The Berlin Book Burning And The Beginning Of The Nazi Regime

2376 words - 10 pages

Leaders are always looking to demonstrate their power. They want to show the world that they are the ones in authority, that no one should cross their path or challenge their ideas. To do this leaders burn books that they want to efface from the minds of their followers. Book burnings are always a part of a massive turning point in history, either for good or bad. In most cases book burnings appear towards the beginning of the battle, to strengthen everyone’s opinion to be with or against whatever the leaders may be burning. Burnings of books appear all over history, and all over the world, so they were not a rare sight to see or hear of. The Nazi regime burned books on May 10, 1933 in Berlin; it was one of the first book burnings that they preformed around Germany before and during WWII. The German poet Heinrich Heine in 1822 perfectly predicted what the Nazi regime was going to do during WWII in one sentence: “Where they burn books, they will, in the end, burn human beings too” (Heine), which leads to the fact that the Berlin Book Burning was just the start of a new gruesome period in time. Though just because book burnings took place on several occasions in history does not mean it did not affect anyone, matter of fact it was of massive importance. The Berlin Book Burning had a colossal impact on the Nazis; it allowed their ideas to spread, it increased the awareness and fear of the Nazis, and it helped ensure the ignorance of the Germans.

The Berlin Book Burning burned writings that the German student associations viewed as “un-German”, which then made the Nazi’s ideas spread to places it had not reached before and allowed it to take control. Dr. Goebbels was the mastermind behind the Berlin Book Burning. Dr. Goebbels was made the Minister of Propaganda and National Enlightenment in 1933, a while before the Berlin Book Burning. He was given control over all of the media outlets in Germany by the Nazi directives. Dr. Goebbels then made the Reich Chamber of Commerce the same year. The Reich Chamber of Commerce required that the author/artist had to be part of the Reich Chamber in order to put anything into music, newspapers, films, books, and any other type of media (“Minister of Propaganda”). In order to be in the Reich Chamber the Nazi party had to look that person over; Jews, Communists, Socialists, and anyone else who opposed the Nazi party were denied membership (“Minister of Propaganda”). The only pieces of information that reached the mind of the people were Nazi Ideology, which allowed it to influence Germany. The Berlin Book Burning helped Goebbels in censorship by showing Germany that the books were “bad” to their minds.“…to entrust to the flames the intellectual garbage of the past” (Goebbels). Dr. Goebbels said this in his speech in front of the Opernplatz in Berlin during the Book Burning. This is what he believed, the Nazis believed, and what the German Student Association believed that they were doing. The Nazis believed the...

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