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Lot 146: "Sifre al Sefer Devarim" - One of the Last Books Printed in Nazi Germany - Berlin, 1939

Auction 53 - Rare and Important Items

by Kedem Public Auction House Ltd

15 November 2016

Jerusalem, Israel

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Description: Siphre ad Deuteronomium / "Sifre al Sefer Devarim", edited by Louis Finkelstein. Berlin: Der J?discher Kulturbund in Deutschland [cultural federation of German Jews], late 1939. Hebrew, with a Latin title page. This book is one of the last books printed by the Cultural Federation of German Jews under Nazi regime, and its publication was finished about a month after the outbreak of the war. The basis for this book is a manuscript from the estate of the scholar Haim Shaul Horowitz (1858-1921), which was studied by Eliezer Aryeh (Louis) Finkelstein, who added textual criticism and comments and decided to publish it as one of the series of books "Kovetz Ma'assey HaTana'im". In view of the difficulties involved in publishing Jewish books in Nazi Germany, Finkelstein was obliged to publish the book in parts, as pamphlets, and move the printing location between various towns in Germany. Between the years 1935 and 1937 the booklets were printed in Breslau, and in 1939, just before the war, printing was moved to Berlin, sponsored by the Cultural Federation of German Jews, the only institute that still had the permission, at the time, to print Jewish books. Although the process of destroying Jewish books was already at its peak, the publishers continued, while demonstrating devotion and undertaking a serious risk, to print this book, and in October 1939, about a month after the outbreak of war, they succeeded in accomplishing the printing. It seems that this copy was sent to Switzerland, where it was bound and survived the war. To the best of our knowledge, no original Jewish books were printed later, under the Nazi regime. One complete copy only in OCLC. [4] leaves, 431 pp, [3] leaves, 25.5 cm. Very good condition. faux leather cover, with gilt German title on spine . Small stain to page edges (not staining the pages). Creases and folds to a few leaves. Inscription in pencil to several leaves. Ownership inscription on first leaf.

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