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The Book Smugglers

The Book Smugglers tells the story of the courageous Jews of the “Paper Brigade,” who risked their lives to rescue thousands of rare books and manuscripts—first from the Nazis and then from the Soviets—by hiding them on their bodies, burying them in bunkers in the Vilna Ghetto, and smuggling them across borders. This new book by David Fishman has been dubbed “Monuments Men for book lovers.” It is the epic chronicle of a little-known chapter from the darkest days of Jewish history.

The event will feature remarks by David Fishman, a musical program featuring songs by Shmerke Kaczerginski, a leader of the "Paper Brigade," performed by Josh Waletzky, and commentary on the book by Aaron Lansky, Founder and President of the Yiddish Book Center, and YIVO’s Executive Director Jonathan Brent, who will also reveal how the work to rescue Jewish culture and heritage from oblivion continues to this very day with the Edward Blank YIVO Vilna Collections Project .

A free reception will follow the program. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing by the author.

Ticket Info: Free; RSVP to

Tickets: Available online


Earlier Event: October 10
Strand Bookstore: Yrsa Daly-Ward
Later Event: October 11
Union Square Greenmarket