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"'When one burns books, one will soon burn people.' I hate these guys."
Indiana Jones, quoting Heinrich Heine.[src]

The bonfire outside the institute.

A bookburning rally was held in 1938 in Berlin at the Institute of Aryan Culture.


While top Nazi leadership watched the rally, troops marched in formation and Nazi supporters took books deemed counter to their ideology and burned them in a large bonfire. Nazi officials attending the rally included Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and Elsa Schneider.[1]

Privately saddened at the destruction of knowledge, Schneider stepped away from the party platform and walked down the corridor, where she was grabbed by a disguised Indiana Jones. Jones and his father had come to Berlin to retrieve the elder Jones' Grail Diary, which Schneider had brought with her from Castle Brunwald.[1]

Hitler signs the Grail diary.

Managing to get the diary back from the Austrian archaeologist, Jones slipped back into the crowd in his officer's disguise. Holding the book in his hands, he turned to discover that Hitler and his entourage were exiting the rally and had stopped. Fearing he had been discovered, Jones passed the grail diary to the Fuhrer, who signaled for a pen from one of his aides, signed the diary, and passed it back to Jones, thinking him to be an admirer from the military. Hitler and his entourage continued their departure, and Jones exhaled with relief.[1]

Jones kept several souvenirs from the rally in his journal: the telegram summoning Dr. Schneider to Berlin, a flier advertising the rally, and a saved title page from a burned copy of German edition of the Communist Manifesto.[2]

Behind the scenes[]

The filming of the Berlin bookburning rally for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade took place at Stowe School in Stowe, Buckinghamshire.[3]

Historically, the Nazi book burnings began at the Bebelplatz in Berlin in 1933. Heinrich Heine, who Indiana Jones quotes in reaction to the bookburning rally in The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones, was one of the authors whose work was targeted.

Along with other scenes from the third film, footage of the rally was later included in the trailer for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.



Notes and references[]