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Look through the glass panel set into the square to see a library with no books - just row after row of empty shelves. This is the Bebelplatz memorial to the bookburning of 1933, during which the works of writers offensive to the emerging fascist regime in Germany were destroyed. It was of course a symbolic act - The philosophies of Karl Marx's and Thomas Mann, Erich Maria Remarque's eyewitness account of life in the German side of the trenches during the first world war, and many more have survived. Nevertheless, the image of burning books remains a powerful icon of tyranny. The square is also home to an annual exhibition of 'Buddy Bears' - sculptures designed to promote peace and international understanding - and, somewhat controversially, an ice rink in the winter.
Editor & Berlin Local