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(HOLOCAUST)
Telegram sent by Chief Rabbi Herzog of Eretz Israel to the Union of Orthodox Rabbis, New York. “Just cabled LaGuardian [sic] Director UNRRA requesting him [to] trace soap marked RIF circulated in European countries and arrange for dispatch to Palestine to be buried in the Mount of Olives cemetery Jerusalem in accordance with our religious law.” One page. 4to.• During World War II it was feared that soap was being mass-produced from the bodies of the victims of Nazi concentration camps. These rumors were believed to have been substantiated due to German bars of soap marked with the initials RIF, interpreted as Reichs-Juden-Fett (“State Jewish Fat”). RIF in fact stood for Reichsstelle für industrielle Fettversorgung (“National Center for Industrial Fat Provisioning”, the German government agency responsible for wartime production and distribution of soap and washing products).During the Nuremberg Trials, Sigmund Mazur, a laboratory assistant at the Danzig Anatomical Institute, testified that soap had been made from corpse fat at the camp. Later investigators found little concrete documentation of mass production of soap from human fat, but concluded that there was evidence of experimental soap making.Chief Rabbi Herzog likely received evidence from Holocaust survivors recently arrived to Eretz Israel and concluded that the rumors were indeed true. He therefore cabled the Director General of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), Fiorello La Guardia (the celebrated former Mayor of New York - and himself a Jew) in order to arrange for the proper burial of this “Jewish Soap” in accordance with Jewish Law. Rabbi Herzog likely provided this information to the Union of Orthodox Rabbis as they had maintained strong relations with La Guardia when he was Mayor of New York over the previous decade and would not doubt be able to encourage him to comply with this tragic requesJerusalem - New York, 27th November, 1946. Kestenbaum Company
MODENA, LEON.
The History of the Rites, Customes, and Manner of Life of the Present Jews throughout the World FIRST ENGLISH EDITION . English interspersed with Hebrew pp. (46),1-80, 91-249. Closely shaved. Later boards, rebacked. 12mo. Roth, Magna Bibliotheca Anglo-Judaica, p. 391, no. 6.• First published in Italian under the title Historia de gli riti Hebraici (Paris, 1637) at the request of Sir Henry Wotton, English Ambassador to Venice, for presentation to King James I, this work is the first publication written by a Jew in modern times, outlining the practices of Judaism for a Gentile readership.See C. Roth, "Leon da Modena and His English Correspondents," TJHSE, Vol. 17 (1951-1952), pp. 40-41; C. Roth, "Leone da Modena and England" in: Studies in Books and Booklore (1972) pp. 203-4; M.R. Cohen, The Autobiography of a Seventeenth-Century Venetian Rabbi: Leon Modena's Life of Judah (1988), p. 256, n.1; Dorit Raines, "Judaism in the Eyes of the Venetian Patriciate in the Time of Leon Modena" (Hebrew) in D. Malkiel (Ed.), The Lion Shall Roar: Leon Modena and His World (2003) pp. 19-20.London, J.L., 1650. Kestenbaum Company
(DREYFUS AFFAIR).
L’Oeuvre de Zola. 16 Simili Aquarelles par H. Lebourgeois. Second series. Although the list of contents includes 25 titles, the volume contains 32 scathing caricatures of Zola in watercolor reproduction. ff. (1), 32. Lightly foxed, few stains, title-page rebacked. Bound into later half-calf over patterned pink boards. Tall 8vo.• The title is a play on Zola’s 1886 novel “L’oeuvre.” After Emile Zola came to the defense of Captain Alfred Dreyfus in his famous “J’Accuse,” the anti-Dreyfus camp, composed of rabid anti-Semites, pounced upon Zola, portraying him in the most extreme terms. A prime example of this vilification campaign is the present collection of plates by the caricaturist H. Lebourgeois.See J.M. Guieu, “Les Caricatures Antidreyfusardes de H. Lebourgeois” in: Mimesis et Semiosis: Litterature et Representation (1992) pp. 435-46.Paris, E. Bernard et Cie, 1898. Kestenbaum Company
KOHN, DAVID.
(1861-1922). Portrait of a Jewish Gentleman. Pastel. Initialed and dated by artist lower right. Framed. 11.75 x 8.75 inches.Austria, 1914. Kestenbaum Company
ELIJAH, GAON OF VILNA.
Masecheth Avoth [commentary to Ethics of the Fathers and other minor Tractates]. ff. 82. [Vinograd, Shklov, 132; Vinograd, Gr"a 318]. Shklov, 1804. * Bound with: Abraham Eliezer Lipmann. Amudei Shamayim [on the Thirteen Principles of Faith, with a section of halachic matter]. FIRST EDITION. ff. (8), 59 (of 60, lacking final leaf). [Vinograd, Warsaw 24; Liberman, Ohel Rochel Vol. III, pp. 517-19]. Warsaw, 1802. Two works bound in one volume. Both FIRST EDITION. Couple of marginal tears. Contemporary boards. 4to.• The first title is an early work of the Gaon published by his children and his disciple R. Menachem Mendel of Shklov who records in the introduction the Gaon's criticism of Aristotle. With an interesting inscription on the title-page: "I purchased this [book] from my sister...the widow...who received it as payment for her Kethubah."v.p., v.d. Kestenbaum Company
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