Book burning

From Academic Kids

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Many readers find an image of burned books provocative.

Book burning is the practice of ceremoniously destroying by fire one or more copies of a book or other written material. In modern times other forms of media, such as gramophone records, CDs and video tapes, have also been ceremoniously burned or shredded. The practice, often carried out publicly, is usually motivated by moral, political or religious objections to the material.

"Burning books and killing scholars" in 212 BC is counted as the greatest crime of Qin Shi Huang of China.

The writer Heinrich Heine famously wrote in 1821 "Where they burn books, they will end in burning human beings."— Dort, wo man Bcher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen (in his play Almansor1821). Just over a century later the Nazis did exactly as Heine had predicted.

The Ray Bradbury novel Fahrenheit 451 is about a fictional future society that has institutionalized book burning.

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Burning books is often associated with the Nazi regime. On May 10, 1933, Nazis in Berlin burned works of Jewish authors, and the library of the Institut fr Sexualwissenschaft, and other works considered "un-German".

Many people find book burning to be offensive for a variety of reasons. Some feel it is a form of censorship that religious or political leaders practice against those ideas that they oppose. This is especially true of Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler. Those who oppose book burning on those grounds often equate those who burn books with Nazis.

Burning books in public may simply draw unwanted attention to them. Books collected by the authorities and privately disposed of should be counted among books that have effectively been "burnt." "In 367 C.E., Athanasius the zealous bishop of Alexandria,... issued an Easter letter in which he demanded that Egyptian monks destroy all such [unacceptable] writings, except for those he specifically listed as 'acceptable' even 'canonical'— a list that constitutes virtually all our present 'New Testament'" (Pagels p 97). Heretical texts do not turn up as palimpsests, washed clean and overwritten, as pagan ones do; thus, in this manner many early Christian texts have been as thoroughly "lost" as if they had been publicly burnt.


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Notable book burning incidents

Other famous items ceremoniously burnt in protest:

See also

External links


bg:Изгаряне на книги de:Bcherverbrennung he:שרפת ספרים nl:Boekverbranding sv:Bokbl


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