Lecture by Anders Rydell

The Swedish writer Anders Rydell visited the Friends of the Torgny Segerstedt Foundation on May 15th, to give a lecture on the ways in which the German Nazis in the 1930’s and 1940’s used art and culture as a means of indoctrination.

An important aspect of this is the extensive looting of books and artistic artefacts, carried out by Nazi Germany in occupied countries during World War II. Anders Rydell has written two internationally acclaimed books on the topic, of which The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe’s Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance has just been translated into English.

The Nazi regime intended to establish a number of “research institutes” to re-write history and continue its propaganda, in order to secure its grip on power for generations to come. The ingenuity demonstrated by the Nazi regime is important to understand, not least because it greatly shaped the ways in which dictators try to use intellectuals and manipulate popular thinking to this day.