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November 1, 2006
Jewish family library returned to Germany
A series of papers and books chronicling Germany prior to Adolf Hitler’s accession to power are being returned to Frankfurt, Germany through the generosity of Toronto resident Joy Cohnstaedt.

In November 2006, a portion of the Cohnstaedt family’s extensive library will be repatriated to Frankfurt for deposit in the Jewish Museum in Frankfurt am Main / Germany and City Archives.

The donation was assisted by Toronto’s long-standing Sister-City relationship with the City of Frankfurt. City of Toronto International Alliance and Culture Section staff liaised with their German counterparts to facilitate the donation.

“The Cohnstaedt family is returning the books and other papers to help Frankfurt remember the lives and contribution of the Jews of that city,” said Cohnstaedt.

At the time of Adolf Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor in 1933, Wilhelm Cohnstaedt was a senior editor of the Frankfurter Zeitung. Wilhelm refused to write an editorial welcoming Hitler to power and was forced to flee Germany. With the help of the publisher of the New York Times, he lived in exile in the United States until he died in 1937.

Remnants of the library were brought to the U.S. in 1937 and to Canada in 1967.

Among the collection, which at one time numbered over 5,000 items, is “Aus Westkanada,” a collection of articles about Wilhelm Cohnstaedt’s travels in western Canada in 1909.

The return of European cultural property, legally brought to North America, is uncommon. Under the Cultural Property Export and Import Act, approval by the federal government was required.

Media contacts:
Christina Kakaflikas, Investment Advisor, International, City of Toronto,
Economic Development, 416-397-5409
Joy Cohnstaedt, 416-766-8679



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