Page 16 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 46

Basic HTML Version

to be a difficult and tedious procedure. The authorities, who
were the agents of the literary bureau, the administration of
the Kulturkammer, and the non-Aryan office of the pro­
paganda ministry, were pressured by the Reichswirtschafts-
minister (Reich Minister of Economic Affairs) to avoid if pos­
sible the destruction of “economic assets.” For that reason the
firms were generally not liquidated, but transferred into “ap­
propriate Aryan hands” according to the particular circumstan­
ces of the individual case. The specific difficulties of this pro­
cess, known as “Aryanization,” meant that the “cleansing” of
the last “Jewish cases” in the Jewish book trade did not take
place until 1939.3
Naturally, there was no Aryanization process for the few pub­
lishers and bookstores that specialized in Jewish literature.
Though ts o f in teg ra ting these businesses into the
Reichsverband der Jiidischen Kulturbiinde (Reich Union of
Jewish Cultural Organizations, founded in early 1935) failed,
obviously because it was an unsuitable framework for commer­
cial activities.4 In early 1937 the affected firms were excluded
from the literary bu reau and repo r ted directly to the
Sonderreferat Hinkel (Special Office Hinkel) of the Propaganda
Ministry, which also had the task of supervising the Kulturbund
and the Jewish press. On July 30, the Sonderreferat Hinkel
published the “regulations concerning the production and dis­
tribution of Jewish literature in the territory of the German
Reich.” After this time Jewish book publishers and booksellers
were only allowed to practice their trade under “restriction of
their activity to
Jewish literature
. . . and for an exclusively
.”5 Thus Jewish publishing and bookselling was banned
to an intellectual, societal and economic ghetto, on the model
of the Kulturbund. This Jewish ghetto book trade was to be
short-lived. In December 1938 it was dissolved, when Jewish
3 For further details see
cols. 99-180.
4 When the Jewish book trade coalesced into the Verlag des Jiidischen
Kulturbunds in Deutschland (Publisher o f the Jewish Cultural Organization
in Germany) toward the end o f 1938, the latter was designated as a “re­
organization” o f the Kulturbund, expanding the sphere o f the Kulturbund
substantially. It had been “previously limited mainly to the performing arts”
(theater and concerts). (‘Konzentrierte Kulturbund-Arbeit,’ In:
no. 11 (December 30, 1938, p .l) .
5 Reprinted in Dahm,
Das judische Buck, op. cit.,
Part I, Appendix X (cols.