but free Americans can still read them


United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Fighting the fires of hate: America and the Nazi Book Burnings
Excerpt
...it is that we Germans have, properly speaking, no understanding of political tendencies. We are more or less educated in business, in science, in thought, but in politics we are about on the same level as the east Slavonic peasantry....such processes of thought as 'the police are to blame, the war conditions are to blame, the Prussians are to blame, the Jews are to blame, the English are to blame, the priests are to blame, the capitalists are to blame'--all these we quite understand.
-Die neue Gesellschaft (The New Society), 1921









WORKS PICTURED
Was wird werden, 1920 cover


  Walter Rathenau
Walter Rathenau WORKS BURNED
All
  In 1933, when students burned the books of Walter Rathenau (1867-1922), they evoked the vicious antisemitism that had inspired his assassination 11 years earlier. Educated as an engineer and experienced as executive officer of his family's electrical company, Rathenau directed the Raw Materials Department in the German Ministry of War during the last half of World War I. Rathenau represented the new German republic at a variety of diplomatic and treaty negotiations: he was in the German delegation at Versailles in 1919 and negotiated the Rapallo Treaty with the Soviet Union in 1922. He also became foreign minister of Germany in 1922, the first Jew to hold a cabinet post in Germany. Rathenau won some reparations concessions from the victors of World War I and generally improved relationships between Germany and her former enemies. Though a strong German patriot, he remained a liberal democrat and advocated socially minded correctives to some of the ills of the capitalist economy. As a Jew and a committed if conservative advocate of the Weimar Republic, Rathenau's very person was a lightning-rod for the hatred of those on the conservative and radical right who despised the Republic and hated Jews. Among the hateful ditties written about him was the following: "Erschlag den Walter Rathenau/ die gottverdammte Judensau" (Slay that Walter Rathenau/ the goddamned Jewish sow). Less than six months after becoming foreign minister, Rathenau was slain by gunmen from a right-wing paramilitary group.





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