UNESCO, Reconstruction, and Pursuing Peace through a “Library-Minded” World, 1945–1950
In June 1941, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote that libraries “are directly and immediately involved in the conflict which divides our world”. Throughout the history of war and conflict, libraries and other cultural institutions have been purposefully or collaterally damaged or destroyed. According to Roosevelt, there were two reasons why this historic pattern was manifesting in World War II: first, because libraries “are essential to the functioning of a democratic society”, and second, because “the contemporary conflict touches the integrity of scholarship, the freedom of the mind, and even the survival of culture, and libraries are the great tools of scholarship, the great repositories of culture, and the great symbols of the freedom of the mind”.1 Weighing particularly heavily in 1941 among concerned individuals was the dark cloud of May 1933, when Adolf Hitler’s supporters throughout Germany flagrantly confiscated and burned books they considered undeutsch (un-German). Images and detailed reports of the burnings had circulated widely and been discussed and protested the world over.
KeywordsSummer School Public Library American Library Association Christian Science Monitor International Summer School
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