The Last Hebrew Bible Published In Nazi Germany

The Last Hebrew Bible Published In Nazi Germany

Categories: Blog, Reading Room

By: HMC Editorial Staff – 

In 2013, the Jewish Heritage Collection, headed by Michigan resident Constance Harris, donated a very special edition of the Bible in honor of her dear grandchildren. It was the last Hebrew Bible published in Nazi Germany, one of the most beautiful printed bibles in the history of Jewish printing. Hamishe Humshe Torah was published by the Soncino Society Friends of Jewish Books in Berlin in 1933. No expense was spared and the final product justified their efforts. Special fonts and vowels were created to match the 1526 Prague Haggadah, another example of exemplary Hebrew bookmaking.

As the last few pages were being printed, Hitler’s rise to power cast a menacing shadow on the future of German Jewry. The proverbial “handwriting on the wall” was evident and the publishers decided to print certain passages that they felt were relevant to the current situation in red ink. One of those bolded passages at the end of Deuteronomy (33:29) was: “Your enemies shall become weak and you shall tread on their high places.” Little did anyone imagine that they were experiencing only the beginning of what was to come. This artifact is currently on display in the Library Archives at the Holocaust Memorial Center.

Do you have objects of historical interest?
Our Library Archive is fast becoming a repository of Jewish historical artifacts from which we document the Center’s exhibits. Background information about each item is carefully recorded upon arrival, and it is through these conversations that the historical significance is often revealed. All objects are housed, stored and displayed in safe, acid-free and temperature-controlled environments under video surveillance, with museum labels acknowledging the generosity of our donors. Letters of acknowledgement are sent to our donors for tax purposes.

Tens of thousands of visitors view our museum displays annually. When our donors and their children or grandchildren come back to visit, they are gratified and often overwhelmed at how their artifacts are being used to educate the public. Donors do not have to travel or make an appointment to see what they contributed, as we are open six days a week and conveniently located.

We are always prepared to accept additional materials. If you have a question as to whether an item would be appropriate for inclusion, please call Feiga Weiss at 248.553.2834. To learn more about the HMC Library Archive, click here.

This article is from the Spring 2013 Newsletter from the Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus.