Germans mark 75th anniversary of Nazi book burning
Gatherings were held Saturday in Berlin and other German university cities to mark the 75th anniversary of the book burning conducted at the behest of the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler in central Berlin.
The day was commemorated at Berlin's Bebel Square with lectures, speeches and seminars.
It was here that the most famous of the book burnings took place on May 10, 1933, just months after the Nazi dictator had come to power, the dpa reported.
The event was co-organized by Berlin's Humboldt University, Spain's Cervantes Institute and the Berlin Social Democratic Party. Israeli Ambassador Yoram Ben-Zeev attended.
The Nazi book burnings took place between March and June of 1933, with senior academics and students competing to incinerate entire libraries.
Among the books burnt in Berlin 75 years ago were those written by Heinrich Heine, Bertolt Brecht, Franz Kafka, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Heinrich Mann, Alfred Doeblin, Kurt Tucholsky and Carl von Ossietzky.
Speaking on Friday, President Horst Koehler called for "freedom of the arts" to be upheld worldwide.
"Whoever tries to prohibit books, films, theatrical shows or caricatures is on the wrong road," Koehler said.
Records show that at least 35,000 books, many from libraries, were burned in 22 cities between May and the end of August 1933. Copies of most survived and many of the titles became best-sellers again when reprinted after the Second World War.