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Library of Congress Mission in Berlin Discovers 425,000 Jewish Books Stolen by Gestapo

February 17, 1946
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A special mission of the United States Library of Congress has discovered two storehouses jammed with more than 425,000 volumes of Jewish literature, which had been seized by the Gestapo all over Europe and sent here.

Twenty-five thousand books were found in a basement of the former Orthodox Synagogue, which is again being used as a house of worship, despite extensive damage. The volumes, which included prayer books, literature and old Jewish newspapers, were in poor condition.

At the former Free Mason’s lodge, which had apparently been the main Gestapo collection center, over 400,000 volumes were discovered. Included among these documents and books were collections stolen from the libraries of Andre Maurois, noted Jewish author, Artur Rubinstein, world renowned Jewish concert pianist, and many famous private and public collections of Jewish books.

In an interview with a JTA correspondent, Dr. J. Zuckerman, who heads the mission, urged the formation of a Jewish committee to claim the books. He declared that the books should be kept intact and used to establish a special Judaica library, or be given to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

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