Recently Rediscovered Books Plundered by the Nazis Returned to Jewish Community

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Recently Rediscovered Books Plundered by the Nazis Returned to Jewish Community
Old Jewish books are pictured in Berlin, Germany, Friday, April 8, 2011. Books plundered by the Nazis that recently resurfaced are being turned back over to Berlin's Jewish community. The Berlin Central and Regional Library came across the books while going through 200,000 volumes as part of a project to establish their origin.Books plundered by the Nazis that recently resurfaced are being turned back over to Berlin's Jewish community. AP Photo/Michael Sohn.

By: Jenny Soffel, Associated Press

BERLIN (AP).- Recently rediscovered books plundered by the Nazis more than six decades ago were returned to Berlin's Jewish community on Wednesday in a ceremony at the city's landmark synagogue.

The Berlin Central and Regional Library formally handed over 10 books and three journal volumes discovered among more than 200,000 volumes being examined by researchers as part of a project to establish their origin, with a focus on restitution.

One of the books is from noted author Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and dates back to 1890. There is also a travel guide to Palestine from 1934 and a book on Jewish history "from the destruction of the First Temple to the present," that was published in 1913. All are in German.

Though experts say none of the books have significant monetary value, they offer a sobering glimpse of the country's history.

"It's the ordinariness of these books that remind us of the horrible reality of the persecution of the Jews during the Nazi era", Germany's top official for cultural affairs, Bernd Neumann, said at the ceremony at Berlin's New Synagogue.

Lala Suesskind, the head of Berlin's Jewish community, said "this hand-over reminds us all that injustice never loses significance over time."

Jewish households, community centers and schools were routinely looted by the Nazis and thousands of books were burned. Some, however, were spared and archive records show that more than 40,000 looted books were sold to the Berlin Central and Regional Library in 1943.

But, finding them is like searching for a needle in a haystack, the researchers say.

"We are happy every time we can give books back to the rightful owner," historian Peter Proelssz from the library said. "But there are still 200,000 books with unknown origin to go through. In the past year, we've gone through 25,000," Proelssz said.

When identifying the owners, the researchers look for certain clues: sometimes a stamp on the first page, sometimes just a number.

For example, inside one of the books recently discovered, "The Jewish Youth Calendar," a faint stamp can still be made out that reads: "Belongs to the religious school of the Jewish Community."

The German federal government distributes euro1 million ($1.4 million) annual to restitution projects across the country.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

Today's News

April 13, 2011

The World Marks 50th Anniversary of Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's Flight into Space

Presentation of Historical Pieces and New Works at Punta della Dogana in Venice

Sculptor Richard Serra Shows Unsung Drawings at Metropolitan Museum of Art

Rediscovered Rothko to Highlight Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago Appoints Naomi Beckwith as New Curator

Russian Art Auction Achieves $16.1 Million At Sotheby's New York, Highest Result Since 2008

Bonhams to Sell J.M.W. Turner Masterpiece Depicting Whitstable Oyster Beds

National Portrait Gallery Announces BP Portrait Award 2011 Shortlist...and a Record Number of Entries

Art Fund to Increase Funding for Museums and Galleries to Buy and Show Art by 50%

Recently Rediscovered Books Plundered by the Nazis Returned to Jewish Community

Early Picasso to Highlight Christie's Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on May 4

NASA Announces Space Shuttles Going to Florida, California, Suburban Washington

Mikhail Baryshnikov-Owned Russian Painting Sells for $746,500 at Sotheby's in New York

Jordan Creates World's Largest Online Antiquities Database at Cost of $1 Million

Russian Businessman Evgeny Yurchenko Buys Vostok 3KA-2 Space Capsule at Sotheby's

Countdown to Auctions America by RM's Debut in Carlisle

Chinese Government Says It is "Unhappy" with Foreign Support for Artist Ai Weiwei

Unknown Drafts by Robespierre Included in Books & Manuscripts Sale at Sotheby's Paris

Gagosian Gallery in London Present Photographs from Vera Lutter's Egypt Series

Kentucky's Speed Art Museum Reveals Expansion Design Plans Designed by wHY Architecture

Victoria & Albert Museum Presents Figures and Fictions: South African Photography

Billed as the Warhol of his Generation, Dave White Presents 'Americana' at The Coningsby Gallery

Iratxe Jai and Klaas van Gorkum at MUSAC's Laboratorio 987

Beck's Art Crawl Celebrating 25 Years of Beck's Art Labels

Bonhams Sale of Motor Cars at Hendon Realises Over £2.25 Million

After 46 Years, Jewelry Formerly Owned by by Pope Paul VI Up for Auction in North Carolina

Intimate Images of Picasso by His Friend, Andre Villers, to Sell at Bonhams   

Neues Museum in Berlin by David Chipperfield Wins Mies van der Rohe Award 2011

Egypt to Form Special Force to Protect Antiquities

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful