The Italian Almanac


Italian News - May 24

A 17th-century book seized by the Nazis was returned to Rome's Jewish community on Monday, one of thousands Jewish volumes taken by looting German forces during World War II. The pocket-size religious book, published in Amsterdam in 1680, belonged to the library of the Rabbinic College of Rome. Most of the library's books were later returned by the Americans in 1946.

"We thought the collection had been returned in its entirety, but it evidently isn't true," said Dario Tedeschi, head of the Italian Commission for the recovery of Jewish bibliographic heritage who returned the book to Rome's current chief rabbi. The book contains the first five books of the Bible as well as the Prophets, and, while some pages are missing, it is in good condition.

The library of the Rabbinic College was founded in 1826 in Padoa, northern Italy. It was later transferred to Rome, where it stayed until 1939, when Benito Mussolini's fascist regime closed it down.