Bebelplatz, on the south side of Unter den Linden, was conceived by Friedrich II in the 1750’s as a central area for science and the arts for Berlin. It contains the Opera house (home to the famed Berlin Symphony), St. Hedwigs Cathedral and the old library of Humbolt College. It will will forever be associated, however, with the events of 10 May 1933 as the site of the infamous book burning organized by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels when more than 20,000 books by philosophical and political writers antithecal to the Nazi cause were burned. Included were works by Marx, Freud and Heine, among others. At the center, Israeli artist Mischa Ullman has created a monument to the book burning, a rectangular underground library brightly lit and seen through a plastic window— the bookshelves are empty as were the shelves after the Goebbel’s desecration. Several adjacent plaques are set in the cobblestones, the most famous quoting Heinrich Heine: “This is just the beginning. Where books are burned, in the end people will burn”. It was dedicated in 1995.

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