May 10, 1933

On May 10, 1933, the ruling Nazi Party staged massive book burnings all throughout Germany. What kind of books did they burn? The books of traitors, emigrants and authors from foreign countries who the Germans thought were attacking the New Germany. H.G. Wells was particularly hated. The literature of Marxism, Communism, Bolshevism, and Socialism. Pacifist literature. The Bible was not included. Literature with liberal, democratic tendencies. All historic writings that didn’t agree with Germany’s perceived perfection as a race or people. Books that advocated “art”, where the art was perceived as decadent or bloodless. Writings on sexuality and sexual education that served the egocentric pleasure of the individual. Where the sex wasn’t being used as a tool to increase the German race. Any books by Jewish authors, except for the Bible. Any popular entertainment that depicted life in a superficial, sickly-sweet, or unrealistic manner. Pippi Longstocking was out, just like any books by Mark Twain. Pornography. Pornography was burned. Lastly, any book that was seen as degrading to the ideal of German purity. Americans of this time thought that such acts were evil and undemocratic. Even though they were disgusted by some of the material being destroyed, the act itself angered them. So, what did Americans do after the War? Well, in 1948, preachers, priests, teachers and parents decided to burn their childrens’ comic books. Why? Because reading comic books was a useless pastime. Time better spent reading the Bible and doing homework. In 1953, US Senator Joseph McCarthy encouraged Americans to burn and destroy books and materials produced by any controversial persons, Communists, or fellow travelers. In 1966, Southern preachers and the Ku Klux Klan demanded and implored the local population to bring their Beatles albums and paraphernalia to the big bonfire events planned throughout the Bible Belt. Why? To burn it of course. Why? Because John Lennon, one of the singers of the Beatles, had stated in an interview that the Beatles “Were more popular at the time than Jesus was.” And last, but not least, there were the book burnings that many local churches throughout the southern United States would have in the 1970s and 1980s, when their preachers needed a little extra mojo to encourage a little extra tithing giving. They’d encourage their congregations to bring their childrens’ records, science fiction books, D & D games, comic books as well as the husbands’ secret stashes of porn. Just so they could get right with God. Sometimes it seems we only hate book burnings is when someone we don’t like is doing it. To wrap up. During this day and age, just remember, when a group of people drape themselves in God and Flag, listen to what they say. Listen to how they degrade the intellectuals of their society. Pay attention to the information they want to ban. It’s not just the Nazi’s who did it.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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