On Some stayed and watched their life’s work be

On the night of May 10, 1933 many great works of literature went up in flames as the dictatorship of Hitler swept the nation.  A forty-thousand estimated people, in Berlin alone, gathered to join the so called festivities. These burnings happened in thirty- four university towns in Germany and more burnings would soon follow.The books burned on that night were those of an “un-German spirit”.  The list of books to be confiscated, was made by a man named Wolfgang Herrmann.  This was done to synchronize culture with Nazi ideology.  Although the events were sponsored by propaganda leader Joseph Goebbels the main people behind the event were university students, who had spent months preparing.  Many of these bunnings were postponed because of rain, but the largest one in Berlin raged on as they had to use petrol to keep the flames going.Many of the persecuted authors had left Germany in fear of their safety.  Some stayed and watched their life’s work be destroyed, as one author, Erich Kästner watched his books burn. He said that it was “begräbnis wetter” or funeral whether. Some of the authors targeted by the Nazis were, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Ernest Hemingway, and Jack London, who are all very famous. To commemorate these tragic events, a memorial is set up in Bebelplatz in Berlin. This memorial is a glass window on the ground that reveals an underground library. The library has empty white shelves to show what books, about 80 to 90 thousand, were lost to the reign of Nazi terror.Next to the library are two plates the first one quoting the eerily prophetic words of German poet Heinrich Hein from his 1821 play Almansor. It reads ” Where they will burn books, they will, in the end, burn human beings too.”  The other plate informs readers on the event.Although many burnings happened on May 10, many happened a few days later. Another main day books were burned was on the summer solstice, June 21 because it was a common day to have bonfires. Not only were the books taken from public libraries, but also private ones too.

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