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Nov 21, 2023

The Takeaway

In this episode, I travel to Berlin, Germany, and the Bebelplatz, a large square in the city's heart. A university borders one side, a church another, and the opera another. Behind me is one of Berlin’s main libraries.  Sitting atop one of the buildings is an outdoor bar with large colorful umbrellas to shield the patrons.

As calming as the setting is today, it was anything but on the night of May 10, 1933. There, a mob of Nazis, Nazi-leaning students, and citizens gathered to burn an estimated 20,000 books the Nazi regime had deemed culturally and spiritually unfit.

The only visual evidence of that event is a subterranean memorial with enough empty library shelves to hold an estimated 20,000 books.

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