The time JRR Tolkien gave the proverbial middle finger to Hitler.

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Not only were the Nazis a murderous bunch they also stole and destroyed art , and denied the German people the right to read some of the most classic books.

JRR Tolkien’s ‘the Hobbit’ was one of those books. However the book probably could have been published,if Tolkien would have neglected his principles, but such was the character of the man that he didn’t.

When he was in negotiation withe the Berlin based publishing house Rütten & Loening, to get the Hobit released in German in 1938. When he was asked to verify his Aryan heritage he send the following written statement to the publishers.

“Thank you for your letter. I regret that I am not clear as to what you intend by arisch. I am not of Aryan extraction: that is Indo-Iranian; as far as I am aware none of my ancestors spoke Hindustani, Persian, Gypsy, or any related dialects.

Aryan

But if I am to understand that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people.

My great-great-grandfather came to England in the eighteenth century from Germany: the main part of my descent is therefore purely English, and I am an English subject – which should be sufficient. I have been accustomed, nonetheless, to regard my German name with pride, and continued to do so throughout the period of the late regrettable war, in which I served in the English army. I cannot, however, forbear to comment that if impertinent and irrelevant inquiries of this sort are to become the rule in matters of literature, then the time is not far distant when a German name will no longer be a source of pride.

Your enquiry is doubtless made in order to comply with the laws of your own country, but that this should be held to apply to the subjects of another state would be improper, even if it had (as it has not) any bearing whatsoever on the merits of my work or its sustainability for publication, of which you appear to have satisfied yourselves without reference to my Abstammung.”

He also referred to Adolf Hitler as a “ruddy little ignoramus.” in a letter to his son in 1941.

He could have potentially earned millions if he had published his book in German, but he chose to keep his integrity and dignity. The Hobbit did get published in Germany after the war.

JRR

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Sources

The Tolkien Gateway

Special thank you to Norman Stone for pointing out the story to me

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C.S Lewis- The WWII Years and his forgotten death.

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Clive Staples Lewis was born in Belfast, Ireland, on 29 November 1898. His father was Albert James Lewis (1863–1929), a solicitor whose father Richard had come to Ireland from Wales during the mid-19th century.

This is my tribute to one of the best authors that ever lived.Together with his friend J.R.R. Tolkien they have written amazing stories that have inspired generations.

I am starting with his death which was almost completely overshadowed by news of the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy, which occurred on the same day (approximately 55 minutes following Lewis’s collapse), as did the death of English writer Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World.

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/11/22/22-november-1963-dealey-plaza-dallas/

Few people attended his funeral in Headington Quarry, just outside Oxford, partly because his brother, Major Warnie Lewis, had taken to his bed with a whiskey bottle when Lewis died and told no one of the burial arrangements.

After the outbreak of the war in 1939, the Lewises took child evacuees from London and other cities into The Kilns.

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Lewis was only 40 when the war started, and he tried to re-enter military service, offering to instruct cadets; but his offer was not accepted. He rejected the recruiting office’s suggestion of writing columns for the Ministry of Information in the press, as he did not want to “write lies”to deceive the enemy. He later served in the local Home Guard in Oxford.

From 1941 to 1943, Lewis spoke on religious programmes broadcast by the BBC from London while the city was under periodic air raids. These broadcasts were appreciated by civilians and servicemen at that stage. For example, Air Chief Marshal Sir Donald Hardman wrote:

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“The war, the whole of life, everything tended to seem pointless. We needed, many of us, a key to the meaning of the universe. Lewis provided just that.”

The broadcasts were anthologised in Mere Christianity. From 1941, he was occupied at his summer holiday weekends visiting R.A.F. stations to speak on his faith, invited by the R.A.F.’s Chaplain-in-Chief Maurice Edwards.

It was also during the same wartime period that Lewis was invited to become first President of the Oxford Socratic Club in January 1942, a position that he enthusiastically held until he resigned on appointment to Cambridge University in 1954.

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