Page 16 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 15

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Rosenberg in Frankfurt-am-Main. Another German expert on
Judaica, Professor Peter-Heinz Seraphim, compiled a bulky vol­
ume on East European Jewry (published in Essen, 1938), with the
help of a staff from the
Ost Europa
Institute in Koenigsberg. He
made several research trips to Eastern Europe, and also visited
the YIVO library in Vilna in 1936. Dr. Volkmar Eichstadt,
another Nazi expert on bibliography, compiled a survey of the
literature on the Jewish question available in German libraries
(Forschungen zur Judenjrage
, vol. VI, 1941, pp. 253-264). The
Nazis established an
Institut jue r deutsche Ostarbeit
in Cracow for
the occupied Polish areas. Its Jewish department was headed by
Dr. Joseph Sommerfeldt, who was conversant with Eastern
European Jewish history and bibliography (cf. his article on Jewish
historiography in Eastern Europe, published in the quarterly
Die Burg
, Cracow, 1940). The Hungarian Nazi, Mihail Kolozvary-
Borcza, published a comprehensive bibliography of Jewish litera­
ture in Hungary. Also associated with Rosenberg’s Institute was
Dr. Wilhelm Grau, a Nazi specialist in Jewish history. He was
succeeded in 1942 by Dr. Otto Paul, and, after Paul’s death in
1944, by Dr. Klaus Schickert, author of a voluminous volume on
the “Jewish Question in Roumania.”
The ERR became active without delay. Its representatives
arranged in July, 1940, with the SS and police in France and
Belgium, for joint examination of Jewish libraries in those coun­
tries. August Schirmer, a former staff member of the anti-
Semitic news agency,
Der Weltdienst
, became the ERR represent­
ative in Amsterdam. Up to March 1, 1942, the ERR had estab­
lished offices in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Belgrade, Riga,
Minsk, Vilna, Kaunas, Dorpat, Liepawa, Bialystok, Kiev,
Dniepropetrovsk, Kherson, Simferopol, Kharkov, Rostov, Lodz,
Vitebsk, Smolensk, Mohilev, Orel, Stalino and Krasnodar. Ac­
cording to a post-war estimate by a high United States official,
Colonel Seymour J. Pomerenze (
YIVO Bleter
, vol. XX IX , 1947,
pp. 282-285), the Germans screened and looted in Eastern Europe
alone 375 archives, 957 libraries, 531 research and educational
institutes, and 402 museums. The widespread spoliation of Jewish
libraries and collections in France was described and carefully
documented in Jacques Sabille’s
Le Pillage par les Allemands des
oeuvres d'art et des bibliotheques
(Paris, 1947). The jurisdiction of
the ERR was not limited to Nazi-occupied areas. On March 21,
1942, it was extended to the territory of the whole Reich.
Among the confiscated collections incorporated in Rosenberg’s
Frankfurt “Institute” were the libraries of the Berlin Jewish
Community, of the
Rabbiner Seminar
in Breslau, and of the Jewish
community and the
Rabbiner Seminar
in Vienna. Also seized