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Post-Holocaust France and the Jews, 1945-1955$
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Seán Hand and Steven T. Katz

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479835041

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479835041.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 26 July 2021

Post-Holocaust Book Restitutions

Post-Holocaust Book Restitutions

How One State Agency Helped Revive Republican Franco-Judaism

(p.71) 4 Post-Holocaust Book Restitutions
Post-Holocaust France and the Jews, 1945-1955

Lisa Moses Leff

NYU Press

This chapter examines the work of the restitution agency called the Sous-Commission des livres, the arm of the Commission de récupération artistique that handled the restitution of the estimated ten million books that the Germans had looted in France during the war. Like the larger organization of which it was a part, the leaders of the book restitution authority were imbued with a republican spirit; indeed, the hundreds of reports archived in their files at the Archives nationales testify that they made no explicit distinction between “Jewish books” and “non-Jewish books,” and certainly no distinction whatsoever between Jewish book owners and non-Jewish book owners. Nevertheless, largely because of the practical issues involved in the restitution of books, these French authorities wound up doing much that would ultimately help Jewish libraries rebuild after the war in ways that would prove beneficial for rebuilding French Jewish cultural life.

Keywords:   book restitution authority, French restitution authority, Jewish books, Jewish libraries, French Jewish cultural life

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