Family of Rare Book Donor Visits LBI

(l-r) Columbia University historian Elisheva Carlebach; President & CEO of the Center for Jewish History, Joel Levy; Playwright Peter Wortsman; Frank Herz's daughter-in-law, Janet Stahl; Herz's grand-daughter, Dana Stahl-Herz; and Herz's son David Herz.

(l-r) Columbia University historian Elisheva Carlebach; President & CEO of the Center for Jewish History, Joel Levy; Playwright Peter Wortsman; Frank Herz’s daughter-in-law, Janet Stahl; Herz’s grand-daughter, Dana Stahl-Herz; and Herz’s son David Herz.

This spring, an exhibition in the David Berg Rare Book Room at the Center for Jewish History displayed rare books from the collection of Frank L. Herz. The works on display included Johannes Reuchlin’s Augenspiegel from 1511, one of the earliest treatises against antisemitism and intolerance. Descendents of Herz who attended the exhibition opening were moved seeing the collection of their father, father-in-law, and grandfather being presented to the public.

Janet Stahl, daughter-in-law of Frank Herz, explained that “despite the power of words, which was at the heart of the exhibit, words cannot express our family’s joy that the passion that Frank Herz had for his beloved book collection can now be shared with all. We know Frank was hovering over us in spirit. He would have loved that the expertly curated display illustrated how such seemingly ancient texts still resonate today. It goes without saying that he would have been overjoyed seeing the respect given to the Augenspiegel, which he considered the jewel in his collection.”

Sibylle Quack, the historian and friend of Frank Herz who arranged the donation of the collection to LBI, said the exhibition brought back treasured memories: “I was very lucky to have known Frank and his wife Susanne, both close friends of mine. I had many talks on Reuchlin with Frank. He was particularly interested in the question of how Reuchlin defended Jewish rights and fought against antisemitism in the Christian church. When I inherited the collection from Frank, it became immediately clear to me to donate the great books in Frank’s memory to the LBI.”

At the exhibition opening, the family also met with Peter Wortsman who translated Reuchlin’s treatise on Jewish books and wrote a play based on his life that was later performed at the CJH, and Elisheva Carlebach, a leading scholar of Jewish history in early modern Europe at Columbia University.

 

Frank L. Herz Rare Book Collection in DigiBaeck
www.lbi.org/herz-collection

Burning Words Exhibition and Performance
www.lbi.org/burning-words

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.