Anton Edler von SCHMID and the IKG Library, Vienna, #austria-czech

Celia Male <celiamale@...>

I am ashamed to say I have never set foot in the IKG
library in Vienna. It is, by all accounts, but a
shadow of its former glory.

I suspect my great-grandfather Albert KOHN, born
Grossbock, Bohemia, October 1832 - who lived at No 5
Seitenstettengasse with his wife Emma nee BIACH and
his family of five children until his untimely death
in Oct. 1874 - must have been a regular visitor to the
library situated at first at No 4, just opposite his

This is still the site of the IKG and Stadt Tempel,
Vienna today.

My gt-grandfather probably popped into the library
every day for a browse amongst the amazing and growing
collection and also for a chat with the scholarly
librarian Leopold BREUER and then with his successor,
Samuel HAMMERSCHLAG. My gt-grandfather did not live to
see the library under the custodianship of the famous
Bernhard WACHSTEIN after 1904. Moses RATH succeeded
WACHSTEIN after his death in 1935. [see footnote for
genealogical details].

If you spend any time reading this fascinating account
of the library you will see what a magnificent and
priceless collection it must have been. The Nazi plans
to loot this library were on par with their plans to
steal art works and to house them in their *Houses of
Culture*. Parts of the library were found in a railway
siding in N. Bohemia after WW2. How can this loss ever
be restituted? Where are the book today?

Before the mid 1800s, no Jewish printer in Vienna was
allowed to print Hebrew religious books; Anton SCHMID
[a non-Jew] had this concession and his books formed
the nucleus of the library. He himself donated them to
the fledgling library in 1814.

There is no point summarising the plans the Nazis had
for this library and the frantic search for its lost
books. I urge you to spend time reading this excellent
review. Print it out and read it at leisure and read
the footnotes too - you will be shocked:
"The Jewish Community Library in Vienna - from
Dispersion and Destruction to Partial Restoration" by
Richard Hacken - HTML version
- PDF file

One paraqraph particularly struck me and it refers to
Adolf Eichmann's role in this plunder.

Tomer Brunner may find a clue here as to where his
gggg grandfather's [Michael SQUARENINA] works ended
up. It is possible that Michael actually printed and
published books in Pressburg but that they were
distributed "under the label" of Anton Schmid in
Vienna ie Schmid subcontracted the work to SQUARENINA
in Pressburg. Tomer tells us that some of the book
indeed bear the imprint of Michael SQUARENINA.

I was fascinated to discover that No 5
Seitenstettengasse was also the the office {and
perhaps the home?} of Josef SCHLESINGER, another
famous Jewish publisher in Vienna and Budapest. I
presume that by the time SCHLESINGER was active, the
restrictions on Jewish publishers/printers in Vienna
had been lifted [probably post-1848]. Many SCHLESINGER
prayer and related religious books can be found on a
well-known book site on the internet. The earliest I
have found by Jos. Schlesinger was 1857 and latest in
1937. Tragically, the end of the business was probably
in 1938 after the Anschluss. I know nothing, as yet,
about this family.

Celia Male [U.K.]

Footnote: IKG Library - Genealogical and Cultural
Cross Links:
Dr Josef BREUER, the son of Leopold BREUER [see above]
was the teacher of Sigmund FREUD. Josef BREUER's
daughter Bertha, named after her grandmother Bertha
SEMLER, married Paul HAMMERSCHLAG, the son of Samuel
HAMMERSCHLAG [see above] and Betti JOSEPHSON from
Berlin. So now we see that the first and second
librarians of the IKG library are related to each
other through marriage.

All link onto *my BIACH* tree [see above] through
cross-links as the daughter of Paul HAMMERSCHLAG and
Bertha BREUER married Rudi DUSCHNITZ - my mother's
second cousin. What does this prove? That all this
circle of people knew each other in Vienna! QED

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