"Few parts of the play appear dated. At the drama's climax, the narrator hypothesizes what might happen in the United States under fascism. A high school history class is shown before and after a fascist takeover. Textbooks are purged; students brainwashed; they learn doublethink; the teacher, who protests, is dismissed and jailed. It could happen here, Benet seems to say.
When Benet's play was performed, on the eighth anniversary of the bibliocaust, many of the authors and artists whose works had been burnt had meanwhile fled to America. Several refugee actors, Theo Goetz, Peter Capell, and Stephan Schnabel, were among the performers. These three actors were also in the cast of the tenthanniversary performance of the German version, adapted by Walter Mehring, that was presented at Hunter College under the aegis of the German-Jewish New York newspaper Aufbau, its editor-in-chief Manfred Georg, and theater director Ernst Joseph Aufricht. The revival was preceded and followed by performances starring an illustrious cast of German exiles: Lotte Lenya accompanied by Kurt Weill; the Metropolitan Opera singer Emanuel List; and (as speakers or dramatic readers), Varian Fry of the Emergency Rescue Committee, the actors Josef Schildkraut and Erwin Kalser, and the novelist-dramatist Fritz von Unruh." - from The Burning of the Books in Nazi Germany, 1933:The American Response, by Guy Stern