„Much more than just another private collection.” The Rescue of Jewish Books in the 1930s

Mahrer-Fluss, Stefanie (2015). „Much more than just another private collection.” The Rescue of Jewish Books in the 1930s. Naharaim : Zeitschrift für deutsch-jüdische Literatur und Kulturgeschichte = Journal of German-Jewish Literature and Cultural history, 9(1-2), pp. 4-24. De Gruyter 10.1515/naha-2015-0003

[Naharaim] Much More than just another Private Collection The Schocken Library and its Rescue from Nazi Germany in 1935.pdf - Published Version
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This article reconstructs for the first time the rescue of the Schocken Library, one of the largest privately owned book collections, from Nazi Germany. The library consisted of over 60,000 volumes of rare and precious ­Hebrew and German books, manuscripts, and incunabula. The books were shipped from Germany to Mandate Palestine in the years 1934–1937 and the library is one of the few collections that completely survived National Socialist destruction and looting. The case of the Schocken library can help us understand all of the many challenges involved in successfully relocating a library of its size. Without a network of professionals, experience dealing with authorities and unlimited funds, an operation like the shipment of the Schocken library would not have been possible. The second part of the paper focuses on how, once the library was in Jerusalem, the way in which it was perceived changed. From the contemporary perspective of the owner, the merchant and publisher Salman Schocken, and from the perspective of its users and visitors, the library was perceived as a place of continuity in exile rather than as a place of saved books. The micro-historical perspective not only allows us to understand how historical subjects interpret the world around them but also how they try to influence historical processes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Swiss History

UniBE Contributor:

Mahrer-Fluss, Stefanie


900 History




De Gruyter




Stefanie Mahrer-Fluss

Date Deposited:

11 Dec 2018 14:39

Last Modified:

25 Oct 2019 07:37

Publisher DOI:






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