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Women Runs Jewish Bookstore in Munich

A successful Jewish bookstore is thriving in — of all places — Munich, West Germany. Operated by Rachel Salamander, a child of Holocaust survivors who was born in a displaced persons’ camp in Bavaria and grew up in Munich, the Literaturhandlung bookstore ranges from German translations of works by Arthur Miller and Susan Sontag, to books about the Middle East, the Holocaust, and recordings of Yiddish songs.

In a recent issue of Publishers Weekly (PW), Salamander says, “Most young Germans know nothing about Jewish history except the history of torture in World War Two. I hope that Literaturhandlung will help to deepen the knowledge and understanding of Jewish heritage within and beyond the Jewish community.”

The store, sponsoring readings, films and musical events, attracts visitors from Munich’s own 5,000 Jews, as well as Jewish visitors from other German cities and German-speaking tourists from the United States and Israel, according to Carol T. Anthony of PW.

Says Salamander, who still retains a passport that designates her as a displaced person, “To many of my customers, this store is heimat, a true home.”