Donate now

In the beginning was the Word

May 10, 2023 - Musical reading to commemorate 90 years of book burning - In cooperation with the House of One

Anna Seghers, Heinrich Mann, Erich Kästner, Nelly Sachs, Lion Feuchtwanger, Kurt Tucholsky, Vicki Baum, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein - nine of more than 350 authors, intellectuals and scientists whose books were banned by the National Socialists. The "Action against the Un-German Spirit" culminated on 10 May 1933 in large-scale book burnings in many German cities. In Berlin, over 20,000 works were thrown into the fire on Berlin's Bebelplatz - not far from the Berlin Cathedral.

In cooperation with the House of One - as a community of the three book religions Christianity, Judaism and Islam - we will commemorate this day with a musical reading in the Berlin Cathedral on 10 May at 7 pm. Literary and musical pieces by persecuted authors and composers will be heard in commemoration. Alternating with works by Bertolt Brecht, Oskar Maria Graf, Erich Kästner and Heinrich Heine, among others, the State and Cathedral Choir, conducted by Professor Kai-Uwe Jirka, will play pieces by Adalbert v. Goldschmidt, Hans Eisler and Louis Lewandowski. In addition, there will be readings from the Holy Scriptures, which are still victims of the flames today, as well as from works by writers who are persecuted today.

The joint liturgical opening and closing will take place with Christian, Jewish and Islamic greetings and the respective blessing by Cathedral Preacher Michael Kösling, Pastor Gregor Hohberg, Rabbi Andreas Nachama and Imam Kadir Sanci.

Contributors House of One/Berlin Cathedral:
Cathedral preacher Michael Kösling
Rabbi Andreas Nachama   
Imam Kadir Sanci   
Cantor Esther Hirsch 
Theologian Kübra Dalkilic 
Theologian Rümeysa Yilmaz   
Pastor Gregor Hohberg   

Participating musicians:
Rosa Lüttschwager, soprano 
Christian Filips, recitation
State and Cathedral Choir Berlin
Wassim Mukdad, oud
Annette Rheinfurth, double bass
Cathedral organist Andreas Sieling, organ
Felix Hielscher, piano/organ

Admission free, no tickets necessary