A Catalog of Holocaust Medals: A History Etched in Metal
"A Catalog of Holocaust Medals" is the largest catalog of Holocaust-related medals and coins ever published. Inside, you will find hundreds of medals and coins from all over the globe. Each item is shown in full color and accompanied by detailed descriptions. In addition to being an invaluable resource for the collector and researcher, this book is a meaningful tribute to all victims and survivors of the Holocaust.
Severin Szperling is a world-known numismatist who owns the largest privately formed collection of Holocaust-related medals and coins. A Holocaust survivor himself, Szperling began his collection to keep alive the memory of his parents, who were among the six million Jews who perished. This book represents over thirty-eight years of Szperling's compilation, research, photography, and persistence.
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Honoring the Past in the Present
A review by Daniel L. Berek
When one thinks of medals, one imagines an Olympian champion, the recognition of the efforts of a single person. However, in many nations, medals are struck in multiple copies to commemorate an heroic act or a person or group of people who committed that heroic act. A Holocaust survivor himself, Severin Szperling has dedicated a lifetime to collecting medals of this critical period in world history, his small but important way of honoring the and remembering heroic, good deeds that stand out as a beacon of light in those dark, terrible times. Mr. Szperling's hobby soon became a lifetime work, amassing the largest private collection of Holocuast medals in the world, some 430 pieces from 14 nations. It goes without saying that Mr. Szperling is a world authority in this important field. The medals come from several nations, most notably Poland, Israel, and Russia. These medals fall into two main categories: events and persons. Events include the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (the subject of many medals, commemorative coins, and stamps), the libration of concentration and death camps, underground fighters (Jewish and Polish), and the founding of important museums, such as Yad Vashem and the Ghetto Fighters House. People honored include Anne Frank, Raoul Wallenberg, and Janusz Korczak (along with Oskar Schindler, Simon Wiesenthal, and Maximilan Kolbe). For each medal, there is a short description, as well as (when available) the numbers struck in each type of metal. Weight and diameter are given, along with translations into English. This volume presents a most interesting and educational overview of the Holocuast and how events and persons are memorialized. A good number of the medals presented are quite rare. However, for Mr. Szperling, the most precious medal is not one in struck in gold; it's a humble 2003 bronze medal from Israel. One side has "Remember...Never Forget." The other side, "Everybody Has a Name." Above that simple but profound statement (in which millions of people were interned in anonymous mass graves, as if they were not even human beings) is an etched inscription in memory to the parents he lost, Nechuma Prybulska and Michal Szperling.