Nazi book burnings

The Tyee recently published a great article, The Urge to Burn Books, on book burnings in Nazi Germany in 1933.

I like how Stan Persky brings this historical event into the present with this comparison:

So, whenever people burn books — whether it’s the ancient library of Alexandria, Egypt going up in flames nearly two millennia in the past, or the 2003 torching of the National Library in Baghdad just five years ago, at the beginning of the U.S. invasion of Iraq — I take offence.

From this article I learned about an exhibition and website at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum titled Fighting the Fires of Hate.

I also learned about Empty Library, Micha Ullman’s art installation in Berlin. Petskey describes the installation:

But there’s an even more effective, permanent reminder of the book burning right in the middle of Bebel Platz. It’s a memorial sculptural installation by Israeli artist Mischa Ullman, but it’s only really noticeable at night. It consists of a small square of glass set in the rough cobblestone surface of the plaza. At night, it emits a shaft of light from underground. When you edge up to it and look down, there’s a white room, and all four walls, from floor to ceiling, are bookshelves. Empty bookshelves. A nearby ground-level plaque quotes Heine’s line about “where they burn books…” and records that this is the site of the book burning in 1933

Thanks Barbara Jo for the link!

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