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Speculative Fiction from Around the World

German Science Fiction Before (And During) World War II

Our friends at Concatenation have posted a new article by Elmar PodlaslyGerman Science Fiction Up to 1945:

So, what was science fiction literature like in Nazi-Germany? That is not an easy question to answer as there has not a lot been written about the subject. Texts about German SF usually end in 1933 and start again 1945. It seems the topic is still somewhat taboo, but equally might stem from the fact that the books are not widely available anymore.

From what little I can gather, a few characteristics can be identified. The Zukunftsroman from Weimar times continues. Some of the books of Hans Dominik (in reprints as well as some of his later works) become bestsellers. In general, there are no books about meeting aliens from outer space, but there are lots of books about high technology, ranging from slightly exaggerated but already existing things (an even faster fighter plane!) to ‘Wunderwaffen’ [‘wonder weapons’] such as heat-rays or gigantic rockets. It was more the continuation of the technological futuristic novel already popular before 1933.

A couple of years earlier came Hans Heycks (1891 – 1972) novel Deutschland ohne Deutsche [Germany Without Germans, 1929] in which evil Jews have taken over Germany. But at the end of the day the Fatherland is saved by the ingenuity of a German engineer.

I have tried finding for a utopian novel from a Nazi point-of-view. But there seems not have been a lot of these. One can argue that the whole Nazi ideology had (from its perspective) utopian elements, with their racial views and their plans of World domination. Heinrich Himmler, leader of the SS, who was an occultist, believed the ‘Arian race’ stemmed directly from the people of Atlantis and went to great length in trying to prove that: in those days there were a lot of real-life, mad scientists about as well who indulged Himmler… – read the full article.

 

October 22, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,

1 Comment

  1. Interesting piece. I wonder if the dearth of SF in Nazi Germany may have been the result of a general belief that a Utopia already existed under Nazi rule. Strange how Schmid’s book envisaged the achievement of a ‘pure’ or ‘healthy’ race without violence.

    Comment by John Kenny | October 22, 2010


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