Page 19 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 46

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Things were different at Schocken Verlag, which always had
the financial means it needed for its productions, since it was
a division of the economically powerful Schocken Department
Store Company. This publishing house, which was not founded
until 1931, flourished from 1933 to 1937. From 1931 to 1938
it produced 225 titles in 276 volumes. This enormous produc­
tion stemmed not only from a healthy financial foundation, but
also from the clear publishing conception of the founder and
owner Salman Schocken. Schocken was not only an important
businessman, but was also well-educated in the humanities and
one of the great book collectors and bibliophiles of his time.
At the age of 36, shortly before World War I, he had turned
to Zionism under the influence of Buber. In line with his eco­
nomic and intellectual interests he participated especially in Zi­
onist economic organizations and in cultural undertakings. In
the context of his work in the Zionistische Vereinigung fur
Deutschland (Zionist Union for Germany) he spoke out for the
inclusion of Jewish culture, and especially for the creation of
Jewish books, to which he attributed a high priority so that Ger­
man Jews could be made aware of Hebrew and Jewish thought.
From 1916 to 1927 he directed the Zionist cultural committee,
which had been founded on his initiative. In addition, he per­
sonally supported the publication of Jewish books, and provided
authors such as Buber and the Hebrew writer S. J. Agnon with
regular financial payments. These philanthropic and cultural
Zionist activities resulted in the founding of Schocken Verlag.
It programmatic principles were described in a publishing no­
tice of 1935 as follows:
“Schocken Verlag has set the goal o f making books o f true
merit and lasting value for German-reading Jewry, which can
point to spiritual assertion and moral regeneration. The basis
o f the publishing house is . . . the translation o f the Scriptures
into German, which was undertaken by Martin Buber together
with Franz Rosenzweig. The publishing house oversees the col­
lected works o f Martin Buber. Important works by Franz
Rosenzweig, Leo Baeck and Hermann Cohen belong to its back-
list. Among its literary works we would emphasize the complete
edition o f the works o f Franz Kafka. Special attention is paid
to Jewish science. In its Hebrew division the publisher fosters
classical Hebrew literature and its research; contemporary He­