Bible That Vanished on Kristallnacht Is Heading Home

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On Nov. 9, 1938, a two-volume black-leather-clad Hebrew Bible vanished from a library in Vienna after that city’s Jewish community came under assault from soldiers during Kristallnacht, the start of the Nazi pogrom against Jews.

As is the case with much art looted during World War II, the Bible’s location during the following few decades was mostly unknown.

But last winter, the two volumes, printed 493 years ago, were smuggled into New York City, according to federal authorities, who noticed them advertised in a catalog of a New York auction house and confiscated them.

On Monday afternoon, at a repatriation ceremony at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Lower Manhattan, the historic Bible began its journey home, 71 years to the day after it was seized.

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