Page 27 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 22

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normal. The aim of the Jewish publishing house is not to
publish books rejected by other editors because they lack quality,
but rather to publish books deemed necessary to Jewish survival
which cannot be published and distributed otherwise.
Jewish Publishing Houses
The first publishing house thus set up was the Editions du
Centre which is a part of the Centre de Documentation Juive
Contemporaire. Created in 1943 under the German occupation,
the Centre has gathered a tremendous amount of material
related to the Nazi persecutions in Europe. After the war it set
up a research center and started publishing the results of the
research it had initiated. This effort still goes on. The quality
of the more than twenty published works, all the results of
original research, may vary, but no serious work about the Jews
of western Europe can be written without reference to this series.
The following must be especially mentioned:
Les Juijs sous
Voccupation: Recueil de textes jrangais et allemands (1940
1944); La condition des Juijs en France sous Voccupation alle-
mande (1940-1944): La legislation raciale, par J. Lubetski; La
condition des Juijs en France sous Voccupation italienne, par
Leon Poliakov; L ’activite des organisations juives en France sous
Voccupation: Contribution a Vhistoire de la resistance juive en
France (1940-1944), par David Knout; La persecution des Juijs
en France et dans les autres pays de VOuest;
La persecution
des Juijs dans les Pays de l Est.
Where the Editions du Centre voluntarily wanted to devote
itself to the
literature, the French cultural branch of
the Claims Conference set upon a different aim: to recreate the
lost relationship between the 20th century assimilated French
Jew and his past. Judaism had to be presented “with its authentic
content, in its historical beginnings, and its eternal value.” The
assimilated Jew, French or otherwise, is not particularly known
for his interest in Jewish communal enterprises. Therefore, it
was decided to try to get across to him through the creation of
a series published by a well-known non-Jewish French publisher,
Albin Michel. Thus, a new collection appeared,
Presences du
which has published up to now fourteen titles in its
regular series and seven in its pocketbook series.
A glance at these titles will show the paucity of original pro­
ductions. Most have been translated: from English, as Waxman’s
manual on Judaism, from Hebrew, as Agnon’s stories, or from
Yiddish, as Sholem Aleichem’s works. Original contributions in
French, when not reprints, are Andre Spires’s memoirs, Moche
Les Juijs dans le monde,
and Emmanuel Levinas’