Book Burning in Nazi Germany
In 1933 the Nazi government came to power and immediately began the process of aligning the law with Nazi policies and ideals. This included the control of all literature; art; entertainment; and film by using the tactic of rigorous censorship (this process was called Gleichschaltung.) As the minister for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels began to bring art and culture into sync with the overall Nazi philosophy.
Around April of 1933 German students met with university professors to organize a book burning. They discussed which authors needed to be expunged from the library and even consulted with the police or, on some occassions, the librarians themselves. The young, fervent Hitlerites wanted to cleanse the available literature from foreign “Jewish influence.”
On May 10, 1933 enthusiastic students in major univeristy cities gathered in a public place to burn the “un-German” literature. There were 34 cities across Germany where scenes like this unfolded, the largest one was in Berlin, where Joseph Goebbels gave a speech. About 70,000 volumes of books were burnt in total, and in the coming weeks there were confiscations of books from private collections as well.
Students eagerly collect Jewish literature to burn. Pictures from Berlin.