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23 March to 15 July 2012 Jewish Migrants from Eastern Europe in the 1920s

Slowo publishing house

Black-and-white photo of an illuminated corner building.
The Ullstein House at Kochstrasse 23–24 in the district of Kreuzberg (photo from 1930) © BPK

Construction site sign over a garbage can; buildings are visible in the background
Corner of Margrafenstrasse and Lindenstrasse © Jüdisches Museum Berlin, Foto: Gelia Eisert

Immigrant publishers in Berlin

In the early 1920s there were many Russian-language publishers in Berlin. Jewish immigrants had interests in around ninety of them. While more than fifty publishers specialized in Yiddish publications, only a few – including Klal – published books in Hebrew. All the publishers exported their products abroad, primarily to countries in eastern Europe.

Favorable economic conditions caused a publishing boom in the 1920s. Due to inflation, investors with foreign currency could produce high-quality books at a low cost.

When the period of inflation ended in the mid-1920s, Berlin lost its advantage as a publishing center. Most of the immigrant publishers were forced to discontinue book production in the space of a few years or to move their offices to other countries.