The symbolism of the 1933 bonfires, during which the contents of libraries disappeared for ever, has entered into the culture of politics, film, and even television as a powerful metaphor of demagoguery, censorship, and suppression. People who depend upon free access to information have to this day often focused on the Nazi book burnings as a historical analogy to past and present-day events.
What did we lose, I wonder; what wisdom and what wit,
When Hitler piled the books on high and the eager flames were lit.
Mercifully, many authors had books in print elsewhere
But there were countless manuscripts vanishing in thin air.
Maybe we lost the answers to questions we still ask;
Maybe we lost the instructions to some still-puzzling task.
Maybe some glorious poetry to thrill the human soul
Went up in smoke for ever when Hitler took his toll.
Maybe works of science to improve our human lot,
Flared and died and disappeared and he didn't care a jot!
We'll never know what we have lost; but the thought still gives us pain.
Surely the Burning of the Books could never occur again!
A very different view of books here: