<<An extensive collection of Holocaust-era documents.>>

Auction 85 | Thursday, November 07th, 2019 at 1:00pm
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Graphic & Ceremonial Art

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Lot 95

<<An extensive collection of Holocaust-era documents.>>

Mostly in German, but also Polish, Dutch, Yiddish, French, and English. Including Identification cards, ration cards and food coupons, medical documents, travel permits, Judenrat documents, correspondence, legal papers, etc. <<Approximately 1,200 individual items.>> Further details available upon request. <<This collection deserves close scholarly examination.>> Numbers in parentheses below, relate to an inventory prepared by the consignor, available upon request.

v.p: v.d

Est: $30,000 - $50,000
The Nazi machine did everything the same way: Bureaucratic, merciless, relentless. Even before its military aspirations had begun to be realized, the Germans created a persecution-industrial complex with the sole object of bringing Jews to their knees. Conflating Jews with every international enemy of Germany, real or imagined, the Hitlerian regime beat the spirit and choked the life of the Jews under their aegis, first in Germany, where the Jews were a small and law-abiding minority, and then in each land it conquered or annexed: Austria, Poland, the Netherlands, Poland, and so on. The documents and papers in this enormous lot provide a panoramic view of the Nazi persecution and genocide of the Jews. Many forms of Nazi persecution are represented: Degrading broadsides agitating against the Jews in multiple languages, letters received by dismayed Jewish business owners informing them of the cancellation of insurance policies, expulsions from professional societies, court-ordered name changes meant to separate Jews from mainstream society and violate the Jews’ personal autonomy to define themselves as they see fit (every Jewish man had to take on the name ‘Israel’ and every Jewish woman had to take on the name ‘Sara.’) There are here scores of identification papers, many bearing the distressed visages of Jews with upended lives. The Germans did all of this in the open, not by violating the law - but by changing the law and then implementing such laws in waves of unrelenting persecution that left the Jews overwhelmed and powerless. This collection includes: Court documents ordering the confiscation of Jewish property, an auction-catalogue of valuables seized from Jews, Gestapo records of confinement and deaths in custody, military orders, Nazi occupation-zone law codes, inmate work and transit permits, identification papers of Jewish prisoners, outgoing correspondence from concentration camp inmates from many camps, including Auschwitz, Treblinka and Buchenwald (as well as those that were undelivered due to censorship), paperwork from Jundenrats in such ghettos as Lodz and Theresienstadt, medical papers, Nazi books and periodicals and much more. The documents pertain to individuals and particular situations as the Nazis meticulously documented every Jew under their control and left in writing the countless ways in which they were deprived of dignity, liberty, and ultimately, life: * A document from Birkenau details how many prisoners were lost or died on a certain day (#251). * A permit for a Dr. Frida Rosenthal to treat only Jews (#289). - Items like these (as well as vaccination certificates [#467]) are surprising when we know what was to be the ultimate fate of most Jews, yet there were thousands of prosaic, bureaucratic acts that underpinned the genocide. * While the Jews were herded into ghettos, taxes were collected from them by the Judenrat (#300). All manner of discriminatory measures are represented in this collection, some as trivial in the larger context of Nazi genocide as an order in Prague forbidding Jews from owning pets under threat of severe punishment (#396). * A Jew in the Netherlands was informed by postcard that he could no longer own a telephone (#565). * Viennese income tax papers with instructions as to who is to be considered a Jew according to the Nuremberg Laws (#239). The cruelties are limitless: * A document from Lodz concerns the death of two Jews, whose families were required to pay for the burial (#74). * Court documents that establish Jewish ancestry, followed by incarceration in a concentration camp (#80). * A work pass from the Riga Ghetto, without which a Jewish prisoner was sent to a death camp (#167). Etc., etc. <<Only a small fraction of this significant collection has been here described. If offered individually, hundreds of these items would be worthy of singular attention. Kept together, a extensive, new scholarship may be derived from this important material.>>