For the third time within a few months, books were destroyed in the Tempelhof-Schöneberg district central library, the “Eva-Maria-Buch-Haus”, in this case five. This was announced by Boryano Rickum, head of all libraries in the Tempelhof-Schoeneberg district. Once again, titles are affected that deal critically with right-wing tendencies.
Four of the books had already been cut up during the first incidents. These include the titles by Philip Schlaffer: “Hate.Might.Violence – An Ex-Nazi and Red Light Rocker Unpacks” and by Patrick Stegemann and Sören Musyal: “The Right Mobilization – How Radical Net Activists Attack Democracy.” Newly cut up “Right Against Right Report 2020”.
In the current case, the perpetrator or perpetrators tore out pages or put small lumps of plaster between the pages and then closed the book. The destroyed books were under a shelf where they were found by library staff last Friday.
Since Rickum had first awaited internal processes, he announced the destruction with a delay. A complaint was lodged with the police against an unknown person. Tobias Dollase (non-partisan for the CDU), City Councilor for Culture in the Tempelhof-Schoeneberg district, condemned the renewed incident. Dollase stated in a press release: “This repeated right-wing assault on the library in Tempelhof is cowardly and targets our freedom of expression and democracy. And unfortunately this is not an isolated case, as recently unauthorized propaganda materials from right-wing groups were laid out in this library again. Libraries are strong places of knowledge and freedom that must be defended. We will continue to oppose such right-wing attacks together and resolutely in the future.”
Rickum explained to the Tagesspiegel: “It is important to us that we, as a library, defend ourselves against this renewed attack motivated by right-wing extremists with our library work and turn the intention of the perpetrator or perpetrators into their opposite and convert them into a pro-democratic act.”
After the first incidents, the library organized the “Strong Pages” reading series. Authors whose books were destroyed read from their works and then engage in discussions with the audience. Rickum commented, “We continue undeterred with our ‘Strong Pages’ series. We want the people in our district to be even more encouraged to take a critical look at right-wing extremism, and above all to be able to regularly exchange information about it in our library. So we want to regularly create publicity on such topics.”