Rus Articles Journal

In Day of burning of books: manuscripts do not burn?

“Manuscripts do not burn“, - Bulgakov Voland categorically declared. Oh, as he was mistaken. Centuries-old history shows that burn, and in what a way! by

Yesterday - on May 9, in Russia (as well as in many countries) celebrated the Great Victory Day. And today - on May 10, the sad anti-holiday - Day of burning of books is celebrated.

The authorities of all times and the people deal shortly with objectionable people differently: who is thrown for a lattice, who is killed with different methods, up to burning on fires. Books can be hidden in special storages too, to destroy paper shredders, at the worst, to subject to censorship. But the most radical and frightening method is a public burning.

Books possess the huge power, and sometimes the people who wrote them pose smaller threat, than their creations. Books are sold out in big circulations, and many people can get acquainted with the ideas introduced in them, even many years later after death of the writer. It is very attractive to control all this intellectual thought and is dosed to resolve or forbid, at discretion. But sometimes governors apply the terrifying method to dissent eradication.

The first historical mass genocide against books it is possible to call destruction by the Chinese emperor Qin Shihuangdi in 213 BC of a large number of humanitarian books. Among them there were also compositions of the great Chinese philosopher Confucius. Great governors of any time try in the violent way to enter at home agreement of opinion. For these purposes any manifestations of “heretical“ thoughts are also destroyed.

The second place in this sad “rating“ of a flogiston is held by the Alexandria library. In the 48th year BC. Julius Caesar`s army ruthlessly burned the city, in this big fire and the unique library numbering more than 700 000 books, the part from which is lost forever, died. If simple Roman soldiers also did not know that in the city there is the greatest book-depository, then Julius Caesar, of course, knew about this fact. Some historians point that the great commander carried away several rare copies of books from library. Generally, the military vanity and charismatic arrogance of Julius Caesar did not allow to make the correct decision, centuries-old wisdom in the person of books disappeared in a fiery big fire.

Well, and the third “honourable“ position in this flogistonny list is taken by fascist Germany. Hitler, as well as many other governors, did not begin to suffer dissent and on May 10, 1933 at Opernplats Square in Berlin arranged large-scale indicative burning of books. Tens of thousands of books of many famous writers, poets, philosophers went to a fiery scaffold. The great German poet Heinrich Heine long before these events told: “Who burns books, will sometime burn people“. For such prophetical revelation of the book of Heine the first were thrown into a giant anti-humanitarian fire.

On the place of burning of books on the square which began to be called “Bebelplats“ in 1995 the original monument “The drowned library“ of the sculptor M. Ulmann was established. The monument represents the empty book shelves leaving deep into lands. And from above through strong glass it is possible to survey this sculptural figure.

Of course, against books also other repressive methods were applied. Generally it is total censorship, for example, the well-known “Index of the forbidden books“ operating more than 400 years. More cunning and sophisticated methods of censorship - economic work in many countries. Relevance of this problem says that quite recently - on May 3, the World day of freedom of press was celebrated. The free word still try to control and keep a tight rein to a press.

“The grief(grieves) is stronger than everything on the earth is more durable - the regal Word“ (A. Akhmatov). The word can be durable, only if it is put into the book. If there were no copies of “Illiada“ (and many other books) which burned down in the Alexandria library, then all cultural world would be left without these great creations. And how many books insatiable fiery Moloch really absorbed, and we any more never will read them.

It is possible to congratulate fans and judges of books on the fact that thanks to efforts of people (sometimes risking lives) we read many great (and not really) books which they pulled out from a fiery flame and kept for descendants.