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Center for Democratic Governance and Leadership

Select Past Events

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Traveling Exhibit ~ March 17, 2009 through May 3, 2009

 

"FIGHTING THE FIRES OF HATE: AMERICA AND THE NAZI BOOK BURNINGS"

Bridgewater State University |  Maxwell Library - 3rd Floor
Bridgewater, MA 02325

The Center for Democratic Governance and Leadership is pleased to announce that the United States Holocaust Museum traveling exhibit entitled Fighting the Fires of Hate: America and the Nazi Book Burnings is currently on display on the third floor of the Maxwell Library for public viewing. This exhibit 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 exhibit is co-sponsored by the Center for Democratic Governance and Leadership; as well as the Anthropology, Political Science, Music, and Sociology departments and the Office of Academic Affairs.


FIGHTING THE FIRES OF HATE: AMERICA AND THE NAZI BOOK BURNINGS

For Americans, the iconography of Nazism is found in the swastika, the jackboot, the Nazi banner. But another symbol - flames and fire - accompanied the Third Reich from its strident inception to its apocalyptic demise. On January 30, 1933, torchlight parades announced the onset of the Nazi revolution. One month later, the flames of the Reichstag fire consumed the last vestiges of the Weimar Constitution. On May 10, 1933, German university students launched an "Action Against the Un-German Spirit" targeting authors ranging from Helen Keller and Ernest Hemingway to Sigmund Freud. Americans quickly condemned the book burnings as antithetical to the democratic spirit.

Book burning in Opera Square, Berlin, May 10, 1933.
Credit: Courtesy U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum/NARA

The exhibition Fighting the Fires of Hate: America and the Nazi Book Burnings 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. More Information