Joseph Roth: The Auto-da-Fé of the Mind

14. February 2008 14:00

Very few observers anywhere in the world seem to have understood what the Third Reich’s burning of books, the expulsion of Jewish writers, and all its other crazy assaults on the intellect actually mean. The technical apotheosis of the barbarians, the terrible march of the mechanized orangutans, armed with hand grenades, poison gas, ammonia, and nitroglycerine, with gas masks and airplanes, the return of the spiritual (if not the actual) descendants of the Cimbri and Teutoni—all this means far more than the threatened and terrorized world seems to realize: It must be understood.

Author: Joseph Roth

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