Book Burning Memorial
'In the center of Bebelplatz, a glass window showing rows and rows of empty bookshelves. The memorial commemorates the night in 1933 when 20,000 “anti-German” books were burned here under the instigation of Goebbels. There's a plaque nearby that says something like “Where they burn books, they will also burn humans in the end.” '
Interesting but rarely mentioned: most of the content burned that night came from the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (institute for the science of sex) headed by Magnus Hirschfeld. The institute and Hirshfeld himself were some of the first to openly campaign for the right to have sex with someone of the same gender, the right to transition if you did not identify with your birth sex and for the general acceptance of queer people. The team had already performed the first SRS operations in Germany and in addition, the institute advocated sex education, contraception, the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, and women’s emancipation.
Photographs of the night of the book burning are plastered across history books world wide, but the queer movement that was destroyed that night often goes unmentioned.
Further Note: The quote in question is a line from the German play Almansor by Heinrich Heine. It was written about the Spanish Inquisition burning the Quran. The line is “Where they burn books, they will also burn people at the end.” Dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man auch am Ende Menschen
Heinrich Heine wrote that in 1823. At the time, Heine was controversial because he opposed German censorship and moved to Paris. When the Nazis came to power, some of his own books were some that were burned at the Institut. Furthermore, when the Nazis invaded Paris, they desecrated Heine’s grave and destroyed his tombstone.
Fake book covers, celebrating 19th century women writers.
Hay on Wye- A town in Wales known as the “town of bookshops”
Containing over 30 bookstores, specializing in rare books, used books, books of all types, it is a major destination for bibliophiles.
“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island, and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.”