Max Alpern

David and Chaja Alpern in summer of 1939 (Photo: private)

Max (back row, 4th from the left) and Gerda Alpern (front, 1st from the left) at a farewell party for Arthur Türkfeld, who is emigrating to the US, in Berlin, 1938 (Photo: private)

Max Alpern in summer of 1936 at Grunewald sports ground (Photo: private)

In 2016, a book from the library of Max Alpern was returned. The restitution was a co-operative effort together with the library of the New Synagogue Berlin - Centrum Judaicum Foundation, which also was able to identify and return books by Max Alpern's sister Gerda and her father David.

Max Alpern was born on June 6th, 1910 in Berlin. From 1930 on he studied law at the Friedrich-Wilhelm University in Berlin until 1933, like many other students, he was ousted from the university through anti-Semitic restrictions. After years of persecution Max Alpern finally emigrated to Britain in 1939 where he joined the British Army as a volunteer and in 1943 changed his name to Michael Allenby. He began training as a teacher after the war. In 1953 he moved with his family to Linksfield, South Africa. There he taught until his retirement in 1977 and also worked until his death in 1993 in the library and in the materials depot of the school.

His sister Gerda Alpern was born on January 30th, 1919. She also emigrated to the UK, where she married Abraham Kaljman in 1971 and lived until her death in 1990.

Gerda and Max's father David Alpern was born on May 15th, 1884 in Vyzhnytsia near Chernivtsi. He was a merchant in Berlin and ran a department store on Nettelbeckstrasse. As early as 1938, David Alpern was temporarily imprisoned in Sachsenhausen concentration camp. In 1942 he was deported together with his wife Chaja to the Riga Ghetto, from which both did not return.

The book by Max Alpern was added to the stock of the Berlin City Library in June 1945 as a "gift". The books of David and Gerda Alpern contain no further incorporation traces of the Berlin city library, except for nonescriptive stamps. Presumably, all three books were acquired by the Berlin City Library in 1943 and part of a purchase of ~ 40,000 books looted from the last homes of Jewish Berliners.

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