Ed.k

One of the twentieth century's great classic dystopian novels depicting superstates that rule by torture, brainwashing, starvation, and absolute fear.

Book cover for Berlin Alexanderplatz : the story of Franz Biberkopf
Berlin Alexanderplatz : the story of Franz Biberkopf
Doblin, Alfred, 1878-1957.
Call Number: Ed.a

Set in 1920s Berlin, Döblin's novel depicts the story of Franz Biberkopf, who is released from prison and confronts a crumbling society of crime, poverty and the rise of the Nazi Party.

Book cover for Berlin Alexanderplatz einen Film in 13 Teilen und einem Epilog
Berlin Alexanderplatz einen Film in 13 Teilen und einem Epilog
Call Number: DVD G

A mini-series for television based on the novel Berlin Alexanderplatz.

Book cover for The Berlin stories
The Berlin stories
Isherwood, Christopher, 1904-1986.
Call Number: Ed.c

In this fictionalized account of his time in Weimar Berlin, Isherwood introduces characters who would later be made famous by the play, I am a cameraand the Broadway musical and film, Cabaret.The stories are also vivid pictures of attitudes and political inclinations leading to the rise of Nazi Germany.

Book cover for Brave New World
Brave New World
Huxley, Aldous, 1894-1963.
Call Number: Ed.g

One of the twentieth century's great classic dystopian novels which portrays mass manipulation of people through propaganda and indoctrination.

Book cover for Cancer ward [by] Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Translated from the Russian by Nicholas Bethell and David Burg.
Cancer ward [by] Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Translated from the Russian by Nicholas Bethell and David Burg.
Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Isaevich, 1918-2008.
Call Number: Ed.a

This novel was originally published in Russian as a samizdat (underground publication), and was then formally banned. Alexander Solzhenitsyn uses the cancer ward as a metaphor for the irreparable damage caused by Stalin's Great Purge.

Book cover for Children and fire : a novel
Children and fire : a novel
Hegi, Ursula.

In the town of Burgdorf, Germany, just outside of Berlin, it is Feb. 27, 1934, the first anniversary of the burning of the Reichstag, and a young optimistic teacher cannot imagine that the burgeoning Nazi movement will last. However there are German boys who have joined the Hitler Youth Movement and Jewish children are attending segregated classes. This is one volume in the Burgdorf series: Floating in my mother's palm; Stones from the riverVision of Emma Blau. 

Book cover for Europe central
Europe central
Vollmann, William T.

Panoramic in scope and subject, Vollmann portrays central European countries, and a myriad of historical and fictitious characters. Decisions made in the worst of times are a test of moral integrity.

Book cover for Fahrenheit 451
Fahrenheit 451
Bradbury, Ray, 1920-2012.
Call Number: SF Ed.f

One of the twentieth century's great dystopian novels which presents book burning as a method of controlling information and freedom of thought.

Book cover for Little man, what now?
Little man, what now?
Fallada, Hans, 1893-1947.
Call Number: Ed.a

An important German novel published to great acclaim in 1932. Fallada portrays a young couple struggling in an economically stressed German society, with the growth of the Nazis offering solutions to everyone's problems. This is the first uncut English translation.

Book cover for The successor : a novel
The successor : a novel
Kadare, Ismail.

Albanian writer Ismail Kadare has written a mystery novel and political polemic. Intrigue swirls around the mystery death of an appointed successor to a brutal dictator. Who killed him and why? The existing dictator is near death, but does not want to be replaced. Based on the real Albanian leader, Enver Hoxha, who ruled by means of fear, rumor and threat, Kadare has created a darkly satiric story about state power run amok.

Book cover for The Third Reich
The Third Reich
Bolano, Roberto, 1953-2003.

This novel is not directly about the Third Reich, but centers around a war game, The Rise and Decline of the Third Reich. Many of Bolaño's novels reference the dictatorial regime of Augusto Pinochet.

Book cover for The tin drum
The tin drum
Grass, Gunter, 1927-2015.
Call Number: Ed.d

Oskar Matzerath is the main character and narrator, who is born with a shrieking voice he never loses, all the while proclaiming that he alone knows the truth.

Book cover for The trial
The trial
Kafka, Franz, 1883-1924.
Call Number: Ed.e

A man is arrested by an amorphous authority and never told for what crime.