6 Shocking Facts About J.R.R. Tolkien

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Before The Hobbit could be published in Germany, Tolkien was asked if he was Aryan. He gave two very different answers!

Before the German publishing house Rutten & Loeing Verlag released The Hobbit in Nazi Germany, they asked Tolkien if he was of Aryan origin. In a letter to his British publisher, Stanley Unwin, he asserted that Nazism was “wholly pernicious and unscientific.”

He also said that he had many Jewish friends and was considering “letting a German translation go hang.” He provided two letters for Rutten & Loeing Verlag, and told his publisher to send whichever one he preferred. 

The first was a more “tactful” letter, and simply stated that he was. In the other more honest letter however, Tolkien writes; “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.” Naturally and unfortunately, the first one was sent.


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