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Commission for the Recovery of the Bibliographic Heritage of the Jewish Community in Rome, looted in 1943

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Title
Commission for the Recovery of the Bibliographic Heritage of the Jewish Community in Rome, looted in 1943 (Commissione per il recupero del patrimonio bibliografico della Comunità ebraica di Roma, razziato nel 1943)

Description
The Commission was established to undertake research on the whereabouts of the Library of the Jewish Community in Rome, which was looted by the Nazis in 1943 and not recovered to date.

In October 1943 the Nazis looted two priceless libraries in Rome, one belonging to the local Jewish Community and the other to the Italian Rabbinical College. Both were kept in the building where the Jewish Community’s offices were located and consisted of manuscripts, incunabula, soncinati, and works of the sixteenth century, the so called “cinquecentine”, printed by Bomberg, Bragadin and Giustiniani, in some cases unique items. Only a part of the Italian Rabbinical College’s library has been recovered. However, any trace of the Jewish Community’s library, which included about seven thousand volumes and is priceless both from a cultural and material point of view, has been lost.

For further details, please consult the Commission's Activity Report.

At the Vilnius Forum on 3-5 October 2000 the Italian Delegation presented information on the loss of the library. It requested collaboration and provided reproductions of the ex libris of the looted books.

The Commission is facing numerous impediments in its research: there is only an incomplete catalogue of the Library's holdings and there is no information on the trajectory of the looted property after it was loaded onto German railway wagons on two separate occasions.

The Commission has undertaken archival research in several countries.  Recently a document was found at the Bundesarchiv in Berlin, which seems to show with sufficient certainty that the ERR was responsible for the looting.

In November 2006, the Commission gave a paper at the conference “Preservation of Cultural and Historical Heritage: Current Issues of Russian-European Cooperation” organised by the All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature in Moscow (14-15 November 2006). Currently, research is being undertaken in archives and libraries in the Russian Federation in collaboration with the Library.

 
The members of the Commission for the Recovery of the Bibliographic Heritage of the Jewish Community in Rome, looted in 1943 are: Mr. Dario Tedeschi (President), Ms. Anna Nardini (Presidency of the Council of Ministers), Ms. Bruna Colarossi (Presidency of the Council of Ministers), Mr. Pignatti (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Ms. Rosa Vinciguerra ( Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities), Ms. Marcella Conti (Ministry of Justice), Mr. Michele Sarfatti (Director of the Center of Contemporary Jewish Documentation), Prof. Mario Toscano (University ‘La Sapienza’ in Rome), Ms. Filomena del Regno (University ‘La Sapienza’ in Rome), Prof. Lutz Klinkhammer (German Historical Institute in Rome), Mr. Sandro di Castro (Union of the Italian Jewish Communities).


Contact Information
Dario Tedeschi (President)
Annamaria Gatta; Dr Tiziana Zannini (Office)
Tel.: +39 (0)6 67793687
Fax: +39 (0)6 67793721
Email: recupero_patrimonio_librario@palazzochigi.it
6http://www.governo.it/Presidenza/USRI/confessioni/commissioni.html#

Source
Commission for the Recovery of the Bibliographic Heritage of the Jewish Community in Rome, looted in 1943, Central Registry Correspondence, 10 and 20 July 2007

 

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