I just found out about this. In 1945, the DP camps holding survivors were often former Nazi camps and their conditions weren’t great. When President Truman found out, he ordered General Eisenhower to immediately upgrade both the accommodations and food of the survivors, which was done. However, a question remained as to how to reintroduce spirituality, especially learning. Problem was, there were no copies ( or certainly not nearly enough ) of the Gemara extant in Europe. What did the Army do? In 1948 they brought two sets of the Gemorah to Europe from NY. They then prepared engravings to be used for printing and then the Army commandeered a former Nazi printing plant in Heidelberg to print 500 complete sets for distribution. The only English is the dedication inside the front cover. It’s the only known case of a non Jewish government printing so many sets of the Gemorah. Rabbi Soliveitchik of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue own a set; I don’t know how many others still exist.
Under the direction of the vaad Hatzolah
A number of basic seforim were printed after the war such as sedorim Chumash etc.
Only a few mesechtos Gemara such as kedushim were printed for the do camps. Later they printed volumes of Shas but by the time they were available most survivors had left the do camps. I have a copy of kedushim printed by the army in 1946.
i happen to know a kollel in eretz yisroel that has a full set. says it was dedicated by the us army and has a picture of barbed wire on the bottom of the first page (not first daf, first page). interesting stuff
Yeah. Why would anyone want to hear about something that Joseph already knows?
If there were only 500 printed, I suspect a complete set would be quite valuable (suggesting a yeshiva might be better selling it and using the money to further Torah education today).
interesting. we’re a frum military family. we have army-issued sidurs but we’d never use them. they aren’t written by an orthodox publisher
Southerner: Did you used to post here about 10 years ago under another screen name and once had a Mishpacha article written about you?
Do you have the shas that was printed by the אגודת הרבנים? It was printed around 1919 or so? The plates of the Romm shas were unfortunately used by the Nazis ימח שמם.
this kollel isnt particularly interested in money believe me lol