Photo Credit: Israel Mizrahi

It’s not every day that I find a Jewish book with swastikas stamped throughout, but when it does happen, the chilling effect and reminder of the horrors of the Nazis is overwhelming.

This volume, Land Israel, by a Jewish author, Ludwig Strauss, was published in Berlin in 1935, during the Nazi period. It has a haunting history with seals and a bookplate indicating its past during the Holocaust.

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The free-end contains a bookplate of “The Jewish Cultural Reconstruction,” and numerous Nazi stamps appear in the book, featuring a Nazi “Imperial Eagle” clutching a swastika, the “Reichsadler.” The Germans had several different book depots where they collected looted Jewish books with the intention of creating a future library for scholars to study the extinguished Jewish race. Some of these books were stamped by the Nazi official seal, and thus this copy acquired these Nazi stamps.

Following the war, The Jewish Cultural Reconstruction was founded in 1947 with the mission of dealing with and redistributing these books. Those without identifying markings were eventually sent to various Jewish institutions and some, with time, found their way into private hands.

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Israel Mizrahi is the owner of Mizrahi Bookstore in Brooklyn, NY, and JudaicaUsed.com. He can be reached at JudaicaUsed@gmail.com.