Library of the “Hebrew Language”

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Where: Eiermarkt 5, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium

When: Unknown

Library of the “Hebrew Language” (literally: “Language of Zion”) Antwerp

Between the World Wars, Antwerp grew into an important site for European Jewry with the city’s Jewish population making up nearly 20% of the total populace. Economically Antwerp was a hub for the diamond trade, while the city was also a prominent port of departure for Jews (primarily from Eastern Europe) immigrating to the United States. The Jewish population of Antwerp maintained more than thirty synagogues, several schools, and numerous social organizations. Belgium surrendered to the Nazis in May of 1940, and the first anti-Jewish decrees followed shortly thereafter.

This book stamp is from a book looted by the Nazis and sorted by Colonel Seymour Pomrenze, one of “the Monuments Men,” at the Offenbach Archival Depot.

There are two scrapbooks of archival markings from the books sorted at the Offenbach Depot in the Seymour Pomrenze Collection held by the American Jewish Historical Society (Call number P-933) There is a finding aid for the collection here The digitized scrapbooks are available here and here.


For more information on this project check the Center’s blog: 16thstreet.tumblr.com/tagged/Offenbach-Depot


Dr. Mitch Fraas, Acting Director of the Digital Humanities Forum at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries' Special Collections Center is working on a similar project for the German book stamps based on NARA microfilm of the volumes the American Jewish Historical Society currently holds. See viewshare.org/views/mfraas/offenbach-bookplates/

The Center for Jewish History would like to acknowledge the following: The American Jewish Historical Society, who graciously allowed the use of their archival materials and digital content; Mitch Fraas, Acting Director of the Digital Humanities Forum at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries' Special Collections Center, for his data and technical assistance in this project; David Rosenberg, Senior Manager for Communications, and Melanie Meyers, Senior Reference Services Librarian for Special Collections, for managing and creating the digital map; as well as Reference Services Librarian Zachary Loeb and Reference Services Assistant Ilya Slavutskiy for their work on translating and mapping.


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Owner: Center for Jewish History, NYC
Source: Flickr Commons
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