Auction 69 Part 1 Rare and Important Items
Dec 3, 2019 (Your local time)
 8 Ramban St, Jerusalem.

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LOT 23:

Photograph of the Rebbe of Belz – Postcard Sent to a Nazi Soldier During the Holocaust

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Sold for: $4,200
Start price:
$ 1,000
Estimated price:
Auction house commission: 23%
VAT: On commission only

Photograph of the Rebbe of Belz, parting from his Chassidim. [Marienbad, ca. 1930s]. Sent as a postcard at the beginning of the Holocaust, to a soldier in the armed forces of Nazi Germany.
The photograph was taken by Hans Lampalzer (signed in the plate), a non-Jewish photographer, active in Marienbad, who frequently photographed the rabbis and rebbes visiting his town. There are several known postcards with photographs taken by Lampalzer during this very occasion, at the train station in Marienbad. This postcard is particularly rare (it shows two women, presumably relatives of the Rebbe, at a window of the train carriage).
A short letter was typewritten on the back of the postcard, with a handwritten signature ("Allow me to send you warm greetings from Marienbad…"). The postcard bears the Marienbad postmark (featuring two swastikas) and a postage stamp of the German Reich. The postcard is addressed to Hauptmann Grube, a soldier in the armed forces of Nazi Germany (sent to the headquarters of the Air Force – Fliegerhorstkommandantur) in autumn 1939 – after the outbreak of WWII.
In the 1930s, several photographs by Lampalzer were published in the antisemitic weekly Der Stürmer, edited by Julius Streicher. The weekly, founded in 1923, served as a platform for venomous antisemitic attacks. Apart from propaganda articles, it featured many cartoons and photographs, focusing primarily on stereotypical representation of Jews. Some of the photographs published in the newspaper documented Jewish leaders, rabbis and rebbes (thus for instance, in 1937, it published a photograph of the Imrei Emet, rebbe of Ger, under the caption "An authentic Jew from the East". That photograph was also taken by Lampalzer. See: Flashes of Memory – Photography during the Holocaust, Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2018, pp. 56-65).
Rebbe Aharon Rokeach of Belz (1880-1957) was renowned as a miracle worker and a holy man, earning the epithet "Aharon, G-d's holy one". A foremost rebbe and leader of European Jewry before the Holocaust, he also rebuilt Torah and Chassidut after the war. He was the son of Rebbe Yissachar Dov of Belz (the Maharid) and grandson of Rebbe Yehoshua of Belz. From a young age, he was known for his great holiness and toil in Torah and Chassidic works, together with his outstanding asceticism. He earned the reputation of an advocate of the Jewish people and a wonder-worker benefiting from Divine Inspiration, with thousands flocking to his court to seek his blessings, advice and salvation.
He was appointed rebbe of the Belz Chassidut in 1927 and became one of the foremost leaders of Eastern European Jewry. As such, he was especially targeted by the Nazis during the Holocaust. His followers smuggled him from ghetto to ghetto, until he miraculously managed to escape to Budapest, Hungary, where he remained for a short period, until the Nazis demanded his extradition. From there he made his way to Eretz Israel on a difficult journey that spanned Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey and Syria. His wife, children, grandchildren and entire extended family were killed by the Nazis, and he arrived in Eretz Israel accompanied only by his brother, R. Mordechai of Biłgoraj (1901-1949, who also lost his entire family, his only remnant being his son, R. Yissachar Dov, current Belzer Rebbe, born to him from his second marriage in Eretz Israel). Rebbe Aharon of Belz settled in Tel Aviv, where he endeavored to encourage Holocaust survivors, and together with his brother R. Mordechai of Biłgoraj, re-established the Belz Chassidic institutions in Eretz Israel and around the world – in Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and other places.
8.5X13.5 cm. Good condition.

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