Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Anniversary of Nazi Book Burnings

Where they have burned books, they will end in burning humans.
— German Poet Heinrich Heine, 1820

The TribStar of Terre Haute, Indiana features Bruce's History Lessons which is about the Nazi book burnings. On May 10, 1933, the Nazi party in Germany held a nation-wide bonfire during which 25,000 books went up in flames. Anything considered "un-German in spirit" that did not line up with Germany's political and social goals was censored. The German Student Association developed an “Action Against the Un-German Spirit” campaign that saw student members of the Nazi Party participating in town by town book burnings. Censorship eventually began to be applied to more than books and included “un-German” music, paintings, photographs, plays, films, newspapers and magazines. were banned or censored, and then religious groups, cultural institutions and political parties.

As Bruce Kaufmann puts it so eloquently,
And finally, as Heinrich Heine predicted a century earlier, Jews and other “un-German” people (gypsies, Slavs, the mentally and physically handicapped) were themselves banned, censored, and — in the crematoriums at Auschwitz, Dachau and elsewhere — burned.

Don't forget to check out the Pelham Public Library's "Banned Book Challenge."

No comments: