The libraries and documentary collections of German Jews in Israel have to be preserved in their present form for future generations. They are tangible reminders of the lives and ordeals of those who survived the Holocaust by fleeing to Palestine.
Saving such collections is the aim of a new pilot project financed by the Federal Foreign Office and organized by partners in Israel and Germany.
Various Jewish authors, academics and intellectuals from Germany who were forced into exile during the Nazi period found a new home in Israel. Many of them managed to take at least part of their German-language libraries, collections and manuscripts with them to their new homeland and gradually built up new collections there.
As this first generation of immigrants dies out, the German language is used less and less by their descendants. The collections are being broken up and are sometimes sold second hand.
Minister of State Cornelia Pieper issued the following statement today (2 October):
“Quickly providing assistance here and now reflects our German research institutions’ historical and moral responsibility and is in line with the objectives of the Federal Foreign Office’s policy on cultural and academic relations.”
The Federal Foreign Office is thus providing financial support for a joint pilot project organized by the German Literary Archive in Marbach and the Rosenzweig Minerva Research Centre at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It has initially made available 100,000 euros so that the first steps may be taken to preserve key documentary testaments to German-language Jewish culture in Israel. The first project phase began on 1 October 2012.