(Germany-US) A Bible Hidden in Attic While Nazis Invaded Reunited with Family's Heirs #germany #usa #holocaust


Jan Meisels Allen
 

 

A bible hidden in an attic as Nazis invaded was reunited with family’s heirs after 80 years. It was found by a family who was renovating their home in 1990 where they found a double wall in the attic and found a chest. In the chest was a gilded Jewish bible that was 22 pounds and 30 inches high by three inches high.  Embossed on the front are the words: “Die Heilige Schrift der Israeliten” — the Holy Scriptures of the Israelites.

 

The son of the family who found it held on to it for 30 years and then decided to sell it on eBay for $75. It was found that the bible belonged to Eduard and Ernestine Leiter, a Jewish couple from Stuttgart killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust when they were sent to Theresienstadt, a ghetto and concentration camp outside Prague. The Leiters were send to Treblinka where they were murdered. Their son Sali was the lone family survivor.


When it went up for sale on eBay an art historian and artist saw it, purchased it and donated it to a local synagogue near where it was found.


Several years later someone working on behalf of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) heard about the Bible. A research and reference librarian  at the USHMM decided to research it and find its rightful lineage so it could be returned to the family’s descendants. Through her research she found Sali Leiter had survived, changed his name and moved to the United States. He had a son and that son had two children and three grandchildren.

 

Through LinkedIn she found one of the grandchildren whose grandmother, also a survivor, was still alive. The German synagogue found someone who would bring it personally to the United States and delivered it to the family.

 

To read the story see:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2021/08/24/family-hid-their-bible-an-attic-nazis-invaded-some-80-years-later-it-was-reunited-with-familys-heirs/

 

Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

 

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