In 1933, Nazi students at more than 30 German universities pillaged libraries in search of books they considered to be "un-German." Among the literary and political writings they threw into the flames were the works of Theodore Dreiser.
And out of Russia, as out of no other country today, I feel, are destined to come great things, mentally as well as practically.
—Sowjet Russland (Dreiser Looks at Russia), 1929
All works published before May 1933
American author Theodore Dreiser (1871–1945) grew up in a German-speaking environment in Terre Haute, Indiana. One of ten children born to an impoverished German immigrant family, he was largely self-educated. Censorship and bans accompanied him all of his life. He began his writing career as a reporter for a number of Chicago and St. Louis newspapers. Dreiser was a pioneer of American naturalist fiction and a lifelong foe of censorship. In 1900 his first novel, Sister Carrie, was withheld from general distribution by the publisher due to the work's perceived amoral content. Later novels were censured by the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice and banned in Boston. Dreiser's work became increasingly political, as his interest in socialism and Communism deepened. His works were banned and burned in Nazi Germany.