Heinrich Heine on Burning Books

The Nazi book burnings were a campaign conducted by the German Student Union, burning books in Nazi Germany and Austria. This was happening during the time of the Holocaust. Not just the books were to be burned, but the ideas, which leads to the connection of the Holocaust and book burnings. Books by socialist, communist and Jewish authors that advocated ideas that would undermine parts f the German nation, were burned. The article states, it is unlikely that a message could be eliminated by burning a book, but would have to go to the source of the message. “Permanent elimination of the message requires permanently eliminating the authors of the message.” Since the nook burnings consisted of burning the ideas of opposite views, this connects to the uniform community in Fahrenheit 451, which is part of the dystopian society. Also, burning books eliminates the imagination or idea of escape of the citizens. It confines them to a consistent way of thinking. In Fahrenheit 451, the only character who has a more open/free mind is Clarisse McClellan, who comes from a younger generation.she questions Montag and makes him think which then leads to his open minded views later in the novel.

-Amy Hand

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2 thoughts on “Heinrich Heine on Burning Books

  1. I really like how you pointed out that Clarisse was from a younger generation. The older generation would just have went along with whatever society was telling them to do, but as seen in Clarisse, the younger generation has more opportunity to change and grow in different ways – they are less controlled by societal expectations. And even though it’s just Clarisse who is shown to be inquisitive, who’s to say that there isn’t another 17 year old there like her?
    – Monika

    • Yeah! I feel the same way about incorporating Clarisse into your posting… it really makes you think about how the older generation just kind of rolls along with the punches in out own society and we’re the ones that want to change something! Also, the point when you said [“Permanent elimination of the message requires permanently eliminating the authors of the message.” Since the book burnings consisted of burning the ideas of opposite views, this connects to the uniform community in Fahrenheit 451, which is part of the dystopian society.] got me thinking about the structure of the society of the 50’s, 2014 and the time of Fahrenheit 451.
      – Hannah DeBourke

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