Dutch foundation receives rare book


A Dutch foundation received a 17th century Dutch translation of “Antiquities of the Jews” by first century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus.

“Antiquities of the Jews” covers Jewish history through the Roman conquest of ancient Judea, when the Diaspora began.

“We think there are only two other copies of this Dutch translation,” Margriet van Klinken of the Bourtange Foundation told the German press agency DPA.

The pages of the book are in thick white paper with old Dutch text in Gothic print accompanied by engravings.

Bourtange, a 16th century fort with some 300 inhabitants in the northeast of the Netherlands, has been an open-air museum run by the foundation since the 1970s.

The foundation received the Jewish history text from a German couple who came to Bourtange in late July, reportedly carrying the priceless book in a white plastic bag and donating it anonymously. DPA reported that the couple, who live in a nearby village, had bought the book from an antique store and wanted to give it to Bourtange because they had seen the copy of the Josephus book at the town synagogue. Foundation officials said several experts will look at the book to determine its value.

Bourtange had a Jewish community before World War II, but the Nazis murdered all but two Jews living there, DPA reported.

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