What are the LC Subject Headings and Name Authorities for Cataloging Works Dealing with Nazism?

ANSS Subject and Bibliographic Access Committee

Question/Answer on cataloging issues – February 2017

Question: What are the LC Subject Headings and Name Authorities for Cataloging Works Dealing with Nazism

Submitted By: Shonn M. Haren, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Author’s note: This Q&A is a continuation to our November 2016 Q&A dealing with the Subject Headings and Name Authorities dealing with fascism and fascist movements.  As noted in that post, LC provides a specific subject heading for dealing with fascism in Germany under the Nazi Regime (1933-1945), National Socialism.  As this subject heading has numerous forms and constructions, and is connected with a vast number of distinct headings and authorities bound up with the painful history it represents, I decided to approach it separately.

What’s in a name?

The terms Nazi, Nazis or Nazism are a portmanteau of the first part of the name of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei (National Socialist German Worker’s Party) which was used in place of the party’s rather long name.  While the term “socialist” included in the party’s name suggests an affiliation to Marxism and Marxist movements (a common mistake on seen on Social Media for instance), this is a misnomer:  as Stanley Payne (1995) explains, “National Socialism would not mean general economic collectivism… but did mean opposition to the idle rich and to capitalist exploitation (p. 154).  Payne goes on to describe the addition of the terms “national” and “socialist” to the former German Workers Party as a move calculated to, “…give the party a more attractive and descriptive name (ibid.).  Furthermore, as observed by William Shirer (1960), the inclusion of the term “socialist” in the party name ought to be considered in the same light as much of the original party platform, later declared “unalterable” by Hitler, “…a demagogic appeal to the mood of the lower classes at a time when they were in bad straits and were sympathetic to radical and even socialist slogans” (p. 41).

National Socialism (May Subd Geog)

LC defines this subject heading as follows, “Here are entered works on German Fascism during the Nazi Regime.  This heading may be subdivided geographically by Germany only when further subdivided by a locality in Germany.  It may be subdivided by countries allied with or occupied by Germany for works on National Socialism in those countries (Class Web).

Therefore, the following geographic constructions are allowed for this heading:

National Socialism – Austria


National Socialism – Germany – Berlin

The construction:  National Socialism – Germany is not allowed on its own.

There are a large number of specific LCSH that use National Socialism as their root all of which may be subdivided geographically by the same rules as stated above:

  • National Socialism – Religious Aspects
    • Related to this topic:
      • National Socialism and occultism
      • National Socialism and religion
        • Glaubensbewegung “Deutsche Christen”
          • This is the so-called “German Christian” movement which sought to bring the doctrines Protestant state church in Germany in line with Nazi Ideology and was opposed in this effort by the “Confessing Church” movement led by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was later executed for his involvement in the June 20, 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler.
  • National Socialism and agriculture
  • National Socialism and archaeology
  • National Socialism and architecture
  • National Socialism and art
    • For the more specific Nazi classification of modern art as “degenerate” use:
      • Entartete Kunst
  • National Socialism and children
  • National Socialism and dance
  • National Socialism and education
  • National Socialism and folklore
  • National Socialism and genealogy
  • National Socialism and historiography
  • National Socialism and homosexuality
    • For homosexual victims of the holocaust use:
      • Gays – Nazi Persecution
  • National Socialism and intellectuals
  • National Socialism and Islam
  • National Socialism and justice
    • The following individuals figure heavily in this area:
      • Freisler, Roland, 1893-1945
        • Freisler was the chief judge of the “People’s Courts” special Nazi tribunals utilized to try enemies of the state.  Freisler notoriously presided over the prosecutions of the conspirators in the 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler.  He was killed in an Allied bombing raid on Berlin in 1945.
      • Schmitt, Carl, 1888-1985
        • While not a Nazi himself, Carl Schmitt was a gifted legal thinker whose interpretations of constitutional law during the Weimar Republic laid the groundwork for the eventual Nazi dictatorship, by establishing the doctrine of a “state of exception” in which the normal strictures of constitutional law were done away with and the state was granted extraordinary powers until the end of the declared emergency.
  • National Socialism and labor
    • For the German Workers Front, the Nazi labor movement use:
      • Deutsche Arbeitsfront
  • National Socialism and literature
  • National Socialism and mathematics
  • National Socialism and medicine
  • National Socialism and motion pictures
    • For Leni Riefenstahl, the director of the infamous Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will use:
      • Riefenstahl, Leni
  • National Socialism and music
    • For the more specific Nazi classification of some forms of music such as Jazz as “degenerate” use:
      • Entartete Musik
  • National Socialism and philosophy
    • See also: Heidegger, Martin 1889-1976
      • While much of Heidegger’s work neither deals with or explicitly supports Nazi ideology, his early and vehement support for Nazism cannot be overlooked.
  • National Socialism and publishing
  • National Socialism and science
  • National Socialism and sex
  • National Socialism and soccer
  • National Socialism and sociology
  • National Socialism and sports
  • National Socialism and technology
  • National Socialism and theater
  • National Socialism and women
  • National Socialism and youth
    • For more specific terms dealing particular Nazi youth movements use:
      • Bund Deutscher Mädel — The “League of German Girls” ages 14-18
      • Bund der Jungmädel — The “Young Girls’ League” for ages 10-14
      • Hitler-Jugend — The “Hitler Youth” for boys ages 14-18
  • National Socialism and Zionism

In each of the above cases, National Socialism precedes the other elements in the subject heading.  However there are two exceptions to this rule, both of which may also be subdivide geographically according to the rules above:

  • Archives and National Socialism
  • Libraries and National Socialism

The following subject headings must not be subdivided geographically:

  • National Socialism in art
  • National Socialism in literature
  • National Socialism in motion pictures

There are also a number of subject headings related to National Socialism, here are a few prominent ones, all of which may be subdivided geographically:

  • World War, 1939-1945
  • World War, 1939-1945 – causes
  • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
    • This subject heading includes numerous specific headings and variations
  • Kristallnacht, 1938

The following subject headings do not subdivide geographically:

  • Reichstag Fire Trial, Leipzig, Germany, 1933
  • Night of the Long Knives, Germany, 1934
  • Wannsee-Konferenz (1942: Berlin, Germany)
    • This conference, presided over by the SS and involving representatives from across Nazi bureaucracy is seen as planning and institutionalizing the program of systematic mass murder now known as the Holocaust
      • For the document outlining the plan created at this conference use:
        • Wannsee-Konferenz (1942: Berlin, Germany). Wannsee-Protokoll

Nazi Germany included a large number of bureaucratic institutions unique to the regime, a number of which have LC Name Authorities:

  • The party itself: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei
  • The Schutzstaffel, or SS: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei: Schutzstaffel
    • The SS began as Hitler’s personal bodyguards, they grew into the major enforcement apparatus of the party, surpassing even the original storm troopers.  The SS took primary control of the genocides against Jews, Roma, and other races the Nazis marked for extermination.  There are many subheadings for this LCSH detailing specific units in the SS.
  • The Hitler Youth:  Hitler-Jugend
  • The German Workers Front: Deutsche Arbeitsfront
  • The Todt Organization: Organisation Todt
    • This was the forced labor arm of the Nazi Regime, responsible for the creation of munitions for the army and the construction of fortifications in places such as the Atlantic coast.
  • The Gestapo: Germany, Geheime Staatspolizei
    • A portmanteau for “secret state police” in German, this specialized police force used tactics similar to the Soviet NKVD (predecessor to the KGB) to suppress internal dissent.

As infamy is one of several ways to end up with one’s own LC Name Authority, many prominent Nazis have them.  Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of some of the most prominent:

  • Adolf Hitler: Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945
  • Hermann Goering: Göring, Hermann, 1893-1946
    • Hitler’s second in command and head of the German Air Force.  Tried, convicted and sentenced to death at Nuremburg, he committed suicide in his cell.
  • Rudolf Hess: Hess, Rudolf, 1894-1987
    • Hess flew to Scotland early in the war in a deluded attempt to broker peace between Nazi Germany and Britain.  He was tried and convicted at Nuremburg and sentenced to life in prison.  He died at Spandau Prison in Berlin at the age of 93.
  • Joseph Goebbels: Goebbels, Joseph, 1897-1945
    • The Nazi’s Minister of Propaganda.  Goebbels, along with his wife and family stayed with Hitler’s bunker during the final days of the regime.  After Hitler’s suicide, He and his wife Magda poisoned their children and committed suicide themselves.
  • Heinrich Himmler: Himmler, Heinrich, 1900-1945
    • Reichsführer of the SS, overseer of the Nazi genocide programs.  Captured by the British in 1945, he committed suicide in captivity.
  • Martin Bormann: Bormann, Martin, 1900-1945
    • Hitler’s personal secretary, responsible for overseeing much of the domestic governance of Germany during the war.  He killed himself while fleeing Hitler’s bunker after Hitler’s suicide.
  • Heinrich Müller: Müller, Heinrich, 1900-
    • Müller was head of the Gestapo during the war.  His fate after May 1, 1945 (the date he was last seen exiting Hitler’s bunker) is unknown.
  • Julius Streicher: Streicher, Julius, 1885-1946
    • Streicher was the Nazi leader of Franconia, in central Germany.  He was also the publisher of the Volkische Beobachter, the Nazi party newspaper.  A vehement Anti-Semite, he was tried and convicted at Nuremburg and executed in 1946 for war crimes.
  • Albert Speer: Speer, Albert, 1905-1981
    • Hitler’s favorite architect and later minister of munitions during the war.  Tried for war crimes at Nuremburg he was the only defendant to express remorse and take some responsibility for his crimes.  He was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.  After the war he wrote a series of biographical works detailing the workings of Hitler’s inner circle.  He died of a stroke in 1981.
  • Reinhard Heydrich: Heydrich, Reinhard, 1904-1942
    • SS Gruppenführer and Director of the Reich Security. Heydrich presided over the Wannsee conference and is considered one of the architects of the Holocaust.  He was named as “Protector” of the occupied territories of Bohemia and Moravia (part of occupied Czechoslovakia) and was assassinated by Czech partisans in 1942.
  • Adolf Eichmann: Eichmann, Adolf, 1906-1962
    • SS Obersturmbannführer, Eichmann worked under Reinhard Heydrich and worked out the logistics of mass deportation of Jews to ghettos and extermination camps.  As such he was also considered one of the architects of the Holocaust.  At the end of the war, Eichmann managed to escape to Argentina where he lived until the early 1960’s, when agents of the Israeli intelligence service Mossad captured him and took him back to Israel for trial.  He was convicted and executed in Israel in 1962.  Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem is her record of his trial in which she characterized Eichmann as a prime example of “the banality of evil.”
  • Ernst Röhm: Röhm, Ernst, 1887-1934
    • One of Hitler’s earliest collaborators, Röhm was a decorated soldier in the First World War who organized the Nazi Party’s original paramilitary force, the Sturmabteilung, or “SA”  After the Nazis’ rise to power in 1933, Röhm’s position as head of the party paramilitary placed him in conflict with both Hitler, who saw him as a potential rival for power, and the German Army’s General Staff, who wanted control of Röhm’s troops and feared his supplanting them in overall command.  In the “Night of the Long Knives” Hitler deployed the SS against Röhm and the SA, killing many of their leaders, including Rohm.

Works Cited:

Payne, S. (1995). A history of fascism 1914-1945. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press.

Shirer, W. (1960). The rise and fall of the third reich: A history of Nazi Germany. New York: Simon and Schuster.