“The literature… mainly consists of books that were published long before 1933 but then became a thorn in the Nazis’ side for different reasons,” says Gerhard Stumpf, librarian at the University of Augsburg. “Most of them were Jewish authors – others were socialist or Communist authors – and also anti-war authors who experienced the pain of World War One.”
From 1976 until his death in 2013, Georg P Salzmann collected about 12,000 books that had been banned – and burnt – by the Nazis for being ‘un-German’. His father – a Nazi – had shot himself in 1945, when Georg was a teenager.
What became known as the Library of Burnt Books was sold to the University of Augsburg in 2009 – and is now open to the public. Stumpf describes the first book that Salzmann bought, as well as how one author witnessed his own books being burnt.
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