Christian Johann Heinrich Heine born 13 December 1797, was a journalist, essayist, literary critic, and one of the most significant German poets of the 19th century. His radical political views meant that many of his works were banned by the authorities in Germany. Heine spent the last 25 years of his life as an expatriate living in Paris.
I bring up Heine in light of recent current events. Heine is actually admired and quoted by Friederich Nietzshe
“The highest conception of the lyric poet was given to me by Heinrich Heine. I seek in vain in all the realms of millenia for an equally sweet and passionate music. He possessed that divine malice without which I cannot imagine perfection… And how he employs German! It will one day be said that Heine and I have been by far the first artists of the German language.” – Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo
One of Heine’s best known quotes and the one that, to me seems the most relevant given the outright ignorance and idiocy that people have exhibited. I want to share it with you now. I would encourage you to read up on Heine as besides his amazing play from 1821 called Almansor he was also a rather enlightened scholar of ancient religions or lack thereof.
“Das war ein Vorspiel nur, dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen.” (“That was but a prelude; where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people also.”)