Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Poland Confiscates “the Brothers Ashkenazi”; Book Held “insulting”

April 12, 1937
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Polish authorities today prepared legal proceedings against I.J. Singer, Jewish author now living in New York, following confiscation of all available copies of his novel, “The Brothers Ashkenazi,” which had been held “insulting” to Poland.

The novel, depicting Jewish life in Poland in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and describing the rise of the industrial center of Lodz, had previously aroused official irritation when it was published serially in the Fall of 1935 in the Warsaw Jewish daily, Nasz Przeglad.

At that time the paper was confiscated because of two chapters of the novel. One described a pogrom in Lemberg (now Lwow) after the occupation of the city in 1919 by the Polish army. The other portrayed the brutal treatment of the brothers Max and Yacob at the Polish border town of Pali on their return from Russia, and the killing of Yacob by a Polish customs officer.

In the Yiddish edition, published here by a Jewish publishing house, both of the offending chapters were deleted. The novel has a wide sale in its English editions in Great Britain and the United States.

Recommended from JTA