|Photo by Aaron Siirila, CC BY-SA 2.5 |
The memorial is accompanied by a plaque with an 1820 quote by Heinrich Heine: "Dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen."
In English, this reads: "Where they burn books, they will eventually burn people."
Perhaps no one has ever made a more convincing argument against banning books.
Two more works of art in a similar vein are done by Mel Chin and are housed in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library in San Jose.
The first appears throughout the library in unmarked places; underneath certain shelves in the stacks, books that have been banned or burned at some point in history lie underneath plate glass, allowing patrons to see them but not reach them.
The second is a fireplace that appears to filled in with bricks, which, upon closer inspection, have been made to look like books. As the library's website states, "These books are resistant to fire to honor the immortality of ideas while lamenting the loss of others."
If you know of other works of art celebrating banned books, please post them in the comments!