In the article “Heinrich Heine on Burning Books” the author Austin Cline, talks a lot about the connection between the holocaust and book burning through talking about why people burn books, how people think books are a “threat” and how both burning books and burning people are connected.
One of the ways the author connects the holocaust and book burning is through explaining why people burn books. “People don’t burn books simply because they disagree with the message of the books, they burn book because the message of the books is a threat”, this passage shows that people don’t just burn books just for the sake of doing it, they burn them to express there way of getting rid of the “threat” or the message the book has that they don’t like. They feel by burning the books, it will burn the message as well, but the message is still there, it will only “eliminate growth of the message” as he states as well. People believe that burning books will burn the message away all together but no matter if its in there minds from them reading it or in the ashes of the pages, the message is still there somewhere. People think that taking the next step of burning books to burn away the message that don’t like, is the only thing they are burning, but they are wrong. Burning the books is also burning the thoughts and the feelings the book has, but most importantly and ironically, in a way, its burning the authors as well.
Another connection the author uses to connect the holocaust and book burning is through how people think books are a “threat”. “The action which Nazi Germany is most famous for are probably the burning of books and the burning of people”, this passage from the article shows how the Nazi’s not only burnt books but they burnt people as well, but yet the author explains how they had a reason behind the fact. They burnt the books for the “health, safety, and welfare of the German nation” as Austin states in the article. The Nazi’s took the step of burning the people and the books to protect there nation from this so called “threat” or wrong message expressed from the books or people/authors. Burning people and books are both no way a good answer to the problem, but this is what they believed. They believed eliminating the threat would solve the problem. “Permanent elimination of the message requires permanently eliminating the authors of the message. If books can be burned to destroy them, why not burn people to destroy them as well? This eliminates the message and all trace of the messenger as well.”, this quote exactly explains what the people and Nazi’s thought when they wanted to get rid of the message, burning both the books and the people will make the message be eliminated and they will have a better life knowing the message is gone, in there minds, but in reality, its still in there minds, burning away there own memories, just like they did to the authors and the messages they expressed in the books for the entertainment of others.
Finally, the author connects the holocaust to book burning through, how both burning books and burning people are connected. “Burning books and burning people are connected because both stem from a desire to eliminate ideas that are a threat to the some group or ideology which is in power.”, this shows that both burning books and burning people are connected in both are laminating the problem. In both cases from the Nazi’s burning books and people for the safety of there nation and for people burning books to urn the message, both are connected of wanting to get rid of a message they don’t like or the threat that causes problems for them. In some way, in the end it will, in there minds, it allows them to feel a sense of comfort by burning away this message/ threat, but in other peoples minds, it’s a step they could have stopped from taking, and is not something that should happen if its taking the life of others away from them and destroying the messages the books are giving that the authors took time to write about for people to understand what he/she is trying to say.
In conclusion, the author talks a lot about the connection between the holocaust and book burning through talking about why people burn books, how people think books are a “threat” and how both burning books and burning people are connected. Both burning books and burning people are connected in a way of getting rid of the message. People believed in the time of World War 2, violence was the answer. Getting rid of there problems through killing, or in there case, burning, would burn away the message forever, but really, the message is somewhere. In this authors conclusion it says “Maybe if the connection between burning books and burning people were made more explicit, the general social condemnation would be louder, making it more difficult for people to choose to burn books in the first place.”. Books are important in a way of it expresses a message that the authors thought needed to be expressed in the eyes of others, not just himself. People need to look at the positive side of the message instead of the negative. The one question people need to ask themselves is “What would be the right decision?” and after they answer this question, and ask this question for the rest of there lives, nothing in life will be hard to succeed in.
– Mackenzie Dinn