Research Unit Law

»An Entry to the Soul of Silesia«:

Max Pinkus’ Library in Neustadt, Upper Silesia

This study is dedicated to the fate of the so-called »Schlesierbücherei« (Silesians' Library) run by the German Jewish textile manufacturer Max Pinkus (1857–1934) from Neustadt in Upper Silesia, which under pressure from Nazi Germany in the 1930s was sold off to public libraries. In the course of World War II and the chaos of the postwar period, the library's holdings were further subjected to dispersion and destruction. This study focuses on the changes in meaning that resulted among other things from the collection's shifts in ownership and location. Another focus will be on the different ways the library was remembered and its symbolic meaning following the Holocaust and the fundamental political changes in the region after 1945. Finally, the study will reconstruct the paths taken by the preserved books from the collection and determine their locations, thereby to derive insights into their new contexts and systems of meaning.

Research project in the framework of the research project »Materielle Spuren deutsch-jüdischer Lebenswelten des östlichen Europa: Buchsammlungen und Bibliotheken nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg« funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM).