Berthold's 1924 Hebrew Type Catalogue

baseline magazine | current issue 51 | 8 page article

Berthold's 1924 Hebrew Type Catalogue
by Steven Helle

Hebrew was prohibited in Russia after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, effectively curtailing a rich tradition of Jewish publishing. As a result those scholars and authors who could, emigrated to England, France, and The United States, while a particularly larger number also resettled in Germany (in part owing to the shared linguistics of German and Yiddish). As Berlin’s Jewish community swelled in the 1920s, the city became a wellspring for Jewish book and periodical publishing with various ambitious endeavours. Notably the eight volume Encyclopedia Judaica (the last volume was published in 1933, the year Hitler was appointed German Chancellor). Another impressive series, the 12 volume

Weltgeschichte des Jüdischen Volkes, sold over 100,000 copies. In 1931 Salaman Schocken founded the prestigious Schocken Verlag. A leading Jewish publisher who produced fiction and non-fiction books, as well as an acclaimed annual Almanach of Jewish literature. The firm released over 225 titles until 1938 when forced into exile after the Krystal Nacht pogrom (night of broken glass). (Salaman had already left Germany in 1934 for a new life in Palestine, leaving his manager in charge until they could publish no longer. Later in the 1980s, over twenty years after Salaman died, Schocken became an imprint of the American publisher, Pantheon Books)…