6 Shocking Facts About J.R.R. Tolkien
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.