Books stolen from Polish Jewish communities during WWII donated to foundation

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – Some 33 rare books stolen during World War II from Jewish communities located in present-day Poland were donated to the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland.

The ceremony took place last week at the National Library in Warsaw.

Representatives of the Central and Regional Library in Berlin and of the Judaicum Center in Berlin jointly donated the books to the foundation director, Monika Krawczyk.

Most of the books handed over come from the former collections of the Jewish Theological Seminary of the Fränkel Foundation in Wroclaw. The oldest book, published in 1644, is signed by the German-Jewish theologian David Rosin, who lived from 1823 to 1894.

There are also two books from the collection of the Great Synagogue in Warsaw: Ludwik Wachler’s “Literature Handbook of 1833” and a pastoral letter from 1785. One of the books comes from the synagogue in Legnica and contains fictional literature.

The books have been identified as part of a provisional study conducted by a team of specialists at the Berlin library and center.

A public database of these institutions contains more than 35,000 volumes. Among them there are thousands of books containing traceable names or surnames, and identifiable volumes owned by specific individuals or organizations.

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