Nazi book burning on the Berliner Opernplatz, 10 May 1933.
“The symbolic moment of capitulation of German intellectuals to the ‘new spirit’ of 1933 came with the burning on 10 May of the books of authors unacceptable to the regime. University faculties and senates collaborated. Their members, with few exceptions, attended the bonfires. The poet Heinrich Heine (1797-1856), whose works were amongst those consumed by the flames, had written: ‘Where books are burnt, in the end people are also burnt.’”
— Ian Kershaw: Hitler
Nazi book burning on the Berliner Opernplatz, 10 May 1933.
Eye-witness account by German writer Erich Kästner:
“And in the year of 1933 my books were burned with dark festive splendour in Berlin, on the large square next to the Opera, by a certain Mr. Goebbels. He triumphantly called out the names of twenty-four German writers, who symbolically had to be eradicated for eternity. I was the only one of the twenty-four who had appeared in person to witness this theatrical insolence.
I stood in front of the University, jammed between students in SA uniforms, the flower of the nation, saw our books lying in the flashing flames and listened to the sentimental tirades of the little consummate liar. Funeral weather hung over the town. The head of a smashed bust of Magnus Hirschfeld, on a long stake, swung up and down over the silent mass of people. It was disgusting.
Suddenly a shrill woman’s voice called: ‘But that’s Kästner standing there!’ A young cabaret artist, pushing through the throng with a colleague, had seen me standing there and had given exaggerated expression to her astonishment. I became ill at ease. But nothing happened. (Although in those very days a great lot of things used to ‘happen.’) The books kept flying into the fire. The tirades of the little consummate liar kept ringing out. And the faces of the brown student guard, chin straps and all, were turned straight ahead, looking at the pile of flames and the proselytising, gesticulating little devil.
In the following twelve years I only saw my books whenever I went abroad, in Copenhagen, in Zurich, in London. It is a strange feeling, being a banned writer and never seeing one’s books on the shelves and in the windows of book shops, not in a single town of one’s fatherland. Not even in my own hometown. Not even at Christmas, when the Germans bustle along the snow-covered streets to buy presents.”
The last Jew in Vinnitsa, 1941.
Life, July 8, 1946
This had to happen several times before they taped up a sign.
Saqqara is the most important cemetery that belongs to the ancient city of Memphis. The site is almost 6km long and up to 1,5km wide at the widest, however the neighboring cemeteries, especially Abusir, were in antiquity not seen as separate sites. This compartmentalizing of cemeteries is a very modern and western concept.
The history of the site runs back to the very first dynasty (2950-2775 BC) and continues all the way through history to the Greco-Roman period, in these 3 millennia there has been a lot of activity in the area.
Early dynastic Period (2950 – 2650 BC)
In the first dynasty there are no royal tombs at Saqqara but there are several objects with the name of Narmer on them. Narmer is the oldest royal name known from Egypt. The first mastaba ( Arabic for bench) is from the reign of king Aha, known as the founder of the legendary city of Memphis. Mastaba’s from the first dynasty are all located along the eastern line of the desert, just north of the Step Pyramid of Djoser, they belong to high officials and members of the royal family. These mastaba’s were fairly large, some even measuring up to 57 by 26 m. The chambers for funerary equipment were in the mastaba superstructure and the burial chambers and additional rooms were cut into the rock below the mastaba. Most of the early excavations were done by W.B. Emery between 1936 and 1956. The non-royal mastaba’s of the 2nd dynasty were build in the area west of the 1st dynasty mastaba’s without a clear order, these mastaba’s were considerably smaller than their 1st dynasty counterparts.
The first royal mastaba’s in Saqqara were found underneath the pyramid of Wenis, not much has survived but there are some clay inscriptions that suggest the tombs of king Reneb and Ninetjer were located here.
Old and Middle Kingdom (2650 – 1630 BC)
In this period Saqqara was a popular place to build the Pharaoh’s pyramid and no less than 14 pyramids are known from Saqqara, amazingly enough more pyramids are very likely to still be undiscovered.
The first is the Step Pyramid of Djoser (2650 BC), the first Egyptian Pyramid and the biggest structure in the world of its time. The pyramid was initially supposed to be a mastaba but the plans changed and the Egyptian ended up inventing the first stage of the pyramid. The design of the pyramid is attributed to the architect Imhotep. Around the Step Pyramid is a complex of buildings, most were meant for the celebration of the Kings’ sed-festival, a festival that celebrated a new phase in the kings reign. The second pyramid was found under the sand in 1950 and was left unfinished, it was initially build for king Sekhemkhet but the burial chamber was found empty. The third pyramid was build for the last king of the 4th dynasty and the fourth for Userkaf, the first king of the 5th dynasty. The fifth pyramid belongs to the largely unknown king Izezi but the sixth pyramid is very well known. This pyramid belongs to king Wenis, last king of the fifth dynasty and the walls of his pyramid are covered with Pyramid Texts on the inside. These texts are spells to help the deceased king in the afterlife, these spells are found in all later pyramids of the Old Kingdom. The seventh pyramid belongs to Teti, the first king of the 6th dynasty, and stands as the most northern pyramid in Saqqara. Pyramids 8 (of Pepy I), 9 (of Merenre) and 10 (of Pepy II) are all in the south of Saqqara. These pyramids belongs to pharaoh’s of the 6th dynasty. The eleventh pyramid was build for a mostly unknown king named Ibi of the 8th dynasty and this pyramid therefore belongs to the First Intermediate Period. In this period Egypt has no central government and power was held by local lords. The same is true for pyramid 12, which belongs to a king names Merykare, and was build in the 9th/10th dynasty, or the Herakleopolitan Period. The last two pyramids were build in the Middle Kingdom, the 13th dynasty, and were build with sun dried bricks.
Nonroyal tombs are plentiful in Saqqara because the elite wanted to be buried close to the royal tombs. From the 4th dynasty onwards pyramids began to be surrounded by nonroyal tombs, especially Djosers’, Wenis’ and Userkaf’ pyramids were popular to be buried around. Nonroyal tombs of the 6th dynasty and First Intermediate Period are in the vicinity of Teti’s pyramid and around pyramids in the south of Saqqara. Tombs from the Middle Kingdom are mostly around the pyramid of Teti, Wenis and in the south of Saqqara.
The New Kingdom
The most beautiful tomb from the New Kingdom in Saqqara is the tomb of Aperia, a vizier from the reign of king Amenhotep III (1390 – 1353 BC). South of the pyramid of Wenis is a large area of freestanding chapels. These chapels can be divided into two groups, a group that belongs to the Ramesside Period and a group in the area of the tomb of Horemheb. At the end of the 18th dynasty Saqqara was also very active and there are some very beautiful early post-Amarna reliefs in some tombs. The finest tombs date between the reigns of Tutanchamon and Ramses II. The most impressive find in the area was done by the Anglo-Dutch expedition of the Egypt Exploration Society and the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, they found the private tomb of the Great Commander of the Army, Horemheb. Horemheb was the military force behind the throne in the aftermath of the Amarna Period. He was general in the army during the reigns of Tutanchamon and Aye, after this he himself became pharaoh and abandoned this tomb for a tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
Other important tombs in Saqqara is that of Maya (and his wife Merit), who served as treasury official during the reign of Tutanchamon. Another beautiful tomb is that of Tia, who lived during the reign of Ramses II (better known as Ramses the Great).
The cult of the Apis bull required the sacred bull, in which the Memphite god Ptah could be present, to be mummified and buried in Saqqara at the Serapeum. This was done from the reign of Amenhotep III onwards, well into the Greco-Roman Period. Because there was only one sacred bull at a time, an Apis bull burial occurred only once every 12 to 15 years. Ramses II created a long underground gallery in which the bulls could be placed, called the ‘Lesser Vaults’, which reached a length of 68m long. A second gallery was added in the 26th dynasty (called the ‘Greater Vaults’) by Psammeticus I, and this gallery reached a length of 198 meter and was cut in a right angle with the other gallery. The ‘Greater Vaults’ was used into the Greco-Roman Period. Saqqara is a well-known sacred animal necropolis because not just sacred bulls were buried here, also mummified cows, falcons, ibises and baboons were found in the vicinity of the Serapeum.
The Late Period and Greco-Roman Period
All most all of the tombs from these two periods are near the Step Pyramid of Djoser. To the north of the pyramid is the Serapeum and tombs of the 30th dynasty and later. To the south, and close to the pyramid of Wenis), is mostly 26th and 27th dynasty tombs, the east are mostly 26th dynasty tombs and lastly in the west are mostly Greco-Roman tombs.
1. Step Pyramid of Djoser
2. Map of Saqqara
3. Inscription of Horemheb receiving a necklace of honour
4. Detail of inscription in tomb of Horemheb
5. Relief from tomb of Horemheb
Glasses help colorblind people see normally.
A new type of glasses developed by 2AI Labs can help people with red-green deficiency to see colors more correctly. The glasses were initially developed as tools to help detect blood oxygenation and flow beneath the skin, allowing a nurse to more easily detect veins for an injection, for example. But when tried on by normally colorblind people, the company realized they could also help the 8 percent of men and 0.5 percent of women who suffer red-green deficiency.
One drawback of the glasses is that they may impair the perception of yellows and greens. As the company puts it, the glasses “spread the color confusion more evenly around the color-wheel, rather than having it concentrated only on red-green”. For this reason, the glasses should not be worn while driving, and are meant only as tools to be worn in certain situations.
Other interesting uses for the glasses in normal-sighted people include being able to easily identify emotions in others just by looking at them, using the glasses to identify color and flow changes in blood beneath the skin:
The O2Amps could help caregivers and police officers do their jobs better, help the colorblind to see reds and greens, maybe even make poker players better at calling someone’s bluff.
Last meals of famous murderers.
I always reblog last meals… I can’t help it.