Ohio rabbi's post-war religious books helped maintain faith of displaced Holocaust survivors
Article by: BARBARA RODRIGUEZ , Associated Press
Updated: April 6, 2012 - 7:15 AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio - As Holocaust survivors languished in displacement camps around Europe at the close of World War II, the U.S. Army gave them some of their first tangible connections to their faith since before the war: passages from the Talmud.
Now two pieces of that limited printing have ended up in the hands of an Ohio rabbi, who will be using one in a pre-Passover service on Friday even as historians ponder their rarity and debate their impact on history.
The two tractates, or passages that help make up a collection of religious and civil law known as the Talmud, are dated 1946 and belong to a limited number of such books the U.S. Army authorized for publication.
They were created to help displaced Holocaust survivors who had their belongings, including religious materials, destroyed during World War II. Some experts say it's unclear how many copies were printed or how many exist today, but they all agree they're a collector's item that offer a glimpse into a unique printing agreement that U.S. armed forces had following the war.