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Dear Members and Visitors,

We are not currently fulfilling online orders, as the Yiddish Book Center has closed its building to protect visitors and staff during the COVID19 pandemic. Feel free to browse our store, but be aware that the shopping cart is disabled.

You can also browse the Center’s main website at yiddishbookcenter.org. Or sign up at yiddishbookcenter.org/signup for our free e-newsletter featuring interviews, articles, podcasts and other content that you can enjoy during this time.

If you have any questions, contact me at  bookstore@yiddishbookcenter.org.


A sheynem dank, and be well!

Sami Keats, Museum store Manager

A Bookshop in Berlin: The Rediscovered Memoir of One Woman's Harrowing Escape from the Nazis by Francoise Frenkel

A Bookshop in Berlin: The Rediscovered Memoir of One Woman's Harrowing Escape from the Nazis by Francoise Frenkel


In 1921, Françoise Frenkel—a Jewish woman from Poland—fulfills a dream. She opens La Maison du Livre, Berlin’s first French bookshop, attracting artists and diplomats, celebrities and poets. The shop becomes a haven for intellectual exchange as Nazi ideology begins to poison the culturally rich city. In 1935, the scene continues to darken. First come the new bureaucratic hurdles, followed by frequent police visits and book confiscations.

Françoise’s dream finally shatters on Kristallnacht in November 1938, as hundreds of Jewish shops and businesses are destroyed. La Maison du Livre is miraculously spared, but fear of persecution eventually forces Françoise on a desperate, lonely flight to Paris. When the city is bombed, she seeks refuge across southern France, witnessing countless horrors: children torn from their parents, mothers throwing themselves under buses. Secreted away from one safe house to the next, Françoise survives at the heroic hands of strangers risking their lives to protect her.

Published quietly in 1945, then rediscovered nearly sixty years later in an attic, A Bookshop in Berlin is a remarkable story of survival and resilience, of human cruelty and human spirit. In the tradition of Suite Française and The Nazi Officer’s Wife, this book is the tale of a fearless woman whose lust for life and literature refuses to leave her, even in her darkest hours.

Hardcover Book 2019


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