When I hear the term Kindle I think not of imaginations fired but of crematoria. And when I hear the term "hi-tech" I think not of helpful androids efficiently performing household chores or light-speed rockets gliding seamlessly through space but of the fact that between 1933-45, modern technology was used to perform in ever more efficient ways the mass murder of six million of my people.
Now, sixty four years after the Holocaust, the Nazi disdain for the book has become the feel-good Hi-Tech campaign to rid the world of books in place of massive easily controlled centralized repositories of book texts downloadable on little hand-held devices and from which a text can be dissapeared with the click of a mouse: in Nazi terms, a dream come true.
In World War II, people died to produce and protect books. Anti-Fascist organizations, American Jewish Groups and writers, editors and journalists launched massive demonstrations in defense of the book, including, on March 10, 1933, the largest march, to that date, in the history of New York City: 100,000 people turned out to express outrage at the burning of books and other events in Germany. In its coverage of the Berlin book burnings, Newsweek used "Holocaust" as its headline.
President Roosevelt, recognizing the threat of Nazi attitudes to the book, launched a full-scale government campaign, and declaring it part of the national war effort, said: "...books...embody man's eternal fight against tyranny. In this war, we know, books are weapons."
Today's hi-tech propagandists tell us that the book is a tree-murdering, space-devouring, inferior form that society would be better off without. In its place, they want us to carry around the Uber-Kindle. The hi-tech campaign to relocate books to Google and replace books with Kindles is, in its essence, a deportation of the literary culture to a kind of easily monitored concentration camp of ideas.
Because nothing shows respect for the victims of the Jewish Holocaust like comparing their murder to the development of a new electronic toy.