In Part One of To Flames, we examined the film and book FAHRENHEIT 451. In that post we referred to the book burnings in Nazi Germany and to the rise of McCarthyism in the USA.
Listed below are several links to these subjects. As one reviews human history, the puzzling query always seems “why?”
Why did these people and their movements arise in the first place? As history shows over and over again, humans have this unfortunate tendency to repeat the past in the present on this planet traversing the cosmos. We don’t seem to learn the tragic lessons of the past.
Our cosmic voyage is fraught with fetters of oppression and suppression. We seem to relish some type of enthrallment of the human spirit.
The query to ponder on—is it possible for these things of the past to arise in our day? If so, what are we doing to ensure a future freed from the shackles of tyranny? Don’t we owe it to those fellow travellers who will come after us on this orb?
When we are remembered, will it be a memory of one who trod these earth roads and offered assistance to those along our way? Or will it be of one who had means and opportunity and chose not to bother with the people along the way?
How you will be remembered depends on your decisions and actions today.
Ponderings on this early March day…
“German men and women! The age of arrogant Jewish intellectualism is now at an end! . . . You are doing the right thing at this midnight hour—to consign to the flames the unclean spirit of the past. This is a great, powerful, and symbolic act. . . . Out of these ashes the phoenix of a new age will arise. . . . Oh Century! Oh Science! It is a joy to be alive!” Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda
Held in Berlin on May 10, 1933, 1000’s of titles were burned on a large pyre. These volumes were collected, stacked and lit afire by the Nationalist German Students Organization.
Book burnings took place at Universities all over Germany on this night, and in the weeks immediately following.
Early in 1933, Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda began “synchronizing” German Art & Culture with the values of the Nazi party. Materials he considered “un-German” were confiscated, and most often destroyed. Un-German works included books by Jewish, communist, or ‘degenerate’ authors.
Works by H.G. Wells, Einstein, Freud, Bertolt Brecht, Lion Feuchtwanger, and Alfred Kerr – among others – were thrown into fires in 34 University towns across Germany.
This was seen as a Nazi attempt at pushing the Aryan agenda, and an attempt at purifying German culture. It is estimated that 25,000 books were burned in the Berlin book burning alone.
Dr. Goebbels Burns the Books
C-SPAN Nazi Book Burning
McCarthyism in America February 9, 2000
On the anniversary of Senator McCarthy’s “Wheeling speech,” in which he accused Truman administration officials of being influenced by communists, panelists spoke about McCarthy’s legacy, how historians have interpreted his career, and the impact of his campaign on American culture. After their prepared remarks, they responded to audience comments and questions.
PBS American Masters
Timeline McCarthyism and the Red Scare
Edward R. Murrow – See It Now (March 9, 1954)
Edward R Murrow
G. D. Williams © 2011