Page 96 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

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Friedman
88
Dorpat, Liepawa, Bialystok, Kiev, Dniepropetrovsk, Kherson,
Simferopol, Kharkov, Rostov, Lodz, Vitebsk, Smolensk, Mohilev,
Orel, Stalino and Krasnodar. According to a post-war estimate by
a high United States official, Colonel Seymour J. Pomerenze (17-
VO Bleter
, vol. XXIX, 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 wide­
spread 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 ar­
eas. 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 Com­
munity, of the
Rabbiner Seminar
in Breslau, and of the Jewish com­
munity and the
Rabbiner Seminar
in Vienna. Also seized were the
Hebraica and Judaica departments of the Frankfurt Municipal Li­
brary, which had survived the bombings in March, 1941, and the
library of the
Collegio Rabbinico
in Rome (part of the loot, approxi­
mately 6,600 books, was identified and returned after the War).
The report of August Schirmer, ERR leader in the Netherlands,
reveals the enormous extent of the confiscations in that area. The
libraries and archives of various Masonic lodges were packed in
470 cases and transferred to Germany. The libraries of the
Societas
Spinoziana
in the Hague and in the Spinoza Home in Rijnburg
were packed in eighteen cases, and the libraries of the publishing
houses Querido, Pegazus, Fischer-Berman and others, in seven­
teen cases. The library of the International Institute of Social His­
tory in Amsterdam (staffed mainly by Jewish refugee scholars from
Germany) was packed in 776 cases. Also “acquired” in Amsterdam
were the libraries of Beth Hamidrash Etz Hayim (4,000 volumes),
of the Israelitic Seminary (6,300 volumes), of the Portuguese Isra-
elitic Seminary (25,000 volumes and 600 incunabula), and of the
Rosenthaliana (25,000 catalogued books, but actually, according to
Schirmer, 100,000 volumes and 300 manuscripts). An ERR group,