The Bebelplatz (formerly colloquially Opernplatz) is a public square in the central Mitte district of Berlin, the capital of Germany.

The square is located on the south side of the Unter den Linden boulevard, a major east-west thoroughfare in the city centre. It is bounded to the east by the State Opera building (hence its prewar name), to the west by buildings of Humboldt University, and to the southeast by St. Hedwig's Cathedral, the first Catholic church built in Prussia after the Reformation. The square is named after August Bebel, a founder of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in the 19th century.

Berlin Bebelplatz asv2018-05 img3
General view of the Bebelplatz, taken from Unter den Linden with State Opera to the left, St. Hedwig's Cathedral straight ahead and the Alte Bibliothek of the Humboldt University law faculty to the right


Plaque at Bebelplaz commemorating Nazi book burning, 10 May 1933
Plaque at Bebelplaz commemorating Nazi book burning, 10 May 1933
Opernplatz, Berlin 1880
Platz am Opernhaus, c. 1880
Bebelplatz Night of Shame Monument
A memorial to the Nazi book burning by Micha Ullman set into the Bebelplatz.
Buddy Bear Bebelplatz
2010 exhibition of "United Buddy Bears

Early history

The square, then called Platz am Opernhaus (i.e. square at the opera house), was laid out between 1741 and 1743 under the rule of King Frederick II of Prussia. On 12 August 1910 it was named Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Platz, in honour of Emperor Francis Joseph I of Austria on the occasion of his 87th birthday. The buildings surrounding the square were largely destroyed in World War II by air raids and the Battle of Berlin. The ensemble was restored in the 1950s and the square renamed on 31 August 1947 as Bebelplatz.

Nazi book burning

The Bebelplatz is known as the site of one of the infamous Nazi book burning ceremonies held in the evening of 10 May 1933 in many German university cities. The book burnings were initiated and hosted by the nationalist German Student Association, thus stealing a march on the National Socialist German Students' League. The assembly of the books had started on the sixth, when students dragged the contents of the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft library into the square. At the Student Association's invitation Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels held an inflammatory speech prior to the burning. Besides other spectators, it was attended by members of the Nazi Students' League, the SA ("brownshirts"), SS and Hitler Youth groups. They burned around 20,000 books, including works by Heinrich Mann, Erich Maria Remarque, Heinrich Heine, Karl Marx, Albert Einstein and many other authors. Erich Kästner, whose books were also among those burned, was present at the scene and described it with bitter irony in his diary.

Today a memorial by Micha Ullman consisting of a glass plate set into the cobbles, giving a view of empty bookcases (large enough to hold the total of the 20,000 burnt books), commemorates the book burning. Furthermore, a line of Heinrich Heine from his play, Almansor (1821), is engraved on a plaque inset in the square: "Das war ein Vorspiel nur, dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen." (in English: "That was only a prelude; where they burn books, they will in the end also burn people").[1] Students at Humboldt University hold a book sale in the square every year to mark the anniversary.

Recent history

In 2012 several protests were caused by the announced plan of an underground carpark serving the attendees of the opera to be erected under the square and around the subsurface memorial.

In 2010 an exhibition of "United Buddy Bears" was held in the square, for the third time in Berlin. The exhibition consisted of more than 180 bear sculptures, each two metres high and designed by a different artist. Due to its difficult past the use of Bebelplatz remains disputed, recently sparked off by a wintery skating rink and a party tent of the Berlin fashion week.


  1. ^ "Where they burn books, they will ultimately also burn people". May 20, 2008.

External links

Coordinates: 52°30′59″N 13°23′34″E / 52.51639°N 13.39278°E

Berlin State Library

The Berlin State Library (German: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin; officially abbreviated as SBB, colloquially Stabi) is a universal library in Berlin, Germany and a property of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. It is one of the largest libraries in Europe, and one of the most important academic research libraries in the German-speaking world. It collects texts, media and cultural works from all fields in all languages, from all time periods and all countries of the world, which are of interest for academic and research purposes. Among the more famous items in its collection are the oldest biblical illustrations, in the fifth-century Quedlinburg Itala fragment, a Gutenberg Bible, the main autograph collection of Goethe, the world's largest collection of Johann Sebastian Bach's and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's manuscripts, and the original score of Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9.

Berlin State Opera

The Berlin State Opera (German: Staatsoper Unter den Linden) is a German opera company based in Berlin. Its permanent home is the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, commonly referred to as Lindenoper, in the central Mitte district, which also hosts the Staatskapelle Berlin orchestra. Originally the Hofoper (court opera) from 1742, it was named Königliches Opernhaus (Royal Opera House) in 1844, and Staatsoper Unter den Linden in 1918. From 1949 to 1990 it housed the state opera of East Germany. Since 2004, the State Opera company belongs to the Berlin Opera Foundation, like the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Komische Oper Berlin, the Berlin State Ballet, and the Bühnenservice Berlin (Stage and Costume Design).

Books in Germany

As of 2018, ten firms in Germany rank among the world's biggest publishers of books in terms of revenue: C.H. Beck, Bertelsmann, Cornelsen Verlag, Haufe-Gruppe, Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, Ernst Klett Verlag, Springer Nature, Thieme, WEKA Holding, and Westermann Druck- und Verlagsgruppe. Overall, "Germany has some 2,000 publishing houses, and more than 90,000 titles reach the public each year, a production surpassed only by the United States." Unlike many other countries, "book publishing is not centered in a single city but is concentrated fairly evenly in Berlin, Hamburg, and the regional metropolises of Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and Munich."

Carl von Gontard

Carl Philipp Christian von Gontard (13 January 1731 in Mannheim – 23 September 1791 in Breslau) was a German architect who worked primarily in Berlin, Potsdam, and Bayreuth in the style of late Baroque Classicism. Next to Knobelsdorff he was considered the most important architect of the era of Frederick the Great of Prussia.Carl von Gontard descended from a Huguenot family living in the French province of Dauphiné. He married Sophia von Erckert and had numerous children, including Carl Friedrich Ludwig von Gontard, a Prussian army officer who was granted hereditary nobility by the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II.

After two years of study in Paris under Jacques-François Blondel and a lengthy sojourn in Italy he gained a reputation as a valued court architect to Wilhelmine of Prussia, Margravine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth. In Bayreuth he designed an extension to the Bayreuth Palace and numerous palaces for the nobility and residences for prosperous citizens, buildings recognized as being of high artistic quality and giving the townscape a distinctive accent. Gontard also taught architecture at the Bayreuth Academy of Arts. When her husband, reigning prince Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth, died in 1763, Gontard no long received regular commissions because of the policy of austerity of Frederick’s successor, Frederick Christian, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth.

In 1764 Gontard was employed by Wilhelmine’s brother, Frederick the Great of Prussia, who soon put him in charge of all royal construction projects in Potsdam and Berlin. From 1765 to 1769 he was the artistic director of the New Palace in Potsdam, whose construction had started in 1763. Gontard had a major role in the arrangement and design of the palace interior, as well as the architecture of the formal auxiliary buildings (Communs) facing the palace forecourt and several structures in Park Sanssouci, such as the Temple of Friendship, Frederick the Great's tribute to his sister, Wilhelmine, and the Antique Temple. His next major work in Potsdam, the Military Orphanage, was undertaken 1771-1778 and contained a distinctive central block and a spiraling stairwell. Gontard also designed and built private residences in Potsdam, such as an impressive parade of houses, Am Bassin, and Potsdam's Brandenburg Gate.

Gontard’s main works in Berlin include the colonnade portico and tower of the German and French churches on Gendarmenmarkt; two decorative colonnaded bridges across the former moat, a remnant of the city’s 17th century fortifications, (in 1776 the Spittelkolonnaden on Leipziger Strasse, and in 1777/1778 the Königskolonnaden, originally near Alexanderplatz but later relocated to Heinrich-von-Kleist-Park); the Oranienburg Gate (1787/88) historic drawing; and supervision of the construction of the Royal Library on today’s Bebelplatz, which he furnished with a grand staircase and a formal hall for festivities.

Immediately after the death of Frederick the Great, his successor, Friedrich Wilhelm II, commissioned Gontard to decorate the Potsdam City Palace and Garrison Church for the funeral rites. Major royal assignments followed. Between 1787 and 1790 he furnished nine of the Royal Chambers in the Berlin City Palace. At the same time he created the Marble Palace in Potsdam, one of his most outstanding achievements. His last work was the ‘‘Holländische Etablissement’’, an ensemble of so-called “Dutch Houses” in the New Garden, Potsdam. Under Frederick William II Gontard became a member of the Royal Prussian Academy of Arts and Mechanical Sciences, where he taught until his death.

He had significant followers in G. C. Unger, F. W. Titel, and H. Gentz, but no long-lasting successors as his style did not survive the change in architectural taste that came with the end of Frederick the Great’s era.


Dorotheenstadt is a historic zone or neighbourhood (Stadtviertel) of central Berlin, Germany, which forms part of the locality (Ortsteil) of Mitte within the borough (Bezirk) also called Mitte. It contains several famous Berlin landmarks: the Brandenburg Gate, the Pariser Platz, and Unter den Linden.

Dropping knowledge

Dropping Knowledge (styled "dropping knowledge") is a non-profit organization in the United States and Germany. In the US, Dropping Knowledge International is a project of the Tides Center, a non-profit fiscal sponsor and registered 501(c)3. In Germany, Dropping Knowledge e.V. is an Eingetragener Verein. Both organizations aim to foster discussion of the world's social and environmental problems. Founded in the US in 2003, the organization hosted a large discussion in Berlin on September 9, 2006.The organization was founded by German filmmaker Ralf Schmerberg, American filmmaker Cindy Gantz, and American activist Jackie Wallace, originally as a response to the Iraq War, but from its inception aimed to be more than a mere "anti-movement": dropping knowledge became an interactive platform for questions, concerns and initiatives from around the world, as well as a meeting place for concerned world citizens striving to turn apathy into action.

The nine-hour discussion, named The Table of Free Voices and overseen by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, used a large round table on the Bebelplatz in Berlin. 112 international artists, philosophers, scientists and human rights activists were invited to simultaneously answer 100 selected questions, recorded by 112 cameras and microphones. The questions had been collected on the organization's website beginning in September 2005. The questions were read out loud by moderators Hafsat Abiola and Willem Dafoe. Prominent participants included Cornel West, Bianca Jagger, Hans-Peter Dürr, John Gage, Bill Joy, Harry Wu and Wim Wenders.

Transcripts and videos were later released on the project's website under a copyleft license, organized in a "Living Library" developed by the Deutsche Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz in Saarbrücken (German Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence).The cost of the event was 5 million Euros; initial funding came from the Wallace Foundation and The Mark and Sharon Bloome Fund, the Allianz insurance company contributed 2.7 million Euro in 2005, and Volkswagen also made a sizable donation.dropping knowledge has also produced and is distributing several short films, all under the "dropping knowledge Copyleft License" which places some restrictions on commercial use: it forbids to use the content for commercial advertising.

Equestrian statue of Frederick the Great

The equestrian statue of Frederick the Great is an outdoor sculpture in cast bronze at the east end of Unter den Linden in Berlin, honouring King Frederick II of Prussia. Designed in 1839 by Christian Daniel Rauch and unveiled in 1851, it influenced other monuments. After having been encased in cement for protection during World War II, the statue and its base were removed by the East Germans in 1950 and re-erected in 1963 at Sanssouci in Potsdam, but returned to Unter den Linden in 1980. After German reunification the monument was moved back to its original location and restored. It is a registered monument of the City of Berlin.

Festival of Lights (Berlin)

Festival of Lights Berlin is an international event series and a registered trademark . It is one of the most famous light festivals worldwide. A free event, it takes place in Berlin, Germany each year in October, and transforms landmarks and buildings across the city through the use of illuminations, luministic projections and 3D mapping. Structures, streets and squares, including Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin TV Tower, The Berlin Cathedral or the Berlin Victory Column have been metamorphosed through light each year since the first Festival of Lights took place in 2005 .

Festival of Lights Berlin

Since 2005 Birgit Zander and her agency Zander & Partner have been the sole producer of the Festival of Lights; the event organiser is "FOL Festival o Lights International Productions GmbH". Creative director is Birgit Zander.

In 2008, the Light Festival opened on 14 October with the light fountain show Flames of Water in front of Humboldt University of Berlin in Berlin. The light artists lit up and threw projections across 49 landmarks and squares across Berlin. The church towers of the Nikolaikirche Nikolaikirche in the city centre were for the first time ever illuminated all in white, commemorating the legend of the escape of

John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg from his castle to the Nikolai quarter in the 17th century.

A light clock on the Marx-Engels Forum with a diameter of 60 meters found its way into the Guinness World Records as the largest in the world. For joggers there was a ‘light run’ on a 7.5 km-long track bordered on either side by an array of illuminated buildings. A multitude of museums, theaters, embassies and companies opened their doors on this night and invited people in for light-oriented presentations.

Each Festival of Lights has its own motto. In the program highlight "World Championship of Projection Mapping", the best video artists from all over the world skilfully present their visions in 3D video mappings each year. This was also the case in 2017 under the motto "Creating Tomorrow" at the Berlin Cathedral. One of the highlights of the 13th Festival Of Lights was the special "Democracy" award, in which video artists from all over the world took part. Their works were shown at Bellevue Castle, with the award ceremony being opened by Federal President Frank Walter Steinmeier. There was also the first 360° production at Bebelplatz with a 3D video mapping for the 275th anniversary of the Berlin State Opera. Also for the first time there was a 3D video mapping on the Old Town House, which was opened by Oscar winner Julianne Moore. The 13th Festival of Lights (in 2017) was seen by 2.3 million visitors . Festival of Lights On Tour projects have already taken place in New York, Toronto, Luxembourg, Bucharest, Zagreb, Moscow, Beijing, Zwickau and Jerusalem.

Humboldt University of Berlin

Humboldt University of Berlin (German: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, abbreviated HU Berlin) is a university in the central borough of Mitte in Berlin, Germany. It was established by Frederick William III on the initiative of Wilhelm von Humboldt, Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich Ernst Daniel Schleiermacher as the University of Berlin (Universität zu Berlin) in 1809, and opened in 1810, making it the oldest of Berlin's four universities. From 1810 until its closure in 1945, it was named Friedrich Wilhelm University (German: Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität). During the Cold War the university found itself in East Berlin and was de facto split in two when the Free University of Berlin opened in West Berlin. The university received its current name in honour of Alexander and Wilhelm von Humboldt in 1949.The university is divided into nine faculties, including its medical school shared with the Free University of Berlin, has a student enrollment of around 32,000 students, and offers degree programmes in some 189 disciplines from undergraduate to postdoctorate level. Its main campus is located on the Unter den Linden boulevard in central Berlin. The university is known worldwide for pioneering the Humboldtian model of higher education, which has strongly influenced other European and Western universities, and the university has been widely called "the mother of all modern universities."As of 2017, the university has been associated with 55 Nobel Prize winners (including former students, faculty and researchers), and is considered one of the best universities in Europe as well as one of the most prestigious universities in the world for arts and humanities. It was widely regarded as the world's preeminent university for the natural sciences during the 19th and early 20th century, and is linked to major breakthroughs in physics and other sciences by its professors such as Albert Einstein. Former faculty and notable alumni include eminent philosophers, sociologists, artists, lawyers, politicians, mathematicians, scientists, and Heads of State.

List of authors banned in Nazi Germany

This list includes both authors whose entire literary production was officially banned in Nazi Germany and authors who were only partially banned. These authors are from the prohibitions lists in Nazi Germany and come from the following lists and others:

List of damaging and undesirable writing, Liste des schädlichen und unerwünschten Schrifttums, December 31, 1938

Jahreslisten 1939-1941. Unchanged new printing of the Leipzig edition, 1938-1941, Vaduz 1979The official list was published by the Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda. Authors, living and dead, were placed on the list because of Jewish descent, or because of pacifist or communist sympathies or suspicion thereof.

In May and June 1933, in the first year of the Nazi government, there were book burnings. These book bans compose a part of the history of censorship and a subset of the list of banned books.

After World War II started, Germans created indexes of prohibited books in countries they occupied, of works in languages other than German. For example, in occupied Poland, an index of 1,500 prohibited authors was created.

List of cultural icons of Germany

This list of cultural icons of Germany is a list of people and things from any period which are independently considered to be cultural icons characteristic of Germany. [1].

Micha Ullman

Micha Ullman (Hebrew: מיכה אולמן‎, born 1939) is an Israeli sculptor and professor of art.

Nazi book burnings

The Nazi book burnings were a campaign conducted by the German Student Union (the "DSt") to ceremonially burn books in Nazi Germany and Austria in the 1930s. The books targeted for burning were those viewed as being subversive or as representing ideologies opposed to Nazism. These included books written by Jewish, pacifist, religious, classical liberal, anarchist, socialist, and communist authors, among others. The first books burned were those of Karl Marx and Karl Kautsky.

Outline of books

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to books:

Book – set of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of ink, paper, parchment, or other materials, usually fastened together to hinge at one side.


Schlossbrücke is a bridge in the central Mitte district of Berlin, Germany. Built between 1821 und 1824 according to plans designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, it was named after the nearby City Palace (Stadtschloss). The bridge marks the eastern end of the Unter den Linden boulevard.

St. Hedwig's Cathedral

St. Hedwig's Cathedral (German: Sankt-Hedwigs-Kathedrale) is a Roman Catholic cathedral on the Bebelplatz in Berlin, Germany. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Berlin.

Trams in Kassel

The Kassel tramway network is a 93.3-kilometer (58.0 mi) network of tramways, forming part of the public transport system in Kassel, a city in the north of the federal state of Hesse, Germany. As of 2014, the Kassel tram network is made up of seven regular tramlines.Opened in 1877 as a steam tramway from Wilhelmshöhe the Königsplatz (Royal Square), the network has been operated since 1897 by Kasseler Verkehrs-Gesellschaft (KVG). The track gauge is 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge. There existed also a narrow gauge network to the Hercules monument. The network was extended gradually into the surrounding area, partly as conventional tramways, and partly as a tram-train RegioTram network.

Unter den Linden

Unter den Linden (German: [ˈʊntɐ deːn ˈlɪndn̩], "under the linden trees") is a boulevard in the central Mitte district of Berlin, the capital of Germany. Running from the City Palace to Brandenburg Gate, it is named after the linden (lime) trees that line the grassed pedestrian mall on the median and the two broad carriageways. The avenue links numerous Berlin sights and landmarks and rivers for sight-seeing.

Walk of Ideas

The Walk of Ideas was a set of six sculptures in central Berlin designed by Scholz & Friends for the 2006 FIFA World Cup football event in Germany. The sculptures, part of a campaign called Welcome to Germany – the Land of Ideas, were put up between 10 March 2006 and 19 May 2006. The opening of the exhibition was covered by reporters for the international mass media. The sculptures were on display until September 2006.

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