1946 May 13

U.S. Forces Destroy Books in Germany


American authorities participating in the post-war occupation of Germany ordered the destruction of 30,000 different books on the grounds that they advanced Nazi propaganda. Millions of books were “pulped” (a book-industry term for destroying unwanted books). One Allied spokesperson even conceded that in principle the action was no different than the notorious Nazi book-burning campaign.

There were  number of incidents in 20th century American history when authorities, who certainly should have been aware of the horros of Nazism, burned books and films: July 27, 1935  (“tons” of books), December 10, 1948 (comic books in Binghamton, NY),  March 31, 1950 (all the copies of one issue of Scientific American), August 23, 1956 (the works of psychologist Wilhelm Reich), and November 10, 1973 (the novel Slaughterhouse Five by the famed author Kurt Vonnegut).

Learn more: Matthew Fishburn, Burning Books (2008)

Watch a documentary on Nazi book burning from the Holocaust Museum: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHzM1gXaiVo

Learn more about Nazi book burning: http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005852

Learn about book burning in history: http://mentalfloss.com/article/50038/11-book-burning-stories-will-break-your-heart

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