National Geographic : 1946 Dec
© National Geographic Society Kodachrome by Maynard Owen Williams At Deir ez Zor, Beside the Euphrates, Syrians Burn French Books in an Independence Bonfire Syria, for centuries the pawn of foreign powers, is free. Following the riots of 1945, the last French troops withdrewin 1946. This crowd bears Syria's three-star flag and Lebanon's cedar banner (center). "We know book burning is barbaric," said a young Syrian, "but itgives us anemotional outlet."