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LTI. Notizbuch eines Philologen

4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  429 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
Victor Klemperer analysiert in seinem längst zum Standardwerk gewordenen Buch LTI (Lingua Tertii Imperii – die Sprache des Dritten Reiches), wie die Nationalsozialisten mit der Sprache umgingen und mit Worten Politik machten. Seine – oft heimlich – während des Dritten Reiches entstandenen Tagebuchaufzeichnungen, seine scharfsinnigen, spannenden und teils heiteren Sprach- u ...more
Paperback, 385 pages
Published December 31st 2007 (first published 1947)
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I'm assuming that most of us know about George Orwell's 1984. Even if you haven't read the book, you are likely familiar with some of the basic concepts: Big Brother, Two-Minutes Hate, the Ministry of Truth, and so on. One of the main concepts in 1984 was Newspeak, where the government actively manipulated the language people spoke in order to control and limit their thoughts, to make dissent impossible.

Well Orwell, as skilled a writer as he was, didn't invent all of this on his own. He based mu
Mar 13, 2013 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, shoah
I first discovered this, and his diaries, during work on my Master's thesis (specifically the chapter dealing with language as a tool for brutalisation in Nazi Germany). It left me speechless with admiration. The fact that one can see similar techniques being used again and again around the world, only amplifies the importance of his studies. Very glad to see it has been published by Routledge as my old copy is falling apart...
Sep 25, 2014 notgettingenough rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sociology
Update: Klemperer on the connection between Romanticism and the Nazis.


First post on this book:

To set the scene: Klemperer was one of the Jews to survive WWII in Germany because he was married to an Aryan. Prior to Hitler, he was an academic in the field of literature and, having been forced out of his job, he kept detailed diary notes on how language was used under the Nazis in Germany. It was his way of trying to deal with the situation he was in, utilisi
A sort of combination memoir and philology book. The author undertakes a serious study of language in Nazi Germany, but that study is part and parcel of his own experience living as a Jew in Dresden, and he includes many anecdotes about his own experiences. I admit I'm not into philology -- okay, I had to look up the word in the dictionary -- and I only read the book because Klemperer kept talking about it in his diaries. And in turn he talks about his diaries a lot in this book. So they complim ...more
Patrick Tobin
Aug 19, 2009 Patrick Tobin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a huge fan of Klemperer's diaries - in fact, they're some of my favorite books. I remember reading notes for the LTI in the diaries, and only just now got around to buying it.

I wish I'd read it sooner. I think it's brilliant, but I felt hampered by not knowing German. I think it would have been a lot more powerful, regardless of how wonderful the translation is.

That said, there were a couple of sections that gave me goose pimples, mainly because they are so completely relevant to today.

Nuria Castaño monllor
"En cualquier revolución, sea de carácter político-social, artístico o literario, siempre intervienen dos tendencias. De un lado, está la voluntad de lo completamente nuevo, donde el énfasis se pone con ahí ven la oposición a todo lo vigente hasta el momento; de otro, la necesidad de establecer un nexo con el pasado, de contar con una tradición justificante: en este caso, no se es del todo nuevo, se regresa a aquello contra lo cual pecó la época que debe ser superada, se vuelve a la humanidad, a ...more
May 25, 2012 trovateOrtensia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Un'epoca si esprime attraverso il suo linguaggio.
(...) Le parole possono essere come minime dosi di arsenico: ingerite senza saperlo sembrano non avere alcun effetto, ma dopo qualche tempo ecco rivelarsi l'effetto tossico. Se per un tempo sufficientemente lungo al posto di eroico e virtuoso si dice "fanatico", alla fine si crederà veramente che un fanatico sia un eroe pieno di virtù e che non possa esserci un eroe senza fanatismo".

Un libro illuminante e prezioso.
Это книга с историей. Она написана человеком, который прожил все 12 лет существования Третьего Рейха в Германии, будучи евреем (пусть и крещеным), и выжил благодаря тому, что жена его была немка. Все это время он, филолог, вел дневниковые записи о своей жизни и о жизни Германии такой, как он (учитывая ограниченный доступ к информации) ее видел, но не в последнюю очередь - о том, как менялся немецкий язык под воздействием тотального контроля и тотальной пропаганды нацистов. В книге также и множес ...more
Alex Johnston
Nov 23, 2016 Alex Johnston rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So, what we have here is a book about language use in Germany during the period of the Third Reich. The author was in a privileged position to observe that particular subject, in that he was highly intelligent; had studied philosophy, Romance languages and German studies at a high level, and lived in Germany during that period. But also he was Jewish, and for various reasons was not incarcerated at any point on account of his ethnicity, so he was able to observe for the duration of the Reich how ...more
Nov 18, 2015 Priya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Original review on Tabula Rasa

Klemperer dedicates this book to his wife, and the crisp dedication ascertains the tone of the book - sincere, heartfelt, with the humourless smile of a survivor. He starts with the word heroic and its nazifierte meaning, how for a whole generation of Germans heroism wears a soldier's uniform. The LTI, as Klemperer calls it, breeds military-worship. Heavily romanticized words like heldenhaft (valient) and kämpferisch (gladiatorial) replace the more accurate and
Iñaki Tofiño
Jan 15, 2012 Iñaki Tofiño rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un intelectual que analiza la lengua de la bestia, una víctima que disecciona la lengua del verdugo y gracias a eso mantiene la cordura.

Victor Klemperer sobrevivió a la persecución gracias al hecho de estar casado con una mujer "aria" y aunque los dos sufrieron las sevicias y vejaciones del régimen nazi, perdieron su trabajo, tuvieron que trasladarse a una "casa de judíos", vieron como sus correligionarios acaban en campos de concentración (y recibieron urnas con sus cenizas a vuelta de correo..
Oct 21, 2014 Gudrun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Words can be like small doses of arsenic - they become effective after time. Klemperer's book LTI (lingua tertii imperii) is a book about language in the Third Reich. He calls it 'Notebook of a philologist'. Here he records in great and fascinating detail how the Nazis changed German language to a language of the Third Reich, serving their sinister aim to discredit and destroy the Jewish community by building and furthering antisemitism through subtle changes in everyday language.
Jan 02, 2013 Librariel rated it it was amazing
voor germanisten en geïnteresseerden in de recente geschiedenis een absolute must. korte hoofdstukken die de verschillende aspecten van de LTI, de taal van het Derde Rijk, belichten en illustreren met de persoonlijke ervaringen van één van de weinige prominente Duitsers van joodse origine die de oorlog in Duitsland zelf overleefde. Je gebruikt het woord 'fanatiek' nooit meer zomaar...
Aug 25, 2014 Bakunin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I've read this year. I'll return with a review a little later when the dust from Klemperers explosive material has settled.
Braulio Bascón
Feb 16, 2017 Braulio Bascón rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Me encanta Klemperer. Preciso, brillante. Un libro que analiza el lenguaje usado por el Tercer Reich con la distancia de un cirujano ante un tumor letal. Y por supuesto, tremendamente moderno, atemporal, en estos tiempos de post verdad, de mentiras para bobos sin opinión.
Aug 27, 2012 Roger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that would repay multiple readings - in fact it's a book that should sit on one's shelves and be referred to again and again - despite it's somewhat quirky construction, in a small way this book unlocks the secrets of the twentieth century's decline into madness and suicide.

Victor Klemperer was a middle-aged, middle-class Professor of French Literature, who had served his country in the First World War; in 1933 he had a comfortable post at the Dresden Technical University. In a no
Jacques le fataliste et son maître
Mi pare notevole, in questo libro, il modo in cui le riflessioni sulla degenerazione subita dalla lingua tedesca durante il nazismo si alternano alle fugaci testimonianze delle violenze quotidiane, delle sconfortanti manifestazioni di ottusità ideologica di cui si rendono protagoniste le persone meno sospettabili – manifestazioni dell’impoverimento del discorso pubblico sui mezzi di informazione e del dialogo (politico, culturale) fra le persone. Un appiattimento della lingua e delle idee in par ...more
Jun 08, 2009 Felix rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
German edition - German review:

Victor Klemperer schaut hier mit dem professionellen aber auch herzerwärmenden und -zerreißenden Blick eines jüdischen Linguisten den Nazis aufs Maul. Ich bin immer noch voller Be- und Verwunderung darüber, wie er es geschafft hat, umgeben von all diesen Greueln, seinen feinen Humor zu behalten und weiter scharfsinnig-analytisch zu denken. Seine Ausführungen (die im übrigen frei von jeglichem Fachjargon und überaus gut verständlich sind) haben mich tief beeindruckt
Aug 06, 2011 Mathieu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Comment les nazis, pour contrôler la manière dont la population pensait, ont inventé un langage qui leur était propre. Glaçant, terrifiant, édifiant. A lire, car on s'aperçoit, en fin de compte, que les techniques de communication politique et publicitaire (les deux revenant au même) aujourd'hui sont les mêmes: matraquer des termes jusqu'à plus soif pour que tout le monde les utilise, les intègre et se mette à penser comme le pouvoir le souhaite (identité nationale anyone?), répéter des slogans ...more
Aug 27, 2010 Natasha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must-read or re-read,but a saddening one, for anyone interested in how wording, language and terminology can criminalise and complottie a specific group in society. Chillingly applicable to some aspects of modern times and issues. Klemperer, in the early fifties: "With an analysis of the language of the Third Reich, I hope to contribute to the knowledge that wherever a whole segment of society, is generally spoken of in a certain type of language, in which they - from baby to old ager- are att ...more
Mikhail Ignatev
Вот Пушкин - гений, он изобрёл русский язык. Изобретатель колеса - тоже гений, но ездить всё-таки сейчас приятнее на мерседесе, чем на телеге. По той же причине Бродского люблю больше, чем Пушкина.

Тут то же: это был, по-видимому, первый или уж точно один из первых текстов такого рода, где показано, как ошеломляюще точно язык позволяет реконструировать происходящее в обществе.

НО! Есть же книга Михаила Вайскопфа "Писатель Сталин". Там ТО ЖЕ САМОЕ, но только про НАС. А кроме того, текст Вайскопфа н
Eren Buğlalılar
Jan 13, 2014 Eren Buğlalılar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kitabın yazarı faşizmin hüküm sürdüğü yıllarda Almanya'da gizli bir hayat sürmek zorunda kalan bir Yahudi dil bilimci. Faşizmin demagojik niteliğini, yalan söylemekteki ustalığını anlatmanın yanısıra, bu dilin nasıl yavaş yavaş insanların düşünme biçimlerine girdiğini, en vicdanlı görünen insanların kelimeler aracılığıyla nasıl rejimin ideolojisine tabi kılındığını gösteriyor.

Okurken AKP'nin sürekli söylediği yalanlarla yaratmayı kısmen başardığı yanılsamayı ve liberallerin ürettiği, darbe-demok
Apr 03, 2015 Scherzo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
El lenguaje saca a la luz aquello que una persona quiere ocultar de forma deliberada, ante otros o ante sí mismo, y aquello que lleva dentro de forma inconsciente. [...] Las afirmaciones de una persona pueden ser mentira, pero su esencia queda al descubierto por el estilo de su lenguaje.

La vida se permite combinaciones que ningún novelista puede permitirse, porque resultarían demasiado novelescas.

Cómo se adaptan a su entorno las naturalezas mediocres e inocentes.

(guerra alegre y refrescante)

LTI is both shocking as a historical document of the Nazi language and awe-inspiring as the record of a Jewish survivor. But above all it serves as an important lesson about the power of words, one that is still very relevant today.

Despite its grim theme, and even if it sounds almost frivolous to say so, it also makes for a fascinating read for anyone with an ear for language.

Read my full review:
Sep 27, 2009 Susagna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Es pot trobar en castellà amb el títol: "LTI La lengua del Tercer Reich" Ed. Minúscula.

Un llibre pels amants de la llengua en tota la seva extensió. Victor Klemperer diu que "el llenguatge no només crea i pensa per nosaltres, com deia Schiller, sinó que guia alhora les nostres emocions, dirigeix la nostra personalitat psíquica..." Amb aquest assaig escrit en la clandestinitat ens adverteix dels perills de la manipulació de la llengua.
"Worte sind wie winzige Arsendosen: sie werden unbemerkt verschluckt, sie scheinen keine Wirkung zu tun, und nach einiger Zeit ist die Giftwirkung da."

Es gibt SO viel mehr zu diesem Buch zu sagen (und auch Gründe, warum es vielleicht doch 4.55 Punkte werden sollten, aber eher 5 als 4). So, SO viel mehr. Aber ich belasse es zuerst bei dem obigen Zitat, das so viel zusammenfasst und so, SO aktuell ist.
Dec 15, 2008 Chani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being Jewish, Victor Klemperer lost his job and could have lost his life if his Aryan wife had deserted him. Being a German philologist he used his own weapon to make it through the Third Reich's craziness and studied that Newspeak the Nazis created, writing in his notebook how propaganda changed the German language, how the LTI altered the way of thinking.

Brilliant and moving. A book everybody should read. Makes me wish I learnt German at school.
Mar 11, 2013 Thegurkenkaiser rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Das ist ein grandioses Buch zum NS. Vorrangig gehts natürlich um sprache und du denkst: Kennt man ja alles schon. Aber lass dich korrigieren: kennt man gar nicht!
und es ist sogar unterhaltsam und witzig, es hat romanähnliche züge, in die die analytischen Bezüge perfekt eingebettet sind. Hier kann man lernen, richtig hinzuhören und zu lesen. nicht nur im bezug auf NS.
Jul 04, 2009 Joseph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: linguistics, history, jews
This book is fascinating. Unless you speak German, though, it might be difficult to really see what Klemperer is describing. It's nevertheless interesting to read the Klemperer's perspective as both an educated philologist and a Jew who lived during the Nazi years and examined how the Nazis twisted the German language. So far, sooo good.
Teresa Santiago
Mar 09, 2015 Teresa Santiago rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sobrecogedor análisis del filólogo alemán sobre el uso de la lengua como arma de guerra política. Escrito con una humildad que sorprende al ver su extraordinaria capacidad para reflexionar y dar cuenta de lo que está ocurriendo a su alrededor durante el Tercer Reich. Esa misma claridad para entender los acontecimientos contemporáneos que tiene Vassili Grossman en Vida y Destino.
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Victor Klemperer (9 October 1881 – 11 February 1960) worked as a commercial apprentice, a journalist and eventually a Professor of Literature, specialising in the French Enlightenment at the Technische Universität Dresden. His diaries detailing his life under successive German states—the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany and the German Democratic Republic—were published in 1995. His ...more
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“Ich war noch nicht ein bißchen abgestumpft, ich war noch so ganz gewohnt, in einem Rechtsstaat zu leben, daß ich damals vieles für die tiefste Hölle hielt, was ich später höchstens für ihren Vorhof, für den Danteschen Limbo nahm. Immerhin: soviel schlimmer es auch kommen sollte, alles, was sich noch später an Gesinnung, an Tat und Sprache des Nazismus hinzufand, das zeichnet sich in seinen Ansätzen schon in diesen ersten Monaten ab.” 3 likes
“Academics love the semicolon; their hankering after logic demands a division which is more emphatic than a comma, but not quite as absolute a demarcation as a full stop.” 2 likes
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