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Bebelplatz, formerly called the opera square, was created in 1741-1743. It received its current name in 1949 in honor of Ferdinand August Bebel (1840-1913), founder and leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, one of the first declared human rights defenders. Bebelplatz is widely known as the site of the famous Nazi book smoking campaign.
On May 10, 1933, activists of the nationalist German Student Association burned 20,000. books, including works of the Mann family, Erich Maria Remarque and Heinrich Heine. These events are commemorated by the installation of Michael Ullman - a glass slab mounted in the pavement, through which you can see a room with empty shelves capable of holding 20 thousand. books. The motto of the installation is a quote from Heine: "Where books are burned, people will eventually be burned."
Bebelplatz was seriously damaged during World War II, and then carefully restored in the 1950s. Currently, it is used for various cultural purposes, including as a city ice rink in winter.