Mai family

Dedication: "To my kind patron and fatherly friend, Mr. Max Mai with the most sincere wishes for November 17th 07. Hauptmann a.d. Heinrich Peters"

In 2019 one book could be returned to the Mai family.

As a previous owner, the antiquarian Max Mai could be identified beyond doubt. The date of the dedication indicates his birthday.

Siegfried Max Mai was born on November 17th, 1841, in Berlin. He was a bookseller and antiquarian and ran the family business Antiquariat Emanuel Mai, which was named after his father and founded in 1836. Max Mai was married on December 11th, 1869, to Fanny née Hirschberg (born ca. 1847, died on June 20th, 1888, in Berlin).

On August 11th, 1873, Alexander Ulrich Mai, son of Max and Fanny, was born. Like his father, he became a bookseller and together with him managed the Antiquariat Emanuel Mai. After the death of Max on December 18th, 1909, Ulrich was the sole owner of the antiquarian bookshop.

On February 21st, 1901, Ulrich got married to Gertrud Dorothea Neustadt, who had been born on April 10th, 1881, in Gdansk.

In National Socialist Germany, Gertrud and Ulrich Mai were persecuted as Jewish. They were able to escape and initially emigrated via Southampton to the United States in 1938, thus surviving the Holocaust. Both later lived in New Zealand. Gertrud Mai died in 1953, Ulrich in 1964, both in Wellington, New Zealand.

The path of the book into the stock of the Berlin City Library is unknown. Shortly after the end of World War II in 1945, the book was added to the collection as a "gift". The supplier "Kulturamt" (Cultural Office) indicated in the acquisition journal is presumably associated with the Berlin magistrate, but this supplier designation was also used for Nazi-loot that was already held in the library.

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