Plundered Jewish Documents, Long Thought Lost, Surface in New York City

July 26, 2021 | Tim Fitzsimons
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Last week, federal agents took possession of a cache of documents about to be auctioned in New York City, which they had determined had been seized from Jews either during or after the Holocaust. Tim Fitzsimons reports:

The Justice Department on Thursday announced the seizure of seventeen funeral scrolls, manuscripts, and community records that were looted from East European Jewish communities annihilated in the Holocaust. . . . One item, prosecutors wrote, was a manuscript containing ancestry records for a Jewish community in the city now known as Cluj-Napoca in Romania, [known as Kolozsvár to Hungarians and Kloyzenberg to Jews].

Contemporaneous records established that the manuscript existed in Romania in 1936, “shortly before the Holocaust had begun.” . . . The recovered scrolls and manuscripts, investigators said, included “prayers for the dead, memorial pages and/or the names of deceased members of the Jewish communities, operating rules of the society, society-member payments, obligations, society regulations, the identity of society religious leaders, and, in some cases, the names of the society members who were deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz.”

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