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Manual of Jewish law with a postcard and candy wrapper carried by a Jewish refugee

Publication | Accession Number: 1992.8.8 a-c

Shulchan Aruch, an authoritative source of Jewish law, from the library of Sol Oster, who as a young man, left Germany and then Lithuania to escape the increasingly violent anti-Semitism of those countries in the late 1930s. The book was given to him as a present by his maternal great-uncle, Shalom Dantziger who had used the book for years himself. Dantziger was a mohel in Berlin, Germany, in the early 20th century. The postcard was written in 1919 Berlin to Yehiel (or Yisrael) Rubenstein. The style, with the frequent use of God Willing and similar language, suggests that the writer was a very pious person. Sol’s father, Rabbi Isaac Ossowski, was a prominent member of the Jewish community in Berlin, Germany. He was head shochet [ritual slaughterer], mohel [practitioner of ritual circumcision], sofer [scribe], and hazan [cantor, musical prayer leader] at the Alte Shul [Old Synagogue]. After Hitler was appointed Chancellor in 1933, increasingly severe sanctions were placed upon Jews. The family was targeted repeatedly by the SS (Schutzstaffel; Protection Squadrons.) Fourteen year old Sol told his father that he wanted to leave Germany to attend a seminary and, in 1934, he was sent to a yeshiva in Ponevezh (Panevezys), Lithuania. In December 1936, Sol received a notice to register with the German embassy. Afraid that his passport would be confiscated, Sol applied to a seminary in London and went into hiding. He needed an acceptance letter to get a student visa for England and when it arrived in June 1937, he left for London. After completing his studies in 1939, he joined his parents in the United States, where they had emigrated a year earlier.

Title
Shulchan Aruch
Date
1939  (emigration)
1939
Geography
received : Berlin (Germany)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Sol Oster
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Record last modified: 2017-10-25 14:24:38
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn7135