Over the course of history, every empire and regime has burned books that talked about opposing opinions and cultures. We see this in Rome after the fall of Greece, when so many works of greek philosophers was lost, we see this when europeans came to the new world and clashed with Native Americans, and we see this here, when the Nazis burned any pro-Jewish, or similar books. The fact that this is a repeating pattern makes me, and probably the rest of you, think that this is more than just an odd quirk.
We’ve been talking about the power of books all year. (Well, semester.) If books that talk about monsters coming to help a kid whose mom has cancer is powerful, (To some) then what about books whose authors probably died after writing them? People who know that what they write is against what everyone else believes in? People who still write, so maybe someone could read them, and finish what they started. These books always shoot me in the chest, that someone would believe something so against the grain, and believe it so fully that they would rather die than be silent.
Even the books that were written before the Nazis took over. These people are still in danger from writing something they believed in.
Back to the point. The books themselves. Why were the Nazis so afraid of them? This is an answer that isn’t so easily explained. The Nazis were fine with books. Hitler himself wrote several. Books are good at sharing ideas, and even convincing you to believe something else. In my mind, there are two types of books. The entertainment books, like Harry Potter, and a lot of different fictions, (which I have nothing against), and the books that try and tell you something. Books that try and convince you something. Books that can change the way you think. Then, there are the books in the middle. Ones that seem like they’re just mindless fiction, but if you look deeper in them, you find something that changes you.
The Nazis know this. They’re afraid of the power books have. They know it’s power, they’ve used it in the past. But it’s a double bladed sword. If books have power for them, then they also have power against them.
Good thing books are flammable, huh?
(Are my things too long? I feel like they are. I’m not sure how to cut them down though…I just hope somebody reads this.)