In 1933, Adolf Hitler handed the power of Jewish cultural life in Nazi Germany to his chief propagandist, Joseph Goebbels. Goebbels established a team of of regulators that would oversee the works of Jewish artists in film, theater, music, fine arts, literature, broadcasting, and the press.
Goebbels’ new regulations essentially eliminated Jewish people from participating in mainstream German cultural activities by requiring them to have a license to do so.
This attempt by the Nazis to purge Germany of any culture that wasn’t Aryan in origin led to the questioning of artists from outside the country.
In 1938, English author J. R. R. Tolkien and his British publisher, Stanley Unwin, opened talks with Rütten & Loening, a Berlin-based publishing house, about a German translation of his recently-published hit novel, “The Hobbit.”