A Hebrew Book Travelling from Berlin To Baghdad

Posted on January 12, 2013

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Frischmann 4 - Detail This book, found by my aunt Yehudith, is a copy of volume I of the collection of writings of the Hebrew writer David Frischmann (1860-1922). It was published in Warsaw in 1914 (תרע”ד) by the Hebrew Merkaz (מרכז) publishing house.

The stamps on the book testify to a peculiar journey it must have traveled. It belonged to two different libraries. One, of the Association of Jewish Student Clubs in Germany (Verband Jüdischer Studentenvereine in Deutschland), whose head office was in Berlin. The date on the stamp is June 15, 1924.

A later stamp, on the bottom-left of the picture above, says “The Hebrew Youth – Akhi’ever – Baghdad” (הנוער העברי – אחיעבר – בגדאד). Akhi’ever was a Zionist group formed by Hebrew speaking Jewish high-school students in Baghdad in the early 1930’s. One of its goals was to promote and disseminate Hebrew literature. In 1941 it went underground and became part of the educational branch of the Iraqi Zionist underground.

How did the book travel from Berlin to Baghdad? Possibly, the book departed the German library and immigrated to Mandate Palestine with its owner. From there, it was probably shipped to Baghdad, along with dozens of Hebrew teachers-emissaries sent to Iraq by the department of education of the Zionist Organization. Somehow it eventually made its way back to Israel.

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