|Books burned by the Nazis, on display at Yad Vashem|
Book burning, biblioclasm or libricide is the practice of destroying, often ceremoniously, books or other written material and media. In modern times, other forms of media, such as phonograph records, video tapes, and CDs have also been ceremoniously burned, torched, or shredded. The practice, usually carried out in public, is generally motivated by moral, religious, or political objections to the material.
Some particular cases of book burning are long and traumatically remembered - because the books destroyed were irreplaceable and their loss constituted a severe damage to cultural heritage, and/or because this instance of book burning has become emblematic of a harsh and oppressive regime. Such were the destruction of the Library of Alexandria, the obliteration of the Library of Baghdad, the burning of books and burying of scholars under China's Qin Dynasty, the destruction of Aztec codices by Spanish conquistadors and priests, and the Nazi book burnings of Jewish literature.
Although one motivation for book burning may be censorship, it is in most cases an act of displaying severe displeasure, hatred, or contempt for the book's contents or author, or to attract attention for the outrage perceived by those who highly appreciate the book and its content. For example, the burning of Beatles records after a remark by John Lennon concerning Jesus Christ, the destruction of the Sarajevo National Library, and the 2010 Qur'an-burning controversy.
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