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Jewish & Israeli History and Culture

Lot no: 
133
Rare and Important Items

Bible Printed by Menasseh Ben Israel - Fine Copy in Contemporary Vellum Binding - from the Library of Herman Göring in his Home in the Bavarian Alps ("Berghof")

The Bible - Torah, Nevi'im and Ketuvim. Amsterdam: Menasseh Ben Israel, [1631-1635]. Separate title page for each part.
A copy looted from a library in France and kept in the private library of Herman Wilhelm Göring, in his home in the "Führer Compound" in the Bavarian Alps.
An exceptionally fine copy of the bible printed by Menasseh Ben Israel in Amsterdam in the 17th century, considered one of a few bibles printed by a Jew at the time.
Facing the title page is a printed paper label with the inscription "Cette piece provident des collections personnelles d'Hermann GOERING au Berghof, [Berchtesgaden] 4-5-1945..." - indicating that the item was removed from the private collections of Göring in "Berghof" in the area of Berchtesgaden; below the inscription appears and ink-stamp of the French division which captured the compound on May 4, 1945: "Deuxième Division Blindée G. 5".
Berghof is the name given to the private home of Adolf Hitler in the Nazi compound in Obersalzberg, near the Bavarian town Berchtesgaden. The Nazi regime expropriated the area for its needs and established at its foot a big military camp as well as entertainment and vacation homes for the use of the Nazi Party elite when they visited. In the area, named Führersperrgebiet (Führer Compound) some elegant mansions were built for Hitler's close associates - Herman Göring, Albert Speer and Martin Boemann, as well as a tea-house and a very high lookout, named the "Eagle's Nest".
Obersalzberg area was heavily bombed from the air during the war, and some bombs caused serious damages to "Berghof" as well. On May 4, 1945, after Hitler's suicide, withdrawing S.S. soldiers burnt the ruins of the building, and the allied forces soldiers who occupied the compound looted whatever was left of it.
Herman Wilhelm Göring (January 12, 1893 - October 15, 1946), was one of the heads of the Nazi regime, commander of the "Luftwaffe" (the aerial warfare branch of the Wehrmacht) and the German airforce. A Nazi war-criminal (the most senior Nazi arrested alive when the war ended), who was sentenced to death in the Nuremberg trials but committed suicide by swallowing a cyanide pill prior to his execution. Göring was known for his extravagant way of life which included looting art treasures in all of occupied Europe, for his private collections and for decorating his mansions. From the bookplate pasted on the title page, we learn that this bible belonged, originally, to the library of Dr. J. N. Pellieux from Beaugency, France. It seems that the book was confiscated by the Nazis around the year 1940 (after the occupation of France), and reached the private library of Göring; was looted when the war ended, and finally - as indicated by a note enclosed with this copy - was given in 2005 to Mr. Rosenfeld from London by the pastor of the French division that broke into Göring's house.
Four parts in one bound volume. [1], 128; 124, [2]; 129-144; [145]-254; [255]-369 leaves. Leaves 124, [2] of "Ketuvim" were bound following the Pentateuch and before the Five Scrolls (pagination continues that of the Torah). [2] leaves at the end of "Ketuvim" with table of the year's Haftarot according to all of the customs, are found only in some of the copies. Volume: 22.5 cm. Good condition. Most of the book is printed on thick light paper of good quality. Stains. Contemporary vellum binding, slightly worn and damaged. Handwritten inscriptions (Hebrew and Latin) at the beginning and the end of the volume. Old bookplate pasted to the title page.

Estimation: $10000 - $15000

Auction has finished
9,000 $
12,300 $
Including buyers premium

Sale Info

Auction 61 - Rare and Important Items
Books & Manuscripts, Objects – Judaica & Israeliana, Jewish & Israeli History & Culture, Israeli & International Art