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Bebelplatz: burning books

Thousands and thousands of burning books. It must have been a horrendous sight for booklovers and people who cared about culture. But unfortunately, it wasn’t fiction. The Bebelplatz near Unter den Linden looks peaceful today, but in 1933 one of the largest book burnings took place on this square. 70.000 students, professors and members of the SS and SA collected as many books as they could carry. Not just any book, but books on literature, history, art, politics, religion, philosophy by scientists and writers that were Entarted (un-German and despicable).

quid pro quo

Bebelplatz in Berlin Mitte


bookburningsbebelplatzBurning books at Bebelplatz

Hitler gave the orders for the collection of these books. 25.000 books of Karl Marx, Kurt Tuscholsky, Sigmund Freud and Heinrich Heine, to name a few, were burned. Minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels held a speech after the books were burned to ash. The work of art on Bebelplatz by Micha Ullman remembers us about this painful event. If you look through the glass you van see the shells made of concrete. The shells are perfect for books, but remain painfully empty forever. The most tragic fact is that Bebelplatz used to be the square of literature in the past. Frederic the Great gave orders to build the baroque Altes Bibliothek (old library) in 1780.. In the Kommode, like Berliners call this building because of the half round shape, you can still find books. The law faculty of the Humboldt University is housed in this building. So fortunately, not all books are gone from this square.


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