Lot 147: Collection of Paper Items - British Internment Camp on the Isle of Man, 1940s
November 15, 2016
Jerusalem, IsraelLive Auction
Description: Collection of items from the archive of Rabbi Prof. Dr. Manfred (Menachem ben Michael) Papo - certificates, letters and other items from the period of his stay in the British Internment Camp Mooragh on the Isle of Man; documents related to his work in Jewish congregations in Manchester and in Rhodesia (a British colony, present day Zimbabwe), and more. Most items are from the 1940s. Hebrew, English and German. Rabbi Prof. Dr. Manfred (Menachem) Papo (1898-1966), served as rabbi in Salzburg and later served as teacher and rabbi of the Sephardic congregation in Vienna. After the Kristallnacht he was arrested and deported to Dachau but was released and immigrated to England, where he was appointed as a rabbi in Manchester and was involved in relief activities for Jewish refugees. After the establishment of British Internment Camps in the Isle of Man in 1940, he stayed in Mooragh internment camp. The documents in the collection indicate that he was active in the camp as teacher and founded a Jewish congregation (among other activities he founded a synagogue for Jewish internees). As of 1944 he served as Rabbi of the Sephardic congregation in Rhodesia. The collection includes: Items from Mooragh Internment Camp, Ramsey, Isle of Man: 1. Note written by hand - certificate allowing Rabbi Papo to keep the light switched on in his room in the camp, until 23:00. [December, 1940]. English. 17.5X8 cm. Signed by hand and stamped with camp's official ink-stamp. 2. Letter of gratitude for Rabbi Papo's activity related to the founding of and managing the synagogue in the internment camp. Handwritten, in Hebrew and German, and signed by several of the camp's inmates. Nissan, 1941 (30.3.1941): "We hereby express our gratitude from the bottom of our heart to the rabbi of our holy congregation Prof. Dr. Menachem Michael Papo who founded the synagogue and preached His aim was to strengthen the spirit of Judaism "(Hebrew). The letter is signed by: Jakob Leisner, who wrote the Hebrew version of the letter; Meir Yehudah Irom, and others. Leaf 36X17.5 cm, folded into two. 3. Certificate, written and decorated by hand - present to Rabbi Papo from the Jewish congregation in the internment camp. April 1, 1941. English. A blue Star of David appears on the top of the leaf, below it, in nice calligraphic script: "Prof. Manfred Papo PH.D. Rabbi of our congregation, respectfully dedicated by its members". Some 30 signatures by hand appear below the dedication. Sheet of paper (42X24.5 cm), folded into two. 4. Handwritten notice - invitation to a festive ceremony in the synagogue on the occasion of Rabbi Papo's departure (program: songs, farewell speech by Rabbi Papo, and more). [ca. 1941]. German. Leaf 30X37.5 cm. 5. Notice, written and illustrated by hand - invitation to a lecture by Rabbi Papo concerning Sephardic Judaism (preceded by: press review by Jakob Leisner), to be held in the Internment Camp synagogue. [ca. 1941]. German. 32X22.5 cm. 6. Letter from the Internee supervisor in the camp. April, 1941. English. Letter "to Whom it May Concern" confirming that Rabbi Papo served for many months as consultant to the camp's education office and was responsible for arranging the camp's library which contained about 3,000 books.  leaf, 25.5 cm. Signed by hand and stamped with camp's official ink-stamp. 7. Portrait of Manfred Papo, pencil drawing on paper by Ludwig Meidner. A dedication handwritten by Meidner appears below the portrait (German). Ramsey, April 1941.  leaf, 28 cm. Ludwig Meidner (1884-1966), painter and printmaker, one of the leading figures in the German expressionist movement. Meidner studied art in the Breslau academy and later in Paris; in 1907 he settled in Berlin. Under the Nazi regime his name was listed as one of the "degenerate artists". In 1935-1939 he taught in a Jewish school in Cologne and later on fled with his family to London. From London Meidner was deported to the Internment Camps in the Isle of Man and was detained in the camps Mooragh and Hutchinson until the end of 1941. 8-9. Two pencil-drawings on paper - one, portrait of Rabbi Papo. The other - interior of the synagogue. 10. Photograph (of the war days). It is possible that it was taken in the Internment Camps in the Isle of Man. 14X9 cm. Additional items from the Archive of Rabbi Papo: 11. A printed letter from the secretary of the Withington Congregation of Spanish and Portuguese Jews (Manchester). The letter announces the appointment of Rabbi Papo as Honorary Minister to the congregation and invites to attend the appointment ceremony. July 1942. English.  leaf, 20 cm. 12. Official letter from the chairman of the Jewish Refugees Committee, Manchester branch. Sent to Rabbi Papo in Manchester, December 1943. Printed on official stationery and signed by hand. Letter of gratitude to Rabbi Papo for assistance to the Jewish Refugees Committee, upon his departure from Manchester.  leaf, 26 cm. 13. Official certificate issued by the Governor of Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (A British colony, present day Zimbabwe), granting Rabbi Papo the right to conduct wedding ceremonies in Rhodesia. Salisbury, 1944. English. Printed and signed by hand.  leaf, 34 cm. 14. Greeting card, written and illustrated by hand, on the occasion of the Bar Mitzvah of Michael, Manfred's son.  leaf, folded into two, 24.5 cm. When World War II broke out, 75,000 Germans and Austrians lived in Britain, most of them arrived during the 1930s attempting to flee the Nazi regime. The British government, being concerned that spies and collaborators with the Nazi regime will infiltrate Britian, implemented a policy of detention and imprisonment. First - all German and Austrian men of 16 to 60 years of age were arrested, and later, women were also arrested. In July 1940 the detainees were deported to the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea (part of the British Crown protectorates), where several internment camps have been established. Of the thousands of internees in the Isle of Man, the majority was Jewish, and many manifested open opposition to the Nazi Regime. The Jews led a vibrant cultural life in the camps (many of the internees were professors, physicians, scientists and artists). The documents offered here indicate that the Jews also led an active religious and congregational life. Lot of 14 items. Overall good condition. Provenance: Collection of Dr. Simon Cohen.