One of the most unique memorials in Berlin, Germany is an easy one to miss.
The discrete glass cover built flush to the cobblestones of Bebelplatz Plaza, could be walked right over if it wasn’t for the tourists, regularly hovering around the small square, looking down with bowed heads.
Its the site of the infamous 1933 Nazi book burning, where Nazi students, Hitler Youth Groups, and members of the SS burned over 20,000 books by Jewish writers and anyone they deemed connected to the many populations of people they wished to expel from Germany.
They grey skies and relentless mist of rain on the day of our Berlin Walking Tour created an eerie distortion of the view through the glass. But close inspection revealed a room full of empty bookshelves — enough to hold the 20,000 burnt books.
The book burning memorial, created by Israeli artist Micha Ullman, is an ingenious and moving reference to that tragic day when the intent of the Nazi party was becoming more public and forceful, and a bronze plaque hammers the message home, with the inscription…
That was only a prelude, there
where they burn books,
they burn in the end people.
Heinrich Heine 1820
Have you visited the book burning memorial in Berlin? What did you think?