Friday, July 12, 2013

Books are Weapons

from the New Hampshire State Library

G. Broder, artist. Office of War Information poster, no. 7. 1942. 29 x 21.

Four months after Hitler became Germany's Chancellor on May 10, 1933, a torchlight parade of thousands of students made its way down Unter den Linden, the principle avenue in Berlin. In a square opposite the University of Berlin where the parade ended at midnight, thousands of books were burned which had been piled there. As books burned, more were added until some twenty thousand had been consumed.

A student proclamation had declared that any book "which acts subversively on Germany's future or strikes at the root of German thought, the German home and the driving forces of German people" should be burned. Works of world famous writers such as Thomas and Henrich Mann, Albert Einstein, Emil Zola, Andre Gide, Marcel Proust, Jack London, Upton Sinclair, Helen Keller and H. G. Wells were not spared. Captured on newsreels, book burning had not been witnessed in the Western world since the late Middle Ages. Artist S. Broder captured this profoundly shocking scene in this poster.

1 comment:

  1. Damn. I seemed to have lost my previous comment. Long story short, love New Deal era posters. We have some printed and hung in our kitchen - don't waste food, grow a garden, etc.