Dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man auch am Ende Menschen.
Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.
— Christian Johann Heinrich Heine (1797-1856).
Heine died 77 years before 25,000 ‘unsuitable’ books were burned by a self-righteous crowd…a crowd that cheered Joseph Goebbels as he decried the “decadence and moral corruption” these books represented, demanding that censors protect “decency and morality in family and state” when deciding which books they allowed to be printed in the future.
Just eight years after this literary ‘cleansing’ event, Heine’s startling prediction came insanely true. Even so, eight decades later, many in the new self-righteous crowd continue to cheer – and repeat – Goebbels’ words. Frightening.