Book burning

Discussions on the propaganda, architecture and culture in the Third Reich.
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Scott Smith
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Re: O Holocaust, My Holocaust...

Post by Scott Smith » 08 Nov 2002 00:09

witness wrote:
Scott Smith wrote:Goebbels burning books was a propaganda stunt. For something to actually be banned we need evidence of the books on police or customs lists or that the books are absolutely unavailable in libraries or for sale during those times. I'm not really seeing that evidence with this "list." Of course Nazi Germany didn't publish books by Jews during this period, but the Bundestablishment doesn't allow "Nazi" books to be published now either, a rather selective morality if you ask me.
:)

Oh Yes !.. Whatever the Nazis did had to have some reasonable explanation Scott -"propaganda stunt " :lol: We just need to be a little lenient to them. Of course this kind of a propaganda stunt had nothing to do with your favourite "Thought crime " wording of "1984'' :wink:

As ususal, witness you have missed my point by miles.

While nearly anyone could compile a list of books they would like to toss into Goebbels' purgative pyre--mine starting with Michael Jackson and ending with Eminem or Marilyn Manson, no doubt--as I think the famous propaganda stunt demonstrates, this is not how books are actually banned. I asked for more information and some of you have provided some good stuff.

When I first went to school there was a lot of pressure to burn "devil music" in the dorms. Nearly everyone in that part of Idaho was Mormon. I responded not by "burning" my Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper albums but by playing them in the dorm VERY loudly instead. Some parents in this in loco parentis institution of higher learning began to express "concerns" about me, which struck me as very odd because I was one of the minority that really didn't drink or smoke pot. Anyways, I got my stereo confiscated (because I was a "leader") but nobody touched my albums (except for one which was stolen, see below, and not even the worst of the lot). Next it was a campaign against R-rated movies and HBO and MTV because I replaced the stereo with a TV and a cable subscription (a lucrative business practice because with one cable subscription you could wire-up everybody's TV in the dorm for a few bucks).
:mrgreen:

The point is, nearly anyone favors Comstockery when it is something that THEY want to burn. But censorship is not about what YOU want to get rid of or keep. The whole idea of a LIBRARY is intellectual diversity, even stocking stuff that YOU (or the community) might not like. Public and academic libraries should have a good selection of stuff that does NOT sell very well in the bookstore.

Let's not supply a selective code of ethics here.

The Bundestablisment bans (maybe not with impressive bonfires) stuff from the extreme-Left and the extreme-Right. They are no better than the Nazis with their bonfires that they profess to Hate. One can't even have a model airplane with a historically-correct swastika on the rudder.

And yes, witness, you got one thing right! Goebbels' bonfire was EXACTLY an example of an Orwellian "two-minutes of Hate." But it is not unique to the Nazis. There are a lot of examples of this phenomenon.

Here is the CODE of ETHICS of the American Library Association. It is worth studying a bit the next time somebody wants to ban Charles Darwin or Germar Rudolf.

Btw, some communities still banned Miller's Tropic of Cancer in the 1960s, such as Los Angeles. Today some mothers are still campaigning to get stuff out of the library, like Steinbeck, Judy Blume, etc. And whatever happened to Little Black Sambo?
:)

Would you burn THIS album, one of the all-time classics?

Image
Last edited by Scott Smith on 08 Nov 2002 09:43, edited 1 time in total.

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witness
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Post by witness » 08 Nov 2002 01:13

Scott
This is one of my favorites BTW. I consider "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath "
to be better but this one is the first and naturally is a legend.
I am glad that at least in music we have something in common...
However if to speak in terms of "1984" ( also one of my favorite books in the same row as Dostoevsky novels )
What can I say?
You by some reason chose to defend one of the most stupid and bloodthirsty regimes which was ever known. I know that you are approaching your forties( me too ) so I assume that some sort of a
teenager rebellion would be irrelevant to point out as a reason..
I don't defend the excesses of the West Capitalism . Nor do I apologize
Communism with its bloody deeds.
But frr God's sake the Nazis are not
an alternative to these two..
They are just the worst caricature of them..


LETTERS FROM EARTH

Well it's a cold world
And I'm in the middle
Caught in the in-between

I don't belong here
So I'm writing to you
It's wrong here
And I'm sending you some

Letters from earth, yeah

Well it's a new world
And now I'm a stranger
Stranger than you know

I don't belong here
And I'm writing to you
With blood on my hands

What if I send you madness?
What if I send you pain
And letters from earth?
Oh all right

Come on, it's another game
But you gotta play on
Cause they say it's just pretend
Ask them why they say you'll never, never die
Come on - the game is called the end

Well it's a cold world
And I'm in the middle
Caught in the in-between

I don't belong here
So I'm writing to you
Hey! Let me explain

What if I send you confusion?
What is the time and the pain worth?
Oh no no
I'm only sending
Letters from the earth

Letters from earth
Letters from earth yeah
Letters from earth all right

Letters from earth
Letters from earth
Letters from earth


(Dehumanizer)
Could have been uttered by the Einsatzgrouppen victim ..Don't you think ?
"1984 " is about them - Nazis and Communists alike as well as some
Western hypocrites ..Don't you see..
Last edited by witness on 08 Nov 2002 01:32, edited 1 time in total.

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David C. Clarke
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Ahhh!

Post by David C. Clarke » 08 Nov 2002 01:32

Ahhh Scott, the pity about writing a long post is that they are easier to pick apart. For instance:

whatever happened to Little Black Sambo


Gone the way of most unacceptable early stereotypes of Black people.

I think that, having read it myself, a good case can be made for any library to retain "Huckleberry Finn" a work of literature.
But the retention of a child's tale based on racist stereotypes is not something I would support. Personally, I found it incredibly embarassing to be among the Black kids in the integrated classroom when our white teacher read it to us and showed us the pictures of the little black kid with thick red lips, hair braided like buckwheat on the "little rascals" and speaking some form of English that was alien to Ohio....

But, that was just a personal observation, not meant to detract from this discussion on the propriety of censorship. Cheers, David :wink:

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Scott Smith
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Post by Scott Smith » 08 Nov 2002 01:58

witness wrote:You by some reason chose to defend one of the most stupid and bloodthirsty regimes which was ever known. I know that you are approaching your forties( me too ) so I assume that some sort of a
teenager rebellion would be irrelevant to point out as a reason..
I don't defend the excesses of the West Capitalism. Nor do I apologize
Communism with its bloody deeds. But frr God's sake the Nazis are not
an alternative to these two.

Actually witness, I'm 41 in a couple of days, but anyway, what you call "defending the most stupid and bloodthirsty regimes ever known" I call putting recent history into balance.

And I never said the Nazis were an alternative to Capitalism and Communism. I am forward-thinking. We can learn a lot from real history and different points-of-view, even from "repulsive" ideas.
:)
Last edited by Scott Smith on 08 Nov 2002 02:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Scott Smith
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Sambo

Post by Scott Smith » 08 Nov 2002 02:13

David, I'm going to have to defend the library stocking Sambo as well as Nappy Hair because even though I can see that these stereotypes can be offensive to some people, censorship cannot be applied selectively.

When I was in school the story of "Little Black Sambo" was the first indication that black people might actually be human beings and not rioters or kids who starve to death in Africa, a staple of the every schoolkid's Weekly Reader since the 1930s. We had to eat ALL of our mush because there were hungry black kids in the world.

Anyway, when some black kids did come to our school we found they were a lot like us (clever). Sambo didn't disappoint us in that regard. The height of political-correctness, though, was the local pancake house had to change its name from Sambo's. I think it is a Denny's now.
:mrgreen:

I looked in the library catalog and although Anarchist's Cookbook is listed in the catalog as a reference book in the Scottsdale Public Library, you can't see it. It doesn't exist. Like the scene with Anthony Perkins in Catch-22, you can only go "see" Major Major when he is not "in." They don't have Sambo listed in the catalog at all. It doesn't exist. It never existed (my little 1984 plug there).

Also, you can find Daddy's Roommate in the children's section under homosexuality but not in the general reading area, although Judy Blume's book on menarche is now mainstream and placed accordingly.

On the other hand, as much as it was exciting to see R-rated movies and actually hear the F-word on cable in 1981, what has happened to language today? Kids cannot even express themselves without F-this and MF-that and tatoos and piercings and such nonsense.
:roll:

Oh well.

Best Regards,
Scott
Last edited by Scott Smith on 08 Nov 2002 02:57, edited 1 time in total.

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witness
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Post by witness » 08 Nov 2002 02:29

We can learn a lot from real history and different points-of-view, even from "repulsive" ideas.

No doubt.
But don't we learn what we want to learn ..,what is "closer to the heart " ?..
Including "repulsive'' ideas.. :wink:

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David C. Clarke
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Post by David C. Clarke » 08 Nov 2002 02:41

Hey Scott, well I wouldn't pair "Nappy Hair" with "Little Black Sambo". But, I acknowledge that a book can affect different audiences in opposite ways.
Away from that topic for a second, "Anarchist Cookbook" was released twice. The second, much smaller version deleted most of the bomb-making information and most of the information on drug manufacturing.
I remember having a copy of the first edition. It was a dangerous book in the wrong hands (not mine of course!). Sort of like a hard copy of certain internet sites today.
Language constantly changes and, as a college kid in the late 60's, I must say it was interesting to explore the outer limits of good taste in language. I don't suppose that anyone back then thought that four letter words would be the new "lingua Franca" of America. Best Regards, David

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Post by Annelie » 08 Nov 2002 02:41

I remember as a child in England that a black "golly wog" wearing big afra and plaid jacket and jellow pants was an symbol on marmalade jars.
It was not meant to be derogatory and it was a well loved.
This was viewed as an happy symbol....
I would not have liked to see that burned or destroyed and it did not have any negativity to it.


When I was in school the story of "Little Black Sambo" was the first indication that black people might actually be human beings and not rioters or kids who starve to death in Africa, a staple of the every schoolkid's Weekly Reader since the 1930s. We had to eat ALL of our mush because there were hungry black kids in the world



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witness
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Post by witness » 08 Nov 2002 02:57

Karl wrote
I suppose I saw your response Scott, as a 'coming to the rescue' (even with book burning!!!) rather then an objective observation (which maybe it is, maybe it is not) and reacted

So damn right !!!

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Re: Sambo

Post by walterkaschner » 08 Nov 2002 05:35

Scott Smith wrote:David, I'm going to have to defend the library stocking Sambo as well as Nappy Hair because even though I can see that these stereotypes can be offensive to some people, censorship cannot be applied selectively.

When I was in school the story of "Little Black Sambo" was the first indication that black people might actually be human beings and not rioters or kids who starve to death in Africa, a staple of the every schoolkid's Weekly Reader since the 1930s. We had to eat ALL of our mush because there were hungry black kids in the world.

Anyway, when some black kids did come to our school we found they were a lot like us (clever). Sambo didn't disappoint us in that regard. The height of political-correctness, though, was the local pancake house had to change its name from Sambo's. I think it is a Denny's now.
:mrgreen:

I looked in the library catalog and although Anarchist's Cookbook is listed in the catalog as a reference book in the Scottsdale Public Library, you can't see it. It doesn't exist. Like the scene with Anthony Perkins in Catch-22, you can only go "see" Major Major when he is not "in." They don't have Sambo listed in the catalog at all. It doesn't exist. It never existed (my little 1984 plug there).

Also, you can find Daddy's Roommate in the children's section under homosexuality but not in the general reading area, although Judy Blume's book on menarche is now mainstream and placed accordingly.

On the other hand, as much as it was exciting to see R-rated movies and actually hear the F-word on cable in 1981, what has happened to language today? Kids cannot even express themselves without F-this and MF-that and tatoos and piercings and such nonsense.
:roll:

Oh well.

Best Regards,
Scott


Hey Scott, you and I don't agree too often, but in this case I am 100% with you. Apart from blatant pornography (yes, I don't know how to define it but I know it when I see it) and libelous material, I believe that under our Constitution everything should be free to be published and available to be judged in the market place of ideas. This is one of the pillars of our liberties and should be clasped to each of our breasts with hoops of steel. The religious Comstockian stiff noses on the right hand and the dripping political correctionists on the left hand are to be condemned with equal fervor and fine impartiality. As White Leopard had pointed out. their objections to "Catcher in the Rye"and "Huckleberry Finn" are equally disgraceful.

On the other hand, I don't believe there should be any compulsion on the free press to publish what it feels will be unpopular with its clientelle or unprofitable. The notion that the Nazis burning and banning of books is in any way comparable to the occasional refusal of a publishing house to publish a book it feels will not be to its advantage, or to the relatively rare pressure of a group of true-believers: right, left or PC, against publishing or maintaining a book in a library, strikes me as an absurdity of the highest degree. It is incredibly easy to get a book published in the US if one can afford it or has the academic credentials to induce one of the university presses to go with it; the difficulty is in getting one published by a house which needs to make a profit from it. And I see nothing inherently wrong with that.

Regards, Kaschner

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Scott Smith
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Bonfire of the Vanities...

Post by Scott Smith » 08 Nov 2002 10:08

Thank you, Walter!

I agree that not publishing something that a publisher doesn't like is not the same thing as banning it or censorship.

Libraries have less of a case for not including something though, especially if the title is donated at no cost.

However, I have seen some library patrons checkout and deliberately "lose" controversial titles. A $30 library fine does not exactly murder someone's credit report. And the library is extremely reluctant to replace those titles because their costs are not unlimited and it will probably happen again with someone else.
8O

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Post by tonyh » 08 Nov 2002 10:11

Is funny. I think in some ways we live in a more censored and controlled system then ever before. PC frowning seems to affect a lot of things in society and only for the worst IMO.

My mother remembers the "Golly wog" chap on marmalade and never once made to connection to black people at all, nor did anyone of her generation, I suspect. Golly wog dolls were popular with little girls even when I was younger. They certainly weren't a symbol of hate. But now they are!

"2000AD", a British comic, is going to reprint a story from another British comic, "Battle", soon. The story called 'Darkie's Mob' is about British troops in the Pacific. It appeared first in 1978. But its going to be reprinted with words censored. So I 'spose "Jap" and "Nip" will be absent from the 2002 version. So British troops in the Pacific didn't say these words at all, eh!

My pet hate bit of idotic censorship now though is still the fact that I cannot buy a German WWII era aircraft model kit with swastika decals. Except of course if its a Jap, oops sorry :roll: , Japanese kit.

AAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH :x

Tony

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Bill Medland
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Post by Bill Medland » 08 Nov 2002 20:57

Book Burning was very popular in post war Germany too!
Here are a couple of books from my private collection which escaped
the 1945 book purge. Including one I am proud to own with
the signature of Dr.Robert Ley.
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Robert Barrett
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Post by Robert Barrett » 09 Nov 2002 00:23

Interesting topic. I was wondering if the Old Testament of the Bible was also burned? I have read somewhere that Hitler specifically forbade people to read the book of "Esther".

Anyone know why Helen Keller's writing was burned?



Rob

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Scott Smith
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Post by Scott Smith » 09 Nov 2002 05:31

Robert Barrett wrote:Interesting topic. I was wondering if the Old Testament of the Bible was also burned? I have read somewhere that Hitler specifically forbade people to read the book of "Esther".

I wouldn't be surprised if it went into the bonfire along with a lot of other stuff, but I doubt the Bible was actually banned.
:)

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