Cold War and Cultural Restitution: Postwar Transfers of Jewish Libraries from the Soviet Bloc to Israel

Anna Holzer-Kawalko


Événement en ligne

After the Second World War, hundreds of thousands of orphaned Jewish books were found all over Europe. The lecture will shed light on the efforts of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to transfer the rediscovered Jewish libraries from the countries of the Soviet Bloc (Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Hungary) to Israel.

About the Series « Books of the People »
Jews are often called the “people of the book,” but what about the books of the Jewish people? Who owns the contents of the Cairo Geniza, the books taken from Holocaust victims, or the uniquely beautiful manuscripts of major private collectors? Who can or should preserve these items and provide or prevent access to them, materially or digitally? Undeniably, Jewish books from across the world and history form a collective heritage—but they also have particular, local, and sometimes fraught histories of possession. This series offers perspectives on the management of books as Jewish cultural property, looking at past events and current practices—and the difficult questions that attend both.


Anna Holzer-Kawalko

The Leo Baeck Institute Jerusalem

Anna Holzer-Kawalko specializes in the history of Jewish material culture, in particular libraries and book collections, in Central and Eastern Europe in the twentieth century. She received her PhD in Jewish history from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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