(Adapted from: Jürgen Wegner, Brandywine Archive, Sydney, 27 May 2008)2008 is the 75th anniversary of the burning in Berlin by the Nazis on 10 May 1933 of books not to their taste. For those interested in this important event in modern book history check out the following video:http://video.yahoo.com/watch/2638100/7743875
You’ve no doubt seen the famous still before but this is the live newsreel footage!In Germany there have of course been countless commemorative events from exhibitions to a special fund established to buy a huge special collection of books by persecuted authors. The major German publishing house of Olms has also initiated a series of reprints called the Library of burnt books.[http://www.olms.de/] of which the first 10 were released on 10 May 2008. A number of major sponsors have donated sufficient money for 4100 sets of these books to be placed in German schools.
There’s actually an interesting memorial to this event in the square just outside Berlin Uni where it took place. Not very well publicized and a bit hard to find… because it’s actually only a large plate glass set into the surface of the square. As you peer down—most just walk by as there’s no sign or other visible object nearby—you see a huge sunken white room with all walls covered with empty white bookshelves.
On a related subject the following is a Bibliography about the destruction of books:http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byform/mailing-lists/exlibris/2002/11/msg00081.html