Portrait: Salman Schocken, a German Jewish publisher, co-founder of the Schocken Department Store chain, and Zionist

Wednesday, 26 July 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: Portrait, Shopping
Reading Time:  7 minutes

Salman Schocken © haaretz.co.il - Alfred Bernheim

Salman Schocken © haaretz.co.il – Alfred Bernheim

Salman Schocken was a German Jewish publisher, and co-founder of the large Kaufhaus Schocken chain of department stores in Germany. Stripped of his citizenship and forced to sell his company by the German government, he immigrated to Mandatory Palestine in 1934, where he purchased the newspaper Haaretz (which is still majority-owned by his descendants).

Salman Schocken (“S” in Salman pronounced “Z”) was born on October 30, 1877, in Margonin, Posen, German Empire (today Poland), the son of a Jewish shopkeeper. In 1901, he moved to Zwickau, a German town in southwest Saxony, to help manage a department store owned by his brother, Simon. Together they built up the business and established a chain of Kaufhaus Schocken stores throughout Germany. Schocken commissioned German Jewish architect Erich Mendelsohn to design Modernist style buildings. He opened branches in Nuremberg (1926), Stuttgart (1928) and Chemnitz (1930, the only one to survive). By 1930 the Schocken chain was one of the largest in Europe, with 20 stores. After his brother Simon’s death in 1929, when his friend Franz Rosenzweig also died, Salman Schocken became sole owner of the chain. In 1915, Schocken co-founded the Zionist journal Der Jude (with Martin Buber). Schocken would support Buber financially, as well as other Jewish writers such as Gerschom Scholem and S.Y. Agnon. In 1930 he established the Schocken Institute for Research on Hebrew Poetry in Berlin, a research center intended to discover and publish manuscripts of medieval Jewish poetry. The inspiration for this project was his longstanding dream of finding a Jewish equivalent for the foundational literature of Germany, such as the German epic poem The Nibelungenlied. In 1931, he founded the publishing company Schocken Verlag, which printed books by German Jewish writers such as Franz Kafka and Walter Benjamin, making their work widely available; they also reprinted the Buber-Rosenzweig translation of the Bible. These initiatives earned him the nickname “the mystical merchant” from his friend Scholem. In 1933, the Nazis stripped Schocken of his German citizenship. They forced him to sell his German enterprises to Merkur AG, but he managed to recover some of his property after World War II.

In 1934 Schocken left Germany for Palestine. In Jerusalem, he built the Schocken Library, also designed by Erich Mendelsohn. He became a board member of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and bought the newspaper Haaretz for 23,000 pounds sterling in 1935. His eldest son, Gershom Schocken, became the chief editor in 1939 and held that position until his death in 1990. The Schocken family today has a 60% share of the newspaper. Salman Schocken also founded the Schocken Publishing House Ltd. and, in New York in 1945 with the aid of Hannah Arendt and Nahum Glatzer, opened another branch, Schocken Books. In 1987 Schocken Books became an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group at Random House, owned by widely diversified media corporation Bertelsmann since 1998. Schocken became a board member of the Jewish National Fund and helped with the purchase of land in the Haifa Bay area. Schocken became the patron of Shmuel Yosef Agnon during his years in Germany. Recognizing Agnon’s literary talent, Schocken paid him a stipend that relieved him of financial worries and allowed him to devote himself to writing. Agnon went on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1966.

Reconstructed entrance to former Kaufhaus Schocken in Chemnitz, Germany, today housing the State Museum of Archeology © Silke Arlt/cc-by-sa-3.0 Salman Schocken © haaretz.co.il - Alfred Bernheim Haaretz newspaper © Hmbr/cc-by-2.5
<
>
Reconstructed entrance to former Kaufhaus Schocken in Chemnitz, Germany, today housing the State Museum of Archeology © Silke Arlt/cc-by-sa-3.0
In 1940 Schocken left Palestine with his family except for one son (Gershom), and settled in the United States, where he founded Schocken Books. Schocken died of heart failure on August 6, 1959, while vacationing at an Alpine resort in Pontresina, Switzerland. He was buried in the then new Har HaMenuchot cemetery in the Givat Shaul neighborhood of Jerusalem.

The home of Salman Schocken is at 7 Smolenskin Street in the Rehavia neighborhood of Jerusalem. It was designed by Erich Mendelsohn. The building, constructed of Jerusalem stone between 1934 and 1936, was originally surrounded by a spacious 1.5-acre (6,100 m²) garden. In 1957, the property was sold to the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, which invited another architect, Joseph Klarvin, to design an additional front wing of classrooms facing the street. Klarvin also added a third story, dispensing with the pergolas and blocking over the oval pool in the courtyard. Schocken also had a library built in Jerusalem for his significant book collection. The building was also designed by Erich Mendelsohn and was built at 6 Balfour Street, a few buildings over from the home. Today, the historic building is home to the Schocken Institute for Jewish Research of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. The Institute houses the Salman Schocken Library and other important archives and collections of Jewish and other books.

The Chemnitz State Museum of Archeology (abbreviated to smac) is the state museum for archaeological and cultural history in the Saxony. It was opened on May 15, 2014 in the former Schocken department store and is the successor institution to the Dresden State Museum of Prehistory. The State Museum for Archeology Chemnitz is part of the State Office for Archeology Saxony. With the opening of the museum, Saxony has a permanent exhibition on state archeology for the first time. It covers 300,000 years of human history in Saxony and ends with the time of industrialization. Three smaller exhibitions are dedicated to the history of the department store, the department store founder Salman Schocken and the architect of the building Erich Mendelsohn.

Read more on Wikipedia Salman Schocken (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

Ybor City in Tampa, the Cigar Capital of the World

Ybor City in Tampa, the Cigar Capital of the World

[caption id="attachment_229149" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Centro Ybor complex with a TECO line car in front © Peter K Burian/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Ybor City is a historic neighborhood just northeast of downtown Tampa, Florida, United States. It was founded in the 1880s by Vicente Martinez-Ybor and other cigar manufacturers and populated by thousands of immigrants, mainly from Cuba, Spain, and Italy. For the next 50 years, workers in Ybor City's cigar factories rolled hundreds of millions of cigars annual...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Swiss

Theme Week Swiss

[caption id="attachment_212206" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Basel © Taxiarchos228[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in the confluence of Western, Central, and Southern Europe. It is a federal republic composed of 26 cantons, with federal authorities based in Bern. Switzerland is a landlocked country bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. It is geographically divided among the Swiss Pl...

[ read more ]

Castaway Cay in the Bahamas

Castaway Cay in the Bahamas

[caption id="attachment_152623" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Flying Dutchman at Castaway Cay © EmbraerSkyPilot[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Castaway Cay is a private island in the Bahamas which serves as an exclusive port for the Disney Cruise Line ships Disney Wonder, Disney Magic, Disney Dream, and Disney Fantasy. It is located near Great Abaco Island, and was formerly known as Gorda Cay. It is owned in full by The Walt Disney Company, giving them substantial control over the experience of visitors to the island. A post offi...

[ read more ]

Railway adventure trips with Rocky Mountaineer

Railway adventure trips with Rocky Mountaineer

[caption id="attachment_216986" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Rocky Mountaineer with Rockies in the background © The Land/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Rocky Mountaineer is a Canadian rail-tour company in Western Canada that operates trains on three rail routes through British Columbia and Alberta. Rocky Mountaineer trains operate exclusively during the day to maximize scenic views, therefore, no sleeper service is offered. All trips include overnight stops at which passengers disembark and stay in hotels. As Rocky ...

[ read more ]

Aalst in Flanders

Aalst in Flanders

[caption id="attachment_217853" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Aalst City Hall © EmDee/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Aalst is a city and municipality on the Dender River, 31 kilometres (19 mi) northwest from Brussels in the Flemish province of East Flanders. The municipality comprises the city of Aalst itself and the villages of Baardegem, Erembodegem, Gijzegem, Herdersem, Hofstade, Meldert, Moorsel and Nieuwerkerken. Aalst is crossed by the Molenbeek-Ter Erpenbeek in Aalst and Hofstade. The town has a long-standing ...

[ read more ]

The Anthem of the Seas

The Anthem of the Seas

[caption id="attachment_165230" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © flickr.com - slgckgc/cc-by-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]MS Anthem of the Seas is a cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean International (RCI). She is the second ship of the Quantum class, which surpasses the earlier Freedom-class ships by over 14,000 GT, becoming the second largest class of passenger ships behind RCI's Oasis class ships on a gross tonnage basis. On February 11, 2011, Royal Caribbean announced that they had ordered a new class of ships from the...

[ read more ]

Saint-Louis-lès-Bitche in Lorraine

Saint-Louis-lès-Bitche in Lorraine

[caption id="attachment_239991" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Saint-Louis crystal glass manufacturer © Gryffindor/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Saint-Louis-lès-Bitche (literally St. Louis near Bitche; German: Münzthal; Lorraine Franconian: Minzdal) is a commune in the Moselle department of the Grand Est administrative region in north-eastern France. The village belongs to the Pays de Bitche and to the UNESCO World Heritage Northern Vosges Regional Nature Park. As of the 2013 France census, the village's po...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Ukraine

Theme Week Ukraine

[caption id="attachment_191017" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Kiev © flickr.com - Jorge Láscar/cc-by-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Ukraine, somtimes called the Ukraine, is a sovereign state in Eastern Europe, bordered by Russia to the east and northeast; Belarus to the northwest; Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia to the west; Romania and Moldova to the southwest; and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south and southeast, respectively. Ukraine is currently in a territorial dispute with Russia over the Crimean Peninsula, which...

[ read more ]

Cunard Building in Liverpool

Cunard Building in Liverpool

[caption id="attachment_242262" align="aligncenter" width="590"] © Chris Howells/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Cunard Building is a Grade II* listed building in Liverpool, England. It is located at the Pier Head and along with the neighbouring Royal Liver Building and Port of Liverpool Building is one of Liverpool's Three Graces, which line the city's waterfront. It is also part of Liverpool's former UNESCO designated World Heritage, the Maritime Mercantile City. It was designed by William Edward Willink an...

[ read more ]

Novi Sad in Serbia

Novi Sad in Serbia

[caption id="attachment_160890" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Dunavska street © Micki/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Novi Sad is the second largest city in Serbia, the administrative seat of the province of Vojvodina and of the South Bačka District. It is located in the southern part of Pannonian Plain, on the border of the Bačka and Syrmia regions, on the banks of the Danube river, facing the northern slopes of Fruška Gora mountain. According to the 2011 census, the city has a population of 232,000, while...

[ read more ]

Return to TopReturn to Top
© Espirat/cc-by-sa-4.0
Theme Week Auvergne – Riom

Riom (Auvergnat: Riam) is a commune in the Puy-de-Dôme department in Auvergne in central France. It is a sub-prefecture of...

View from Triq Marsamxett to the Tigné Point © Marie-Lan Nguyen/cc-by-2.5
Tigné Point in Malta

Tigné Point is a peninsula in Sliema, Malta. The area was originally occupied by several fortifications and a British barracks...

Regional specialities © flickr.com - Sylvie burr
Theme Week Auvergne

Auvergne (Occitan: Auvèrnhe or Auvèrnha) is a cultural region in central France. Since 2016, Auvergne is not an administrative unit...

Close