Nazism and the burning of books

Nazism and the burning of books

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The journalist Volker Weidermann has recovered and compiled in the work "The book of burned books", the biographies of 131 authors included in Nazi blacklists.

The Nazis, first, they persecuted the books of both living and dead Jews, as is the case with Heine. Nazi students justified the burning by claiming that if a Jew wrote in German he was lying, and that they should limit themselves to writing in their language, Hebrew.

Heinrich Heine, a Jew who had died in Paris in 1856, was hated by the Nazis, who were eager to eliminate him from all libraries. This author is known for his historical phrase that is always repeated on this day to remember the events that happened: “Where books are burned, people also end up burning”.

Secondly pacifist works and authors were persecuted like Erich Maria Remarque and Arnold Zweig, who undoubtedly appeared on the top charts. In addition, they were authors that the Nazis linked to socialism and communism, as were AnnaSeghers or Heinrich Mann.

Last and third, all works by foreign authors were prosecuted, like Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos and Máximo Gorki.

But nevertheless, Weidermann's list is incomplete: it is worth mentioning Walter benjamin, who was persecuted until his suicide, when he failed to enter Spain in his flight from the SS.

We should also highlight Thomas mann, who at the beginning was not convinced of wanting to collaborate with his son Klaus in the magazine “Die sammlung”, Where texts by migrant writers were collected. A few years later, Mann finally allied himself with the resistance to burning and persecution by accompanying his sons and his brother, the aforementioned Heinrich Mann, becoming an important figure in the intellectual opposition to National Socialism.

Mann's doubts and his hesitant attitude warn us that many authors of the time did not decide to be part of the resistance, but rather they chose to support the Nazi cause, openly supporting her.

To finish we leave you a curious fact: the soviet writers whose works were thrown at the stake, were also previously persecuted by the Stalinists. The clear example is Isaak Babel, shot in the prison of this regime in Butyrka, in 1940.

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