New York Public Library Discussion: Burning of Books

Tuesday, December 01, 1942

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Ceremony at New York Public Library to commemorate the opening of an exhibition to mark the banning and burning of books in Nazi Germany.

WPA War Services Band plays "America." Clifton Fadiman hosts. Exiled authors in attendance: Ambrogio Donini of the L'Unita del Popolo; Bavarian novelist Oskar Maria Graf; Danish novelist Madame Karin Michaelis; and others.

Stanley Isaacs speaks about Hitler. Alfred Kantorowicz, of the Burned Books Library, and Franklin F. Hopper, of the New York Public Library, talk about the exhibition. Newbold Morris, speaking for the Mayor, talks about the importance of the public library system -- the first line of defense against tyranny, an assurance that our bill of rights will always exist. Das Kapital and Mein Kampf are all available in the library. The buying of war bonds and stamps is the least we can do: we're doing ourselves a favor by putting our money in the people of the USA. Books are symbolic of freedom and learning.

Morris asks the audience to step up and buy bonds and stamps. Reporter describes the scene, a dummy book being burned on the stage as a sign of German hatred.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 69814
Municipal archives id: LT897


Clifton Fadiman, Franklin Ferguson Hopper, Stanley Isaacs, Alfred Kantorowicz, Newbold Morris and WPA War Services Band


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About Miscellaneous

Programs ranging from the 1930s to the 1970s covering a variety of cultural and political topics.

From archival broadcasts of sewer plant openings to single surviving episodes of long-defunct series, "Miscellaneous" is a catch-all for the odds and ends transferred as part of the New York Public Radio Archives Department's massive NEH-funded digitization project, launched in 2010.

Buried in this show you will find all sorts of treasures, from the 1937 dedication of the WNYC Greenpoint transmitter to the 1939 lighting of the City Hall Christmas tree and the 1964 reception for Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

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