China, just like Nazi Germany of 1930s, is burning books

A shocking image of two women part of a library in China burning books as part of the Chinese government's directive to "firmly cleanse" its libraries of any reading material considered to be illegal, improper or outdated, has stirred a major concerns as it seems the country is fast moving into authoritarianism.

Amid rising concern, many are now comparing the Chinese government's directive to practises of the Nazi Germany in the 1930s, where the fascist regime burned thousands of books.

The image was first noticed by the Chinese social media users after it was posted on Library Society of China. The picture contained a notice that said that employees of Zhenyuan County burned the books as part of the Chinese government directive to remove any printed material that is considered "illegal" or "deviant" including religious texts.

china book burning

The book burning event in Zhenyuan was attended by local government officials. The picture, which was taken outside the entrance of the library, showed the two female employees burning stacks of books. The library reportedly burned 65 books after "thoroughly" checking all publications, pictures books and papers in its collection.

The government officials said that they were simply following a directive issued by the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China.

The Chinese government has imposed ban on any books that in any way is found offensive to its policy - especially religious texts and political writings. The country imposes a complete ban.

Many social media users compared the burning of the books in China to the time of Qin Shi Huang - the ruthless emperor who burned books.

"Who will they bury after they have burned the books?" a Weibo user questioned. On Twitter one user said," as a German this sounds very familiar with our history." Another user tweeted, "As a Polish person, I know what usually comes next."

This article was first published on December 10, 2019