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Book burning

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 said in 1821 "Where they burn books, they will end in burning human beings." (Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen). 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.

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.

Incidents of book burnings have included:

Other famous items ceremoniously burnt in protest:

See also

External links


Last updated: 02-04-2005 10:10:07
Last updated: 03-01-2005 22:06:49