Item #11988 Germany Must Perish! Theodore N. Kaufman.

Germany Must Perish!

Newark, New Jersey: Argyle Press, ©1941. Second printing. A fanatical proposal for eradicating the German population through forced sterilization and the dissection and distribution of German lands to her neighbors. The book was written and self-published by an unknown Jewish American named Theodore N. Kaufman, the owner of a theatrical ticket agency in Newark, NJ, and sole member of the American Federation of Peace. It was under the banner of this one-man organization that in 1939 Kaufman first broached the idea of sterilization, but this time for Americans if the U.S. was to become embroiled in a European war. Finding no publisher willing to publish his unhinged thesis, Kaufman established Argyle Press to publish Germany Must Perish, which he did in early 1941. He aggressively self-promoted it, which resulted in reviews in the New York Times, Washington Post, TIME Magazine, and the Philadelphia Record. Preceding the book’s publication, Kaufman sent small hand-made coffins to reviewers that contained a card reading, "Read GERMANY MUST PERISH! Tomorrow you will receive your copy." A TIME reviewer compared it to Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal - without the irony (see, “Modest Proposal, TIME Magazine, Vol. 37, No. 12, March 24, 1941). Kaufman’s creative interpretation of the dismissive reviews landed as promotional blurbs on the rear cover of this second printing, and more importantly caught the attention of Joseph Goebbels and the Nazi Party.

Writing in his diary, Nazi Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, wrote: “This Jew did a real service for the enemy [German] side. Had he written this book for us, he could not have made it any better. I will have this published in an edition of millions for Germany and above all for the front, and will write the forward and afterward myself” (qtd. in Bytwerk). In September 1941, the NSDAP publishing house issued five million copies of Das Kriegsziel der Weltplutokratie. Dokumentarische Veröffentlichung zu dem Buch des Präsidenten der amerikanischen Friedensgesellschaft Theodore Nathan Kaufman “Deutschland muß sterben” written by Wolfgang Diewerge - with some input from Goebbels himself. The pamphlet included many excerpts from Germany Must Perish with outlandish claims that Kaufman was a member of Roosevelt’s “Brain Trust” who facilitated a meeting between the President and Churchill. This was followed a month later with a four page pamphlet titled, “When You See This Symbol…” justifying the Nazi use of the Yellow Star on Jews to protect Germans from Kaufman’s diabolical plan. The pamphlet was sent to every German along with their ration card. By 1944, Kaufman’s book was still being used in German propaganda to remind the German people what the Nazis were fighting against.

Kaufman followed up Germany Must Perish with a less radical proposal in No More German Wars: Being an Outline of Suggestions for Their Permanent Cessation (1942) and then quietly disappeared from the historical record. His book and legacy have been kept alive by a string of far right publishers who have kept Germany Must Perish in print to justify Germany’s wartime treatment of the Jews.

Perfect-bound orange wrappers (7 ½ x 5 ½”) emblazoned with a swastika, 96 p., map printed inside rear wrapper. Wrappers are rubbed with some edge wear, pen mark to the front cover. Copies of the 1941 edition are extremely uncommon in the trade. The best account of Kaufman’s book as Nazi propaganda is Randall L. Bytwerk, Bending Spines: The Propagandas of Nazi Germany and the German Democratic Republic (East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press, 2004). Item #11988

Price: $750.00

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