The Holocaust Collection

For the past month I’ve worked full time at Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller, one of the largest rare/antiquarian Judaica dealers on the west coast. Its been an amazing experience and something of a revelation in my life. The book as a physical object (as opposed to scholarship and research which is more concerned with whats inside the books) is very fascinating to me, and I think I’d like to work with books professionally, either as a special collections bibliographer in a library or as a conservator working on old books. That sounds really, really fun to me.

The job I was working on all month was organizing Kline’s Holocaust collection, a 12,000 volume multilingual research library covering all aspects of Holocaust studies, from the build-up to World War Two to the founding of the State of Israel. Its an amazingly impressive collection and I had a really fun time organizing it.

These are some pics from my last day there, today.

The collection. The boxes on top contain original files from the Nuremberg trials.

Reference materials.

Nazi shit.

“The New Germany and the Jewish Question”

Ephemera. My favorite one is in the bottom left corner, “The Jews and Their Lies!” How I’d love some time alone with some of these guys in a room with no windows.

ID Cards from Nazi Germany.

Nazi food stamps and a wee little book of pictures of Hitler.

These are all memoirs of Holocaust survivors.

Art and photography books.

Antisemitic English books, from left: “The Octopus,” “The Myth of the Six Million,” “The Jews: Are They Human?” “The Wandering Jew,” and finally “Anne Frank’s Diary: A HOAX!!!”

The man with the plan.

This is Alex. He’s an amazing, hysterical and brilliant guy, fluent in Polish, German, French, Latin, and English, he helped me figure out what the books were about and what category to put them in. He escaped Poland before it got bad on a forged Nicaraguan passport via Japan. BAMF.

Lunch. Thursday is .39 cent taco day at the Mexican restaurant next door. The place is in this odd mall, almost 100% latino, and so when you go out the back door of the warehouse you’re suddenly in this Mexican mall. Then after you get your food the door closes and suddenly you’re back in a world of Jewish books.

There’s a guy who runs an airbrushing shop a few shops down, we speak sometimes about graffiti and whatnot, its a hangout for some pretty amazing artists.

All the cans up top in the pic on the left are signed by famous LA graf artists.

~ by Josh on August 28, 2008.

3 Responses to “The Holocaust Collection”

  1. hello hello hello! a long time ago we made friends in the blogosphere! life has gottening in the way of my blogging, but i just wanted to check up on you as now i have found new motivating to continue blogging (yes, still about make-up and all the girlie stuff)!

    hope you are well and i see you have been very busy!


  2. Hi Josh…I have a question about the Holocaust collection you organized…Are there unpublished survivor testimony manuscripts in the collection? Or are the Testimonies all copies of books that have been published?
    thanks for letting me know – I’m in the midst of creating a new online database of information about the LOCATION of survivor testimonies… particularly those outside of the major known collections. Thanks for answering me when you can.
    christine malina

  3. Interesting post. I’m a bit surprised, however, that you classify Wyndham Lewis’ “The Jews, Are They Human?” as anti-Semitic, since it was written as a rather scathing satire AGAINST anti-Semitism (the title pastiches the contemporary “The English, Are they Human?”), and was reviewed favorably in _The Jewish Chronicle_.

    Not to defend Lewis too strenuously (he did, after all, praise Hitler as a “peace lover”), but anti-Semitic that particular book most emphatically is not.

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