On 10 May 1933 students from the Wilhelm Humboldt University in Berlin took books from their university library and burned them. The burning lasted for hours, and thousands of books were thrown into the fire. The students were not punished or expelled from the university for this. Over the next few days a lot of other German universities followed their example. The writers who Germany didn't need anymore were Albert Einstein and Thomas Mann, Sigmund Freud and Jack London, Ernst Hemingway and many others.
The book burning was a part of Nazi propaganda. They declared that Germany should burn anything which was not German and destroyed the German spirit and culture.
A century earlier a famous German poet, Heinrich Heine, had said: "Where they burn books, they will soon burn people." By 1933 his words had been forgotten, but seven years later millions of people were burned in concentration camps.
A new generation of Germans do not want to make the same mistakes again. Every year on 10 May they celebrate Book Day. They know that they mustn't forget.
1. Students burned books because they were too difficult and boring.
2. Students who burned the books were punished.
3. Only one German university burned books.
4. The Nazis didn't burn books that were written by German writers.
5. Nowadays Germany is a democratic country.
6. The Germans want to forget their past.