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Yad Vashem The Jerusalem of Lithuania: The Story of the Jewish Community of Vilna

The Interwar Period

Cultural Life

Publishing Houses

Books, printing presses and a publishing house in prewar VilnaBooks, printing presses and a publishing house in prewar Vilna
The front page of the Vilna newspaper "Tarbut", celebrating its 15th anniversaryThe front page of the Vilna newspaper "Tarbut", celebrating its 15th anniversary

During WWI, transportation was reduced because of army requirements, severely damaging the publications market. Romm Widow and Brothers Printing House was forced to decrease its manpower and activities, but the publishing house continued to operate and expanded its activities after the war.

With the return of Boris Klatzkin from Russia in 1919, his publishing house continued its activities. It produced high quality literature – among others, the works of Y.Y. Zinger, D. Bergelson, Peretz Hirschbein – Yiddish translations of novels, Yiddish magazines and Yiddish textbooks.

Bookseller and publisher Shloyme-Zanvl Sreberk joined the 1919 launch of Tag. He published Yiddish textbooks, including World History of the Jewish People by Simon Dubnow, grammar books by Z. Reisin, books by the historian S.L. Citron, works by An-sky, and Hebrew textbooks. In 1922, the publishing house moved to Warsaw.

Hirsh Metz, son of the printer Yehuda Leib Metz, studied medicine in Russia and returned to Vilna during WWI. After the war, Metz Publishing House brought out Hebrew and Yiddish textbooks, as well as others publications, including one by S.L. Citron entitled, Behind the Screen – On Converts and Deniers.

Tamar Publications belonging to Feivel Tropianski published The History of Jewish Literature by Dr. Yisroel Zinberg. The ten-volume Yiddish tome was completed in the decade preceding WWII. By the end of the 1930s, some 100-230 books and brochures in Hebrew and Yiddish were being published every year.

The exhibition was made possible through the generous support of Mr. Nehemia Burgin in memory of his dear and beloved parents, Holocaust survivors Zlata (Zehava) Burgin and Yehiel Burgin of blessed memory.