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2013.10.08 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Communications
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: unonews@unomaha.edu

Traveling Exhibit on Nazi Book Burnings Comes to UNO

Omaha - On May 10, 1933, university students across Nazi Germany burned thousands of books, including those from Helen Keller, Ernest Hemingway and Sigmund Freud as “cleansing” of the “un-German spirit” from German culture. Now, 80 years later, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is partnering with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to host a special exhibit highlighting the steps the Nazis took to suppress freedom of expression.

Beginning on Wednesday, Oct. 9, and running through Wednesday, Dec. 4, the UNO Criss Library is hosting a special traveling exhibit titled “Fighting the Fires of Hate: America and the Nazi Book Burnings.”

The exhibition focuses on how the book burnings became a potent symbol during World War II in America’s battle against Nazism as well as their post-war impact, including examples of book burnings during McCarthyism, representations in films like “Pleasentville,” and the public burning of the popular “Harry Potter” series of books.

“Americans were deeply offended by the book burnings, which were a gross assault against their core values,” said Sara Bloomfield, director of the U.S. Holocaust Museum. “Their response was intense, in fact so strong that throughout the war the government used the book burnings to help define the nature of the enemy to the American public.”

Also as part of the exhibit, Charles Johanningsmeier, professor of English, will present a talk titled “Willa Cather, Germany and the Nazi Regime: A Complicated Relationship,” which discusses the Nebraska author’s admiration of German culture and how the rise of Nazi Germany impacted her views of the country.

Johanningsmeier’s talk will take place on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. inside the Criss Library.

For questions or media inquiries, please contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at 402.554.2129 or by email at unonews@unomaha.edu.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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© 2014 University Communications. voice: 402.554.2129, fax: 402.554.3541, unonews@unomaha.edu