Kingston, NY: Maureen Cummins, 2019. One of 15 copies signed and numbered by the book artist Maureen Cummins. This powerful production was initially realized as a unique object in the spring of 2019, the book was later editioned in the fall of 2019. Throughout the piece, Cummins uses simple typographic means to explore issues of anti-Semitism, denial, and the erasure of cultural memory. Unpublished Manuscript, 1946 came out of the research phase of the Friends, Peace and Sanctuary Project, in which artists were asked to spend two weeks in the Special Collection archives at Swarthmore College. Cummins was immediately drawn to a collection of materials relating to the life of Hans Bergas, a survivor of the Buchenwald concentration camp. Cummins writes: "Following the war he and his family relocated to the United States, to the town of Chester, Pennsylvania. It was there that he met Gertrude Weaver, a German language high school teacher. In response to her request, Bergas began corresponding with Weaver’s students, a process that led to his writing a full-length memoir. Hoping to see the manuscript published, Weaver sent the manuscript to Grace Naismith, a senior editor at Reader’s Digest magazine. In a brief, typewritten response, Naismith thanked Weaver for her submission while unequivocally rejecting it as unsuitable for publication: “…the day has passed,” she wrote, “when people will read any more about Buchenwald or German atrocities…we have been so surfeited with Fascist horror stories, movies, and Nuremberg trial testimonies, that I’m afraid a present sale is most difficult.” In this artist's book, Cummins painstakingly surprints Naismith’s letter, using no more than a few words at a time, over copies of Bergas’s manuscript. In this way, Naismith’s decision to reject the manuscript is given the full weight and consequence it deserves. Reading the texts side by side also highlights the contrast between the editor’s polite, patrician language and the horrific events and experiences described in the memoir: “Death by starvation. Death by illness or execution.”" Both visually and emotionally, the reader/viewer is invited to witness the collision of worlds. Printed on a variety of translucent papers, including vintage onionskin. The memoir was digitally reproduced, while Naismith’s letter was printed letterpress using photoengraved plates. Also included are two documents contained in Bergas’s original manuscript: a map of Buchenwald that he drew for the Chester high school students, and a page of family photographs. Each book is held by a vintage clip board. The book measures 8.5 x 11 inches. In fine condition. 79 pages. ARTISTSB/080321. Fine.
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Stuttgart: Carl Krabbe. Hardcover. No date. Very Good in grey illustrated paper wrappers with grey title to front wrapper and black title to spine. Minor edgewear to exterior. Interior is clean and bright with illustrations throughout and a fold out map. A few unopened pages at rear. 88 pages. In German. GER/4213. Very Good.
January 1947. Hardcover. Tan cloth backed blue cloth boards with gilt title "Autobahn Bridges" to spine. A few spots of discoloration to spine and wear to edges of boards and corners. Interior is clean and includes many diagrams and photographic illustrations. Printed on a waxy paper and bound in French fold style. 84 pages. GER/071508. Very Good.
Baltimore: The Baltimore Sun, 1953. Paperback. SCARCE. Near fine in blue side-stapled paper wrappers with black title to front wrapper. Long article on Germany which appeared in The Sun from December 6-December 20, 1953 and written by the paper's foreign correspondent, Digges. German History. in wraps. GRH6/4122. Near Fine.
Akron: The Werner Company, 1895. Hardcover. Large folio in lavishly decorated brown boards cloth covered boards with red and blue title to front board and gilt title to spine. Minor bumping to spine ends and corners. Light rubbing to boards. Illustrations on nearly every page including several in full color. Interior hinges have been expertly reenforced. Inscription to verso of front free end page. 396 pages. Text in German. Large and heavy volume with additional shipping charge. GER21072. Very Good.