“‘Book burning’ refers to the ritual destruction by fire of books or other written materials. Usually carried out in a public context, the burning of books represents an element of censorship and usually proceeds from a cultural, religious, or political opposition to the materials in question.” (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)
The night of May 10, 1933, German students from some of the best universities in the world, gathered in Berlin to burn books with un-German ideas. The students, along with Nazi officials, threw hundreds of books into a bonfire while giving the Hitler salute and singing Nazi anthems. The students gave up everything that they had believed in due to their unwavering adoration for Hitler and his beliefs.
Germany was now being led by Adolf Hitler, a high school drop out who aspired to become an artist and was strongly anti-intellectual. Before Hitler, German universities had been considered some of the best in the world, but under Hitler’s rule, many young people living in Nazi Germany where very hard behind their peers from other western countries. Western education became secondary to teaching the youth mysticism, speculation and collective thinking toward a common goal and of course, the pursuit of a glorious future for Germany.
People that did not follow Hitler and the Nazi Party who remained behind in Germany only managed to escape through hiding their true feelings. The Nazis could never actually know one's thoughts as long as one maintained a poker face and didn't reveal those private thoughts. This can be seen in “The Book Thief”.
Liesel Meminger was a very bright girl that didn’t have the resources to flourish. Her mother must hide from the Nazis because she is a communist and sends Liesel to live with new parents, the Hubermanns. She lives with them through World War II and finds herself discovering a whole new world. Liesel learns how to read and how much words can change someones life. As she learns about words and their power, she also learns about the world around her and the unfairness of it. As these feelings grow, she keeps quiet, Liesel knows that if she tells everyone what she’s thinking, there will be trouble. Liesel also knows that if she stays quiet, no one can do anything about it. “… ‘The Party’ she whispered. Papa stopped. He fought off the urge to open the door and look up the street. ‘They’re checking basements to make shelters.’ He set her down. ‘Smart girl,’ he said, then called for Rosa.” (Zusak, 342). Liesel knows that she has to keep a secret, a very important one too. She gets hurt in order to save Max and her family from severe repercussions.s that if she tells everyone what she’s thinking, there will be trouble. Liesel also knows that if she stays quiet, no one can do anything about it. “… ‘The Party’ she whispered. Papa stopped. He fought off the urge to open the door and look up the street. ‘They’re checking...