FIGHTING THE FIRES OF HATE: AMERICA AND THE NAZI BOOK BURNINGSOn May 10, 1933, just a few months after Adolf Hitler came to power in Nazi Germany and a full six years before World War II, German university students launched an action "Against the Un-German Spirit" targeting authors ranging from Helen Keller and Ernest Hemingway to Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud. Their orchestrated book burnings across Germany would tragically prove the wisdom of German-Jewish writer Heinrich Heine's 19th century warning "where one burns books, one soon burns people."
Fighting the Fires of Hate: America and the Nazi Book Burnings provides a vivid look at the first steps the Nazis took to suppress freedom of expression, and the strong response that occurred in the United States both immediately and in the years thereafter. The exhibition focuses on how the book burnings became a potent symbol during World War II in America's battle against Nazism, and concludes by examining their continued impact on our public discourse.
The exhibition was made possible in part by support from the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation.