The library of forbidden books
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After the Nazis burned books for being ‘un-German’, one man made it his mission to preserve them for future generations.

“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.

Watch the video above to find out more.

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