Bibliophiles and Bibliothieves: The Search for the by Opritsa D. Popa

By Opritsa D. Popa

In Bibliophiles and Bibliothieves, Opritsa Popa has documented what may justifiably be defined because the so much celebrated case of looting of 2 German cultural treasures via a member of the U.S. military on the finish of global struggle II and their next odyssey throughout either an ocean and a continent: the pilfering from a cellar in undesirable Wildungen of the ninth-century Liber Sapientiae, containing the 2 leaves of the oldest extant German heroic poem, the outdated excessive German Hildebrandslied, in addition to the fourteenth-century illuminated Willehalm codex, either one of which were faraway from the country Library in Kassel for cover from bombing raids.

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This hand-made book, known as the codex, is one of the most precious offerings of the Middle Ages. 20 By comparing script elements and studying the transition to this new writing style, researchers were able to establish a fairly accurate dating system for the works duplicated or created at the abbey. tional loans from Basel, Oslo, the Vatican, and Wolfenbüttel. ’ Hesse State Library, April 19 to May 31, 1994), Hartmut Broszinski and Sirka Heyne, eds. (Fulda: Hessische Landesbibliothek, 1994), 7.

1 In the eighth century, Boniface, an English monk of great conviction and learning, came to this part of the world intent on converting the heathen Germanic tribes. Sustained in his efforts by a succession of popes and Frankish kings, Boniface established Christian communities throughout today’s Bavaria, Hesse, and Thuringia. In 744 he sent out his pupil Sturmius and seven of his brethren in search of a suitable place for a new monastery. In a narrow vale, in the middle of a dense oak forest, the monk Sturmius planted his cross, marking the chosen spot.

Fortunately, twenty of its most precious holdings, hidden in the underground bank vault, had survived the 1941 attack. But as bombardments increased in frequency and intensity, that storage area was no longer deemed secure. A safer evacuation site had to be found without delay. 39 Conflagrations disrupted work schedules and hampered armament production. An unexpected opportunity presented itself toward the end of summer 1943, when Rudolf Helm, curator of the Landesmuseum, the Provincial Museum of Kassel, offered to let the library share space in a remote air raid shelter.

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