Heinrich Heine on Burning Books

We have all learned based on the knowledge from other people and the knowledge and opinions we have gathered from books and articles that we read. Like this article we are given, Heinrich Heine on Burning Books, we are presents with the comparison of the burning of the knowledge in the book and the knowledge of the authors themselves. And the history of the knowledge behind the Nazi’s plans to eliminate the source of the unwanted thinking.

 The Article by Austin Cline, gives the reasoning behind Nazi Germany’s idea to burn the books related to the Jews, communists, socialists and other degenerated and how in their eyes they should burn the people as well. The idea that they came up with was the books had to originate from someone. To burn just the books would just being burning the physical copy of the message, therefore they had to take the message out by the source. To eliminate the problem, that they felt they were facing.

What they did to eliminate the people’s free thoughts and ideas was completely wrong and a terrible thing to do, but I do see their logic behind the reasoning. To completely get rid of the unwanted ideas, they must get rid of the one who started it, the writers of the books.

In the novel Fahrenheit 451, we see many similarities to what they were thinking at the time with Nazi Germany. They do not want the freedom of ideas/ opinions, and they think by learning the new ideas and ways of thinking will change the ways they want things to be run and done. The firemen’s job is to eliminate any chance of these ideas’ spreading, with the burning of the books.  

We are eliminating the books, which is the writers thoughts and ideas presented on paper for others to enjoy and think about. By getting rid of all physical copies of the message and possibly the author. The idea may never be heard of again. Eliminating the voicing of opinions.  

– Gabby


One thought on “Heinrich Heine on Burning Books

  1. I agree with what you’re saying. I appreciate the historical context and it’s relation to the book. It gives me more opportunity to relate the events of the novel with this world. Your final statement reaffirms the POSSIBILITY of the elimination of thought without stating it as fact, which I agree with completely, as we can never definitively predict societies behaviour.

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