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The Book Smugglers of the Vilna Ghetto

Hosted By: Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS)

In Vilna, “the Jerusalem of Lithuania,” a group of Jewish writers and intellectuals risked their lives to rescue Jewish books, manuscripts, and art from the Nazis. While working as slave laborers for a Nazi looting agency, they “stole” Jewish cultural treasures from their masters, smuggled them into the ghetto, and hid them in underground cellars and bunkers. The few members of this group who survived the war returned to Vilna after its liberation, and led an operation to retrieve the treasures. This inspiring story of Jewish spiritual resistance can help us reflect on what ultimate values we might lay down our lives for today. 

With Dr. David Fishman, Professor of Jewish History, JTS.


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