Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History

Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History

Jacob Miller - June 23, 2018

Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information that may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, authorities or other groups or institutions.

The Nazi book burnings were a campaign conducted by the German Student Union to ceremonially burn books viewed as being subversive or representing ideologies opposed to Nazism. These included books written by Jewish, pacifists, religious, classical liberal, anarchist, and communist authors. The first books burned were those of Karl Marx and Karl Kautsky.

Strict censorship existed in the Eastern Communist Bloc. Various ministries of culture controlled all forms of media and art. In the Stalinist period, even weather forecasts would be changed if they suggested that the sun might not shine on the communists International Worker’s Day.

In the People’s Republic of China, during the Culture Revolution, books were burned and artifacts, paintings, and statues were ruined because they were reminiscent of the pre-revolution past. Today, the Golden Shield Project monitors and tightly censors the internet.

Freedom of speech and freedom of expression must not be taken for granted. These are the first freedoms stripped during the rise of a dictator. We must be vigilant of who use violence to suppress ideas, those who seek to silence those they disagree with, those who seek to control speech.

Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
On May 5, 1920, Lenin gave a famous speech to a crowd of Soviet troops in Sverdlov Square, Moscow. In the foreground was Leon Trotsky and Lev Kamenev. The photo was later altered and both were removed by censors. Wikipedia
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
On November 7, 1919, this image was snapped of the Soviet leadership celebrating the second anniversary of the October Revolution. After Trotsky and his allies fell from power, a number of figures were removed from the image, including Trotsky and two people over to Lenin’s left, wearing glasses and giving a salute. Lev Kamenev two men over on Lenin’s right was another of Stalin’s opponents and below the boy in front of Trotsky, another bearded figure, Artemic Bagratovich Khalatov the one-time Commissar of publishing, was also edited out. Wikipedia
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
During the Bolshevik Revolution, a number of pictures were taken of successful fighters celebrating their victories. These were often used as postcards after the war. The background of the original image includes a store that says in Russian, “Watches, gold, and silver”. The image was then changed to read, “Struggle for your rights”, and a flag that was a solid color before was changed to read, “Down with the monarchy – long live the Republic!”. Wikipedia
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
This picture is a meeting of the St. Petersburg chapter of the Union of Struggle for the Liberation of the Working Class taken in February 1897. Shortly after the picture was taken the whole group was arrested by the Okhrana. The members were handed out various punishments with Lenin being arrested, held by authorities for fourteen months and then released and exiled to the village of Shushenskoye in Siberia, where he mingled with such notable Marxists as Georgy Plekhanov, who had introduced socialism to Russia. To the left standing is Alexander Malchenko. At the time of this picture, he was an engineering student and his mother would let Lenin hide out at her house. After his arrest, he spent some time in exile before returning in 1900 and abandoning the revolution. He moved to Moscow where he worked as a senior engineer in various state departments before in 1929 being arrested, wrongfully accused of being a “wrecker” and executed on November 18, 1930. After his arrest and execution, he was airbrushed out of all reproductions of this image. In 1958 he was posthumously rehabilitated and was allowed to reappear in reproductions of the image. Wikipedia
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
Photo of Nikolai Yezhov (Naval Commissar) and Stalin walking alongside the Moscow Canal. After Nikolai Yezhov fell from power, he was arrested, shot, and his image removed by the censors. Wikipedia
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
Hand-picked for the first cosmonaut detachment in 1960, Nelyubov was a star choice for space flight for being “a remarkable person, an excellent pilot, a sportsman…” A founding member of the top space team known as the Sochi Six, some say Nelyubov was the third or fourth person in space; others say he never made it into space before being expelled from the Soviet space program for alcohol-related misconduct. The incident led to his being deleted from program records. Nelyubov was ultimately struck by a train and killed; his death was ruled a suicide. Business Insider
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
Joseph Goebbels was immensely valued by Hitler for his enthusiasm, ideas, and vehement anti-semitism. Hitler made Goebbels his chief of propaganda and sent him all over Germany to establish a Nazi presence and boost morale during the war. Goebbels was one of just a few people in Hitler’s inner-circle, even trusted with helping burn Hitler’s body after he committed suicide. Like Stalin, Hitler was known for “erasing” people who fell out of his favor, though it remains unknown what Goebbels did that led to his being deleted from this famous 1937 photo taken at the home of German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl. Business Insider
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
German students and Nazi SA members look through a library to find books to burn. Wikipedia
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
The Institute for Sexual Sciences after a Nazi raid. Wikipedia
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
Books and writings deemed un-German are burned at the Opernplatz. Berlin, Germany, May 10, 1933. ushmm
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
German students gather around books they regard as un-German. The books will be publically burned at Berlin’s Opernplatz. Berlin, Germany, May 10, 1933. — National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
Students and members of the SA unload books deemed “un-German” during the book burning in Berlin. The banner reads: “German students march against the un-German spirit.” Berlin, Germany, May 10, 1933. National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
Across Germany, students took books by truck, furniture van, even oxcart, and heaped them into pyres on public squares. This image shows members of the SA and students from the University of Frankfurt with oxen pulling manure carts loaded with books deemed “un-German.” Frankfurt am Main, Germany, May 10, 1933. Wide World Photo
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
Crowds gather at Berlin’s Opernplatz for the burning of books deemed un-German. Berlin, Germany, May 10, 1933. — Wide World Photo

Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
Book burning in Berlin. Germany, May 10, 1933. — Wide World Photo
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
At Berlin’s Opernplatz, the burning of books and other printed materials considered “un-German” by members of the SA and students from universities and colleges in Berlin. Germany, May 10, 1933. National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
Public burning of un-German books in the Opernplatz. Berlin, Germany, May 10, 1933. — Wide World Photo
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
Students and members of the SA with armfuls of literature deemed un-German during the book burning in Berlin. Germany, May 10, 1933. — National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
In Hamburg, members of the SA and students from the University of Hamburg burn books they regard as un-German. Hamburg, Germany, May 15, 1933. — Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
Public burning of un-German books in the Opernplatz. Students, some in SA uniform, march in a torchlight procession. Berlin, May 10, 1933. — Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
At Berlin’s Opernplatz, crowds of German students and members of the SA gather for the burning of books deemed un-German. Berlin, Germany, May 10, 1933. — National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
Joseph Goebbels, German propaganda minister, speaks on the night of book burning. Berlin, Germany, May 10, 1933. — National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels (at podium) praises students and members of the SA for their efforts to destroy books deemed “un-German” during the book burning at Berlin’s Opernplatz. Germany, May 10, 1933. National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md.
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
Qin Bangxian, better known as Bo Gu, was the “person with the overall responsibility of the CCP,” and so had a tremendous responsibility under leader Mao Zedong. However, as a result of some miscommunication on tactical military defense at the Zunyi Conference during the Long March, Bo Gu was criticized for “serious partial political mistakes” and replaced in command by Zhang Wentian in 1935. The exact miscommunication differs in most historical accounts, but it could be what led to Bo Gu’s fallout with Mao Zedong, and therefore could have been the reason for his elimination from this photo. Business Insider
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
The burning religious texts and antiques during the cultural revolution between 1966 and 1976. antiquechinesefurniture
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
Book burning in Chile following the 1973 coup that installed the Pinochet regime. Wikipedia
Photos Showing the Dangers of Censorship and Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
After news of the execution of Jang Song-thaek, Kim Jong-un’s uncle and close advisor, broke in December, North Korean state media has been erasing the man from history entirely, deleting him from online archives and photographs. Business Insider

 

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