The symbolic moment of capitulation of German intellectuals to the 'new spirit' of 1933 came with the burning on 10 May of the books of authors unacceptable to the regime. University faculties and senates collaborated. Their members, with few exceptions, attended at the bonfires. The poet Heinrich Heine (1797-1856), whose works were among those consumed by the flames, had written: "Where books are burnt, in the end people are also burnt."Sometimes books are burnt. And sometimes the flame is metaphoric, and words are banned due to concerns over "hate" and/or "blasphemy." Either way, Heine's words were--and remain--frighteningly prophetic.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Quote of the Day
The following passage, from Ian Kershaw's Hitler (my current 'read') goes out to all those Canadian Jews (you know who you are) who believe--ignorantly, delusionally--that free speech/hate speech state led directly to the Holocaust, and that state censorship (via Section 13) will protect Jews from our era's version of the Nazis: