Monday, May 12, 2008

Brooklyn "Nazi-Banned Library" opened by Albert Einstein, December 1934 (from Jubilee Book of the Brooklyn Jewish Center, 1946)

The 'American Library of Nazi Banned Books' was a project of the reformist Brooklyn Jewish Center. It was inaugurated with fanfare before a crowd of 500 guests in December 1934, allowing the organisers plenty of time to prepare for an official opening planned for the second anniversary of the Nazi bookfires in May 1935. It was officially opened by Albert Einstein, who hoped that this American library might snatch some of the banned literary works from oblivion.The Library was openly modelled on the so-called "Library of the Burned Books" in Paris, which had been opened by German exiles in May 1934.
The text of Einstein's speech can be read online; see Einstein Archives Online, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem & the Einstein Papers Project, California Institute of Technology, Nr. 28-293.00.

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