Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Library of the Burned Books: 10 May 1934

The Library of the Burned Books, a project of German exiles and anti-Nazi writers in Paris in 1934, was opened in time for the first anniversary of the first bookfires, on 10 May 1934. This snapshot was taken during the course of the evening when speeches were given by prominent exiles and supporters. Here, standing on the chair for his speech, is Magnus Hirschfeld, the erstwhile head of a sexual research institute in Berlin (he is considered a sort of precursor to the work of, for instance, Kinsey in the 1950s). His institute was deliberately targeted, and largely destroyed by uniformed students and Nazi functionaries. Fortunately, Hirschfeld was abroad at the time of the attacks, and he never returned to Germany.
The man standing to his immediate right, in three-quarter profile, appears to be Alfred Kantorowicz, the Library's head.

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