Travelers and Travellers

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I was in Waterstones and I bought a book on impulse after scanning a few pages. Sitting at my computer, I wanted to recall the name of the book. But the book was downstairs.

I looked on the Waterstone’s website and put in ‘travel nazi Germany’.

Nothing.

I googled for it and it brought up a review of the book in the Washington Post.

Um… different cover to the one I had bought.

But I had the name now: Travelers in the Third Reich.

So I put the title into Waterstone’s website and there it was. With the book cover I had bought.

Same title. No, not quite. It’s got a double ‘l’ in travellers, for the English market.

Could the author have used another word that translated across varieties of English?

Probably not, because the book covers tourists, people there on business, people there specifically to see what was happening in pre-war Germany.

I prefer the cover on the version made for the English market. It puts you in the position of the traveller. And it’s reminiscent of travel posters of the 1930s.

Is there a message in the US version? Is that the Hindenberg airship that was supposed to do a number of round trips between Germany and the Americas?

The airship never completed the first of its journeys, because it famously burst into flames and was destroyed at its mooring in New Jersey in 1937.

The Hindenberg 1937

5 Comments

  1. Joan E. Miller says

    Interesting observation about the book covers. I wonder if the British version makes more sense because it looks more “travelly.” Brits were closer geographically to Europe and likely traveled there more, while Americans likely weren’t traveling to Europe much then, and could relate more to Germany through the Hindenberg event. I have read a book about the mystery, and heard the recordings many times. It’s chilling. Was there sabotage? I don’t think it was ever solved.

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    • I think you are right about the way English versus American readers would relate to Germany.
      There was a film about the Hindenberg. I have seen bits of it on TV but never seen the whole thing, so I don’t know what the plot is beyond it being about about spies, sabotage, and opposition to the nazis.

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  2. I do prefer the cover intended for the British market. Regardless, it sounds like an interesting read. I need to read up on the Hindenburg …

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    • Books I’ve bought in the past couple of weeks are piling up. I just bought Love On The Dole, which is an account of poverty in 1930s Britain. Before I get to any of these I am reading Political Economy by John Eaton – an amalgamation of Marx, Engels, Lenin’s expositions on the rise of capitalism and where everything is heading. It’s the new left Labour position that has prompted me to try to get a clearer picture.

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      • Good for you … I wouldn’t be able to focus on it now. I just watch CNN, which keeps my mind off other things 🙂

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