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David E. Fishman: The Book Smugglers: Partisans, Poets, and the Race to Save Jewish Treasures from the Nazis

ForeEdge, An Imprint of University Press of New England, Lebanon, New Hampshire, 2017, 322 pp, Hardcover $29.95, Paperback $24.95, Ebook $24.99, ISBN 9781512603309
  • Rafael Chaiken
Book Review

The Holocaust was first and foremost a murderous assault on people, six million Jews and millions of others, yet it was also an assault on culture. The Nazis made a systematic effort to seize Jewish books, Torah scrolls, and archival documents in the territories they conquered, sending some to research centers in Germany and others to incinerators and dumps. In these desperate times, Jews felt a desire to preserve not just their lives but also their cultural heritage. Historian David E. Fishman’s The Book Smugglers: Partisans, Poets, and the Race to Save Jewish Treasures from the Nazis tells the fascinating story of the Paper Brigade of Vilna, a group of Lithuanian Jews who rescued their community’s most precious cultural objects during the Holocaust and its aftermath.

Vilna (today’s Vilnius), known as “the Jerusalem of Lithuania,” was a center of Jewish life and learning for hundreds of years. It was home to the Great Synagogue, the Vilna Gaon (1720–97, a renowned rabbinic authority),...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rafael Chaiken
    • 1
  1. 1.AlbanyUSA

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