Charlotte Beradt

The Third Reich of Dreams

With an afterword by Barbara Hahn
(German title: Das Dritte Reich des Traums)
ca. 173 pages
Charlotte Beradt

Charlotte Beradt

Charlotte Beradt, was a journalist and author, born in Forst (Germany) in 1907 and died in New York in 1986. She has edited publications with texts by Rosa Luxemburg and Paul Levi and published a biography on the latter, entitled Paul Levi. A Democratic Socialist in the Weimar Republic, in 1969.

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English world rights (The Aquarius Press/Quadrangle Books – published, rights reverted), Brazilian Portuguese rights (Trés Estrelas), France (Payot & Rivages – published, rights reverted), Italy (Einaudi), Sweden (Ersatz), Croatia (Disput), Greece (Agra)


Charlotte Beradt, who had worked as a journalist in Berlin until, from 1933 onwards, she was no longer employed, fled to England in 1939 and then to New York in 1940. She collected dreams that had occurred between the years of 1933 and 1939 by asking the people surrounding her to retell them: her seamstress, a neighbour, her aunt, the milkman, an entrepreneur friend, a physician… Fifty of those »dreams dictated by dictatorship« were included in The Third Reich of Dreams, her classic work of dream documentation first published in 1966.

An initial selection that appeared in Free World, an American magazine, in 1943 and was entitled “Dreams Under Dictatorship” began with the following sentences:

»I awoke bathed in perspiration, my teeth clenched. Once again, as on countless previous nights, I had been hunted from pillar to post in a dream—shot at, tortured, scalped. But on this night, of all nights, the thought occurred to me that I might not be the only one among thousands upon thousands to be condemned to such dreams by the dictatorship. The things that filled my dreams must fill theirs, too—breathless flight across fields, hiding at the top of towers of dizzying height, cowering down below in graves, everywhere the Storm Troopers at my heels. I began to ask people about their dreams.«


»[The reader] should look at these dreams with creative astonishment, as a lode of knowledge well worth mining.« Wladimir Gottlieb Eliasberg, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (1969)