Translated literature as soft propaganda: examples from occupied Norway (1940-1945)

Ida Hove Solberg


Among the cultural fields censored under the Nazi rule of occupied Norway (1940-1945) during WWII, translated literature stands out as the most strictly controlled part of the literary field, censored by the Norwegian Literature and Library Office. Moreover, the Reich Commissariat (the highest German authority in occupied Norway) used the field of translated literature as a site for
soft propaganda, here understood as subtle messaging, in contrast to hard propaganda, which is cruder and more heavy-handed. Aiming to investigate how the Reich Commissariat influenced the field of translated literature, this article presents findings from archival research focused on correspondence directly or indirectly involving the Reich Commissariat, taking into consideration textual and contextual features of the books and authors discussed. The article concludes that the Reich Commissariat had various ways of influencing publications of translated literature, being both overtly and covertly involved in publishing processes.

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 ISSN 2184-4585