Page 99 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

Basic HTML Version

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 Rabbinical Seminary was also
hit, with a loss of half of its 40,000 books. Litde was left of the li­
braries of the synagogues and the
batei-midrashim
, both in Budap­
est and in the country. Among others, the library of the late Rabbi
Emanuel Low in Seged was confiscated.
In June, 1944, Gerhard Utikal sent SS Colonel H. W. Eberling
to carry out the seizure of Jewish books in Denmark and in Nor­
way.
The libraries in occupied Poland were hard hit. The great li­
brary 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 Pauls­
en. 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). Ap­
proximately 70% of all the libraries in Poland, Jewish and non-
Jewish, were looted and destroyed. The percentage in Czechoslo­
vakia was somewhat lower-about 50%. A considerable portion of
Jewish books from Bohemia and Moravia was concentrated 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 lan­
guages. Some 400,000 books were confiscated from various Jewish
libraries for this venture. The hastily gathered books were depos­
ited in temporary storages-in churches, in damaged and aban­
doned buildings and the like. Unfortunately, only a portion of
91
Jewish Book during Nazi Era