Wolfram Kastner converts a dark anniversary into a celebration of words

Wolfram Kastner burns a black circle into the Königsplatz lawn in Munich to commemorate the Nazis' May 10, 1933 book burning in the same spot. (Wolfram Kastner)

On May 10, 1933, as part of a nation-wide “campaign against the un-German spirit” organized by university students, tens of thousands of Nazis and their sympathizers celebrated a huge “burning ceremony,” incinerating books by outlawed authors in a bonfire in the center of Munich’s Königsplatz, the square where Nazis held mass rallies and established their national headquarters.

This year, on the anniversary of the event and at the very site of the original book-burning, the provocative political artist Wolfram Kastner will burn a black circle into the Königsplatz lawn, as he has done more than a dozen times since 1995, a vivid act of remembrance in the city that Gen. Dwight Eisenhower in 1945 called “the cradle of the Nazi beast.”

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