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Elisabeth Gallas, Translator Alex Skinner: A Mortuary of Books: The Rescue of Jewish Culture after the Holocaust

New York University Press, New York, 2019, 385 pp, Hardcover $35, Ebook $35, ISBN: 9781479833955
  • Rafael Chaiken
Book Review

The Holocaust must surely rank among history’s major episodes of cultural destruction. From 1939 to 1945, Nazi Germany looted countless Jewish books—as well as religious objects including Torah scrolls and menorahs—throughout Europe. After the war ended, the Allied victors were faced with deciding how to repatriate stolen Jewish cultural property. Elisabeth Gallas’s A Mortuary of Books: The Rescue of Jewish Culture after the Holocaust, originally published in German in 2013 and translated into English by Alex Skinner, examines international Jewish efforts to recover these stolen items. A significant contribution to Holocaust and Jewish studies, the monograph will also interest scholars of book history.

In March 1946, the American Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Unit (featured in the 2014 film The Monuments Men) established the Offenbach Archival Depot in Frankfurt to collect three million looted Jewish books from nineteen countries. Restitution of these items was not a simple...

Notes

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rafael Chaiken
    • 1
  1. 1.AlbanyUSA

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