Same idea, diffferent year

On May 10, 1933, books from university libraries all over Germany were burned by Nazi students and officials. Books were chosen to be burned because of their ‘un-German’ content or Jewish authorship:

In a symbolic act of ominous significance, on May 10, 1933 the students burned upwards of 25,000 volumes of “un-German” books, presaging an era of state censorship and control of culture. On the night of May 10, in most university towns, nationalist students marched in torchlight parades “against the un-German spirit.” The scripted rituals called for high Nazi officials, professors, rectors, and student leaders to address the participants and spectators. At the meeting places, students threw the pillaged and unwanted books into the bonfires with great joyous ceremony, band-playing, songs, “fire oaths,” and incantations. — Wikipedia

Frederick William University in Berlin — now called Humboldt University — held a major book-burning that evening in the Platz am Opernhaus (today called the Bebelplatz) that is next to the University. Here is how it looked that evening in 1933:

Nazi bookburning at Platz Am Opernhaus

Nazi bookburning at Platz Am Opernhaus (Bebelplatz), May 10, 1933

Today’s young Germans seem to have lost little of their anti-Semitic enthusiasm. On Sunday, Germans observed the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, which many consider the official Nazi expulsion of the Jewish people from the human race.  On Wednesday an Exhibit in the Humboldt University lobby called “Betrayed and Sold” about the looting of Jewish businesses by the Nazis was destroyed by rioting high school students and left-wing activists.

Although the protest was supposedly about such things as class size, matriculation exams and school staffing, the students nevertheless expressed themselves about other issues:

[University President] Christoph Markschies told The Jerusalem Post that one of the protesters in the lobby of the university said “Damn Israel” when asked by another student to “stop” vandalizing the exhibit…

“Friendship with Israel is part of the HU’s identity,” said Markschies, adding that “no one can tell me that the exhibit was damaged because it was a mistake”…

Niklas Wuchenauer, a pupil in Berlin and spokesperson for the protest group “Tear down the educational barriers,” told the Post that “we regret that the exhibit was damaged or destroyed.”

When asked about the “Damn Israel” statement, Wuchenauer said the statement is not anti-Semitic and simply means it “would it have been more meaningful if the UN had not created two states in 1947 and had integrated the Jews into one state.”Jerusalem Post

Bebelplatz student demonstrationI see. A German destroys an exhibit about the persecution of Jews by Germans in the 1930’s, before there was a state of Israel, in order to suggest that there should not be a state of Israel. One could not possibly ask for a clearer example of the relationship between extreme hatred of Israel and anti-Semitism.

Here is how the Bebelplatz looked this week, 75 years and 6 months after the bookburning. Same idea, different year.

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