Book box dedicated to the Holocaust set on fire in antisemitic arson

Verbrannte Bücher liegen in der ausgebrannten Bücherbox in der Nähe des Mahnmals „Gleis 17”. Ein unbekannter Mann soll am frühen Samstagmorgen eine zur Bücherbox umgebaute ehemalige Telefonzelle am Holocaust-Mahnmal «Gleis 17» im Berliner Grunewald angezündet haben. Die Bücher, die in der Telefonzelle zum Lesen bereitstanden und die zu großen Teilen die Zeit des Nationalsozialismus zum Thema haben, wurden fast vollständig zerstört. +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

A free street library, also known as a book box, dedicated to Holocaust history, was destroyed in Berlin in an antisemitic arson attack. 

A book box dedicated to Holocaust history was set on fire in Berlin. The harm was discovered early Saturday morning on August 12. The German police are investigating the arson attack, which is likely an antisemitic hate crime, reports the JTA.

The „Bucherboxx” was set up near the Track 17 memorial at the Berlin Grunewald train station, which marks the site from which tens of thousands of Jews were deported to concentration and death camps between 1941 and 1942.

According to witnesses, a man was seen placing a box inside the former telephone booth that served as the „street library” and set it on fire.

Moreover, Helmuth Pohren-Hartmann of the Stumbling Block memorial initiative in Berlin-Friedenau said an antisemitic note was found at the site. However, the police have not revealed its content.

This particular book box was dedicated in 2012 and featured material related to the Holocaust. Any passerby could borrow books of their interest; however, due to the arson, almost all of the books are now destroyed. Plans are underway to replace them.


Photo credit: Fabian Sommer/dpa