Many Zionist groups throughout Europe worked to actively prepare their members for eventual immigration. Therefore, numerous “Haksharah” (Zionist Training Farms) were set up to provide young Zionists with the types of agricultural experience that they would need once they left Europe and arrived in, what was then, Palestine. These training farms were set up by various different Zionist groups in various locations throughout Europe, though the farms were usually affiliated with various branches of Labor Zionism. This stamp attests to the fact that in addition to having various agricultural tools, some of these training farms also had libraries. The city of Kharkov was an important hub of Jewish activity in the late nineteenth century – it was home to a vibrant Jewish community and was an important center for Zionist activity which included, evidently, Zionist training farms.
This book stamp is from a book looted by the Nazis and sorted by Colonel Seymour Pomrenze, one of “the Monuments Men,” at the Offenbach Archival Depot.
There are two scrapbooks of archival markings from the books sorted at the Offenbach Depot in the Seymour Pomrenze Collection held by the American Jewish Historical Society (Call number P-933) There is a finding aid for the collection here
The digitized scrapbooks are available here
For more information on this project check the Center’s blog: 16thstreet.tumblr.com/tagged/Offenbach-Depot
Dr. Mitch Fraas, Acting Director of the Digital Humanities Forum at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries' Special Collections Center is working on a similar project for the German book stamps based on NARA microfilm of the volumes the American Jewish Historical Society currently holds. See viewshare.org/views/mfraas/offenbach-bookplates/
The Center for Jewish History would like to acknowledge the following: The American Jewish Historical Society, who graciously allowed the use of their archival materials and digital content; Mitch Fraas, Acting Director of the Digital Humanities Forum at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries' Special Collections Center, for his data and technical assistance in this project; David Rosenberg, Senior Manager for Communications, and Melanie Meyers, Senior Reference Services Librarian for Special Collections, for managing and creating the digital map; as well as Reference Services Librarian Zachary Loeb and Reference Services Assistant Ilya Slavutskiy for their work on translating and mapping.
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Center for Jewish History, NYC