A photograph of a student and a member of the SA collecting books in Berlin, 1933 (Wikimedia Commons)
During the Nazis’ rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s, universities were elitist institutions that were restricted to the upper classes. There was also a lot of anti-Semitism in academia.
More generally, young Germans from a range of backgrounds supported the Nazi Party. They found the party’s revolutionary zeal attractive, particularly when compared with the economic woes of the Weimar Republic.
The nationwide book burnings in 1933 are the best example of the student support of the Nazi regime. Organized by the German Student Association, the book burnings aimed to destroy books that went against the ethos of Nazism. This included books written by Jews, communists, and pacifists.
Many of the book burnings took place on or near university campuses in major cities. In Berlin, for example, 20,000 books were burned in Opera Square.