May 10, 1933: Nazi Book Burnings across Germany

“Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings.” Heinrich Heine (German Poet and Writer, 1797-1856

May 10, 1933 marks the date of the infamous book burnings across Germany. The day did not go completely unnoticed here in Munich today. The City of Munich staged a small event titled "Reading against Forgetting: Books from the Fire." Several people read excerpts from book which were destroyed by the Nazis on that fateful day. It was a small, low-keyed event at Odeonsplatz, but everyone that passed by was reminded of the dark history of May 10,1933.

Though the largest book burning took place in Berlin, Munich staged its own event on Königsplatz where enthusiastic crowds witnessed the burning of books by Brecht, Einstein, Freud, Mann and Remarque, among many other well-known intellectuals, scientists and cultural figures, many of whom were Jewish.

The book burning ceremonies were planned with meticulous attention to detail. An invitation to the book burning in Munich outlines the order of events: invitees "must arrive at the designated area at precisely 11 p.m. At 11 p.m. the torchlight procession of the entire Munich Students Association will be arriving. 1. The united bands will play parade music 2. The festivities will begin at 11 with the song "Brothers, Forward!" 3. Speech by the leader of the German Students Association Kurt Ellersiek 4. Burning of the nation-corrupting books and journals 5. Group sing-along of ... songs"

For more information, Click here for a video or click here for an article from the U.S. Holocaust Museum.