Book from Hitler’s library pulled from auction


NEW YORK (JTA) — A Manhattan auction house withdrew a book from Hitler’s personal library the day it was set to be auctioned.

"Statistics, Media, and Organizations of Jewry in the United States and Canada," which is presumed to evince Hitler’s aspirations for world domination beyond Europe, was set to be auctioned Thursday in New York by Kestenbaum and Company. The auction house was not available for comment immediately after the auction.

Printed in 1944, the 137-page book was compiled by Heinz Kloss, a non-Jewish German linguist who was conversant in Yiddish. The version pulled from the auction featured a red-ink bookplate on the inside front cover with the words "Ex Libris Adolf Hitler," along with an eagle holding a swastika in its talons.

Based on Kloss’ visit to the United States in the early 1930s, the report includes a list of Jewish communities in every state or province and detailed descriptions of more than 211 Jewish organizations in the U.S., including B’nai B’rith and 37 Jewish fraternities and sororities. Other sections list information about North American Jewish publications and relief organizations aiding Jewish war victims and refugees in Europe.

An Op-Ed piece in The New York Times that appeared a day before the auction drew attention to the item, which was appraised in the range of $3,000 to $5,000 by Kestenbaum and Company.

A second item — a copy of an Italian communication about Arabic mathematics by Moritz Steinschneider appraised at $400 to $600 — also was withdrawn prior to the auction.

Items sold included a first edition tractate Bava Batra of the Bomberg Talmud, which fetched $80,000, and a 1929 Marc Chagall crayon and pen-and-ink drawing of Charlie Chaplain for $38,000. 

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