Thursday, 2 December 2010


On May 10, 1933, students gathered 25,000 volumes by Jewish authors and burned them in the square in front of the University of Berlin. The bonfire was watched by 40,000 unenthusiastic people in a drizzling rain. Dr. Goebbels, the Minister of Public Enlightenment, delivered an address on the “symbolic significance of the gesture.” Similar demonstrations were held at many other German universities. In Munich 5,000 school children, who had formally Marxist literature publicly burned, were enjoined; “as you watch the fire burn these un-German books, let it also burn into your hearts love of the Fatherland.” Students entered the bookstores and took without remuneration the books they considered eligible for the bonfire, and had to be prevented from confiscating books from the University Library.

The following list consists of some of the most important authors whose works were sacrificed at the fires.
Sholom Asch, Lion Feuchtwanger, Maxim Gorki, Stefan Zweig, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Helen Keller, Jack London, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Jakob Wasserman, Emil Ludwig, Arthur Schnitzler, Leon Trotsky, Nikolai Lenin, Josef Stalin, Gregory S. Zinoviev, Alfred Adler, Theodore Lessing, Franz Werfel, Hugo Munsterberg, Thomas Mann, Heinrich Mann, Erich Maria Remarque, Albert Einstein, Heinrich Heine, Felix Mendelssohn, Maximilian Harden, Kurt Eisner, Henri Barbusse, Rosa Luxemburg, Upton Snclair, Judge Ben Lindsay, Arnold Zweig.

(Source: Anne Lyon Haight’s Banned Books, p. 121)

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