International Necronautical Society INS Inspectorate Berlin
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Target site summary: Bebelplatz, Berlin

Named for August Bebel (1840–1913), formerly Opernplatz, the site is remembered as the venue for the burning of books in fron of the former library (now Law Faculty) known as the Kommode. On 10 May 1933, Nazi students and SA members, encouraged by a speech from Goebbels, burned some 20,000 volumes by authors considered racially impure or whose works were considered corrupting of German culture. Commemorative plaques were installed in the square by GDR authorities for Bebel, Lenin (a reader in the then Imperial Library) and the book-burning (all now removed). The square was used as a car park. After 1993 the car park was cleared and a memorial installed below ground-level. A sealed, empty library, designed by Micha Ullman was made visible through a window set into the pavement and new inscriptions placed on the square some distance away. Owing to continual scratching of the glass obscuring the view, the window is replaced periodically. The square was recently excavated again to create and underground car park, which now surrounds the monument below pavement-level. The repaving of the square is now almost completed [May 2005].

Survey: PR-A-090505 carried out by Anthony Auerbach assisted by Marlene Haring, 9 May 2005, 132 photographs