- Historical event
- 25 August 1914
- It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of books were burned, which horrified the world. The city of Leuven (the French call it Louvain) is located in the Flemish part of Belgium, and famous for its university.
On this day in 1914, the Germans committed one of the most terrifying culturecides of World War I. They burned the library of the Catholic University of Leuven, the most famous university in Belgium.
It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of books were burned, which horrified the world.
The Germans sought revenge due to the Belgian resistance movement, which began to fight against the German occupation authorities. The Germans attacked Belgium despite its explicit neutrality.
This attack on a neutral country was also a war crime. After about twenty days, the German Imperial Army defeated Belgium (the odds were 7:1 in favor of the Germans).
The Germans established the so-called Imperial German General Governorate of Belgium (German: Kaiserliches Deutsches Generalgouvernement Belgien). Something akin to this governorate was also established in Poland during World War II.
Baron von der Goltz became the first imperial governor-general of Belgium in World War. He also held the rank of Marshal of Turkey, and was known as Goltz Pasha.
He burned many Belgian cities, and Adolf Hitler allegedly liked that. The Germans also burned the library of the Catholic University of Leuven, which horrified the world.
This university was known as one of the world’s most respected academic institutions. The city of Leuven (the French call it Louvain) is located in the Flemish part of Belgium. Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, is also headquartered in Leuven.