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Menachem Birnbaum Chad Gadjo | Berlin 1920

$1,500.00

Birnbaum, Menachem, Chad Gadjo, Berlin: Welt-Verlag, 1920.  One volume, 28.5 cm, frontispiece in Aramaic, title-page in German.  Printed at the Spamersche Buchdruckerei, Leipzig. Cover title in Aramaic and German, with a lamb (“lämmchen”) stamped between the Aramaic title above and the German title below.

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Birnbaum, Menachem, Chad Gadjo, Berlin: Welt-Verlag, 1920.  One volume, 28.5 cm, frontispiece in Aramaic, title-page in German.  Printed at the Spamersche Buchdruckerei, Leipzig. Cover title in Aramaic and German, with a lamb (“lämmchen”) stamped between the Aramaic title above and the German title below. The same image of a lamb appears stamped inside the front cover in green. Unpaginated, 15 leaves: Leaf 1 (L1a) with yellow and green decoration, with the young lamb, verso (L1b) with copyright and printer’s name;( L2a) with printer’s device, verso (L2b) with half-title: “Die Welt-Drucke/Das Fünfte Werk”;  (L3a) is blank, (L3b) has the frontispiece in Aramaic;  (L4a) has the German title-page: “Chad Gadjo/ Zeichnungen von / Menachem Birnbaum / Welt-Verlag, Berlin 5680”;   (L4b) “Deutsche Űbertragung von Uriel Birnbaum”;  (L5a) dedication: “Meiner lieben Frau”, (L5b) bi-lingual Aramaic-German text begins; (L6a) first color woodblock  of a Chasidic father holding a sacrificial lamb, with a pleading  barefoot child reaching up towards the animal; (L6b) bi-lingual text; (L7a) woodblock of a large black cat killing a lamb, with its blood flowing out; (L7b) bi-lingual text; (L8a) woodblock of a large canine shaking the bloody carcass of the much smaller black cat, throwing its blood across the image from top to bottom; (L8b) bi-lingual text; (L9a) woodblock of a huge club smashing the dog in a pool of its own blood; (L9b) bi-lingual text; (L10a) a large fire; (L10b) bi-lingual text; (L11a) woodblock of rain extinguishing  a small fire; (L11b) bi-lingual text; (L12a) woodblock of an ox drinking from a pool of rainwater; (L12b) bi-lingual text; (L13a) woodblock of the ox being killed by a man with a ritualistic knife; (L13b) bi-lingual text; (L14a) woodblock of the ox-killer himself being claimed by the Angel of Death (“Und es kommt der Todesengel”); (L14b) final page of bi-lingual text; (L15a) the Almighty is suggested by a shaft of white light, dividing the blackness of the final woodblock  and striking down the Angel of Death; (L15b) is blank.

Brinbaum-Menachem-Chad Gadjo-Berlin

 This book was formatted as a Western European book, from front to back, with the front cover ties. The front cover is detached and the remaining ribbon ties frayed and worn.  A collaboration between two brothers, Uriel Birnbaum (1894-1956) did the German text. There are hand-colored illustrations (10 in-text and 3 prefatory). Menachem Birnbaum was the second son of the Jewish philosopher Nathan Birnbaum and his wife Rosa Korngut. Menachem Birnbaum lived in Berlin from 1911 – 1914, then returned from 1919-1933. He emigrated to the Netherlands, where he was arrested in 1943 by the Gestapo and deported to Poland, where it is believed he perished in Auschwitz in 1944.

Brinbaum-Menachem-Chad Gadjo-Berlin

 The Spamersche Buchdruckerei is also well-remembered for printing illustrations of the German Expressionists, later denounced by National Socialist propagandists as “Degenerate.” The interior condition of this rare bilingual German-Jewish imprint is fine.

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