80 years since Nazi book burnings
Today marks the 80th anniversary of the Nazi book burnings. On May 10, 1933 70,000 people gathered in central Berlin to burn tens of thousands of books which were deemed to be un-German by the National Socialist regime. These ranged from works of socialists, pacifists, Jewish writers or simply works that sympathized with another ideology. An article in today’s Deutsche Welle (in English) explains that it was in fact students who led the charge, carting over 20,000 books to the public square, including works by famous German authors like Heinrich Mann, Erich Maria Remarque and Joachim Ringelnatz.” Other banned works were by foreign authors like Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, The Iron Heel by Jack London, and several books by HG Wells.
We wrote a piece on book burnings five years ago which holds up well, in it we interviewed bookseller Matt Fishburn, Professor Rebecca Knuth, and Shaun Bythell who is a used bookseller in Scotland who staged their own book burning in 2005.