Burning the grass where the Nazi’s burned the books May 9, 2014 – Posted in: Banned / Censored / Destroyed

nazi book burnings may 1933 opera square

“Where they burn books, they will also ultimately burn people” –  Heinrich Heine

It’s time for our annual look at one of the greatest examples of biblioclasm in history, the Nazi book burnings.

On May 10, 1933 over 30 burnings took place across Germany and upwards of 25,000 “un-German” books were torched.

“You are doing the right thing at this midnight hour—to consign to the flames the unclean spirit of the past. This is a great, powerful, and symbolic act. . . . Out of these ashes the phoenix of a new age will arise. . . . Oh Century! Oh Science! It is a joy to be alive!”” – Joseph Goebbels, Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, speaking at the Berlin book burning, May 10, 1933 that attracted over 40,000 people.

kastner book burning

German artist Wolfram Kastner  has been marking the occasion since 1995 by burning a black circle into the  lawn of the very site of the original book-burning. Kastner also organizes a day-long there called “Reading Against Forgetting.”

“The Holocaust didn’t start in Auschwitz,” says Kastner. “It started right here in the streets of Munich.”

kastner book burning 1

And here is what was going on in America back then:

nazi book burnings demonstration ny

Up to 100,000 Americans attended an anti-Nazi rally in New York City on May 10 in reaction to Nazi persecution of Jews and the book burnings. It was at the time the largest political demonstration in New York City history. –US. Holocaust Memorial Museum/courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD

modern book printing sculpture nazi

and this sculpture, “Modern Book Printing” was built in 2006 to commemorate Johannes Gutenberg and resides less than 200 feet from where a Nazi book burning took place.

German Artist Commemorates 1933 Book Burning With Annual Reading – Tablet Magazine.
Online exhibit at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Here is a list of 58 authors whose work was burned.
Bibliography from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on the 1933 book burnings.
Book Burning – Wikipedia

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