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Detectives Welcome on Historic Quest to Rediscover the Lost Library of Books

11 Jun 2024 8:56 AM | Anonymous

Wiener Library teams up with Leo Baeck Institute to search for collection of 60,000 precious books looted by Nazis from The Higher Institute for Jewish Studies in Berlin

A new exhibition has launched at London’s Wiener Holocaust Library.

Produced by the Leo Baeck Institute, The Library of Lost Books runs until 10th July. The first project of its kind, it tells the story of an important German-Jewish institution, from its role as a vibrant space for learning to a victim of Nazi crime.

The Higher Institute for Jewish Studies in Berlin (Hochschule des Judentums 1872 – 1942) was dedicated to the study of Jewish history, culture and religion.

Considered one of the largest and most important Jewish libraries in the world, it welcomed scholars such as Rabbi Dr Leo Baeck and Franz Kafka. Its collection included books in languages including German, Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Hungarian, Latin and English. In 1942 the Nazis targeted it for destruction.

During the Holocaust the Hochschule’s unique library of books was looted by the Nazis and scattered across the globe.

One last group photograph: lecturers, students and staff of the Higher Institute for Jewish Studies in the reading room of their library, summer 1938. Pic:

The new pop-up exhibition at the Wiener Library reveals the complex journeys looted books took in the aftermath of the Shoah. It forms part of an international project which aims to commemorate and educate about the Higher Institute for Jewish Studies.

Alongside a series of online and physical exhibitions, the project also includes a global citizen science project to trace the 60,000 lost works. So far books have been found in Germany, the Czech Republic, Israel, the USA, and in Britain.

You can read more in an article by Michelle Rosenberg published in the Jewish News web site at:

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