Censorship of Jewish Books: Remembering Kristallnacht

Gouache painting by Charlotte Salomon depicting Kristallnacht, a series of coordinated attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany on 9–10 November 1938 (via Wikimedia).
Gouache painting by Charlotte Salomon depicting Kristallnacht, a series of coordinated attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany on 9–10 November 1938 (via Wikimedia).

Censorship is an important topic in library science. Whenever persecutors of the Jews arose, these “enemies of the Jewish book” also vented their destructive hate on the Jewish texts. In the time of the Macabees, Antiochus Ephiphanes burned Jewish books.  The Mishnah (an early Talmudic Tractate on Fasting, Tannait 4:6) notes “among the five calamities that befell our people on the 17th of the Hebrew month Tammuz was the burning of the Torah scroll”. Continue reading

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Kristallnacht: Reflection and Remembrance

  (Image from Center for Jewish History via Wikimedia Commons)
Synagogue Eisenach burning, November 1938 (CC0 image via Wikimedia Commons)

Kristallnacht means the “Night of Crystal” or “Night of Broken Glass” 1). It refers to the anti-Jewish attack instigated by the Nazis that took place throughout Germany and Austria from November 9th-10th, 1938. The name comes from the broken glass that resulted from smashed-in windows in Jewish-owned shops, buildings, homes, and synagogues 2. Continue reading