DAHLONEGA - North Georgians are learning about the Nazi era from "Fighting the Fires of Hate: America and the Nazi Book Burnings", a traveling exhibit from the United States Holocaust Museum on display at the Dahlonega campus of the University of North Georgia.
Exhibit Coordinator Bonnie Morris says 1933's Nazi book burning in Germany denied freedom of thought.
"With academic freedom you want people to have the availability and then they can make their own choices but if you don't have availability you can't make your own choices," Morris said.
Morris, who is also coordinator of reference and collection development, added that the book burning was especially objectionable to her, whether it happened in 1933, or in the present day with book banning that still occurs.
"We're banning and challenging books for sure," Morris said. "There are various places throughout the country where books like the Harry Potter series and other books are being challenged at the very least."
The exhibit is on display on three floors in the open areas of the Library Technology Center.
"We've had one school group to come already from North Habersham Middle School and we have other school groups that will be coming on various Fridays during the exhibit," according to Morris. "This is just reinforcing what they're learning in school. Its making them think about any kind of material that could be challenged or in this case burned."
The exhibit also includes a lecture series which started January 28th with Sally Levine from the William Breman Jewish Heritage and Holocaust Museum in Atlanta. She spoke on teaching about the Holocaust. This Friday at 7 p.m. Dr. Laurence Sherr from Kennesaw State University will present "Banned Music in the Nazi Era" on campus at the Gloria Shott Auditorium.
On Monday, Feb. 25 at 6 p.m., Dr. Sabine Smith from German studies at Kennesaw State, will explore the issue of "Degenerative Art, Architecture, Film" in the Library Technology Center's Special Collections Room.
Dr. Catherine Lewis, director of the Museum of History and Holocaust Education at Kennesaw State and professor of history, will present the closing lecture "Looking Back, Looking Ahead," on Wednesday, March 13 at 6 p.m. in the Library Technology Center's Special Collections Room.
"When we planned our speakers we tried to encompass the full picture of what was banned during this era from 1933 up to World War Two," said Access Services Manager Cynthia Horne. "It encompassed art and music and a great realm of things that influenced modern society."
Horne said "Fighting the Fires of Hate" tells the story of how the Nazis exercised mind control, adding that it's important to learn about what happened.
"People need to be aware of how all of these things influence society. If a government entity or group is trying to limit what you have access to, they're trying to control the way you think."