Page 19 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 15

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FRIEDMAN----JEWISH BOOK DURING NAZI ERA
11
from these roving pillagers, but also from domestic Hungarian
Nazi rogues and from periodic bombing. The Nazi sponsored
“Institute for Study of the Jewish Question” amassed a consider­
able library from books looted in Transnistria, in the Carpathian
Ukraine and in Budapest (among them the collection of Jehiel M.
Gutman). The Institute was bombed during the siege of Budapest
and most of its books were destroyed. The library of the Rab­
binical Seminary was also hit, with a loss of half of its 40,000 books.
Little was left of the libraries of the synagogues and the
batei-
midrashim
, both in Budapest and in the country. Among others,
the library of the late Rabbi Emanuel Low in Seged was confis­
cated.
In June, 1944, Gerhard Utikal sent SS Colonel H. W. Eberling
to carry out the seizure of Jewish books in Denmark and in
Norway.
The libraries in occupied Poland were hard hit. The great
library of the Synagogue and of the Institute of Jewish Studies on
Tlomackie in Warsaw was carried away to Berlin by a special Com­
mando unit headed by the SS Untersturmfuehrer, Professor Paul­
sen. Other Jewish libraries in Warsaw were removed to Vienna.
What remained of the huge library of the Lublin Yeshiva after the
auto-da-fe of 1939, was catalogued (about 24,000 volumes) and
prepared for transportation together with 10,000 volumes from
private collections
(Nowy Czas
, vol. 5, no, 81, July 14, 1943).
Approximately 70% of all the libraries in Poland, Jewish and
non-Jewish, were looted and destroyed. The percentage in Czecho­
slovakia was somewhat lower — about 50%. A considerable
portion of Jewish books from Bohemia and Moravia was con­
centrated in Theresienstadt, where the Nazis had transferred
part of the Berlin research library. In addition, a library called
the Central Ghetto Library was established for the residents
of the Ghetto. At least 200,000 Jewish books in Hebrew, Yiddish
and other languages were assembled for this purpose. Both
collections survived the end of World War II.
Another sizeable collection was established in Poznan (Posen),
where the Germans founded a chair for Jewish history and
languages. Some 400,000 books were confiscated from various
Jewish libraries for this venture. The hastily gathered books were
deposited in temporary storages — in churches, in damaged and
abandoned buildings, and the like. Unfortunately, only a portion
of these carelessly scattered treasures could be recovered after
World War II. Other Nazi institutions were also equipped with
looted Jewish books, notably the Jewish Department of the Reich
Institute for the History of the New Germany in Munich. (Later,
after the books had been recovered from the Institute and restored