Josef and Blanca Bursztyn_1923.jpg
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Bookstamp of J. (Josef) Bursztyn

Dublin Core


Bookstamp of J. (Josef) Bursztyn


Bursztyn, J. (Josef), 1894-1942


This is the bookstamp of Josef Bursztyn (Joseph Burstyn), a Polish merchant. He was born on July 9th, 1894 in Nodwarna, Poland to Beila and Issachar.

The photograph above shows Josef on the day of his wedding to Blanca Kessler in Vienna, circa 1923 (courtesy of his granddaughter, Tamar Fox).

He was arrested by the Nazis in March 1938, immediately after the Anschluss, and deported on the first transport from Vienna to Dachau concentration camp on April 2nd, 1938, along with most of his brothers. His inmate number at Dachau was 13908. He was registered under the prison category “protective custody – Jew” on September 23rd, 1938 in Buchenwald concentration camp. On October 16th, 1942 he was transferred from Buchenwald to Auschwitz, where he died nearly two months later on December 12th, 1942. He was registered on the Gestapo list as number 11.

His wife Blanca was also killed in Auschwitz. In December 1938, before her arrest, she managed to send the couple's three children (including 14-year-old Herbert) on the Kindertransport to England, thereby saving their lives. The Bursztyns' two daughters currently live in Tel Aviv with their families. One daughter, who was 8 years old when she left her mother behind forever, completely forgot the German language of her childhood, except for the address and telephone number on her father's bookstamp. Like many parents, Josef and Blanka Bursztyn probably made her memorize it at a young age, in case she ever got lost.

Bursztyn’s bookstamp features his last address and telephone number in Vienna before he was arrested by the Nazis, as documented in the Dachau Concentration Camp Entry Registers of 1938.

The book in which his bookstamp was discovered, a biography of notable rabbis called Sefer Dor ṿe-dorshaṿ, may have been brought to Jerusalem from Vienna by Josef Bursztyn's brother, Israel, who managed to escape the Nazis. It is likely that Shimeon Brisman purchased it there on one of his book-buying expeditions.


Bursztyn, J. (Josef), 1894-1942


Digital Image: Washington University in Saint Louis








Josef and Blanca Bursztyn_1923.jpg


Bursztyn, J. (Josef), 1894-1942, “Bookstamp of J. (Josef) Bursztyn,” WUSTL Digital Gateway Image Collections & Exhibitions, accessed July 15, 2024, http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/items/show/8327.