Renovation of historic books
The State Museum at Majdanek decided to fully renovate 51 books from the historic collections, including 27 prayer books. All the items were found in the area of the camp at Majdanek after its liquidation.
The books are written in Polish, French, Hungarian, German, Dutch and Hebrew. The books were written, among others, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ‘Faust,’ Richard Voss ‘Zwei Menschen,’ Edmond Provats – a remarkable esperantist – ‘Vivo de Zamenhof.’ Illustrated with colorful pictures of W. Główczewski, there is also one book for children in Polish in the collections. Among the prayer books renovated were: the Bible – Old and New Testament in Dutch, the Holy Scripture in Czech, Protestant Gospel and Hebrew prayer books, among which the oldest one – Hebrew-German – dates back to 1886.
The pages are full of hand written notes, comments and dedications. Between the cards there are letters and hair curls wrapped in tissue-paper.
The book renovation is a very precise procedure, which involves a lot of work and sensibility. Except clearing, stoppage of the degradation process of paper and leather, and protection, we pay a great attention to the authenticity. Possessing books was forbidden and punished in the camp. That’s why the prisoners had to hide them carefully to avoid harassment. Torn, crumpled, stained pages after renovation procedures will keep authentic appearance.