I have a couple of Talmudic volumes printed in Munich, Germany 1946. On the illustrated title page, shown below, it says (on top) “From servitude to redemption. From darkness to great light. Near the bottom it says “The work bungalows where we dwelt, studying and praying in secret”.
The reverse side of the title page tells us the touching story of how these books came to be printed:
After our spirits started to return to us, in the early days of the liberation, the “People of the Book” immediately felt the lack of books. The evil ones, who had destroyed and burned the Jews of Europe, took pains to not leave any Hebrew books. So that the Jew would be burned wrapped in a Torah scroll.
Anybody who was caught with a prayer book, phylacteries or any other book was in danger of death. Our enemies were cunning against us to not only destroy us but also to cause us great anguish as long as the spirit of life remained within us. They found that the taking of the book from the People of the Book is a deep wound in the soul of Israel which does not easily heal.
All Jewish books were taken for paper manufacture or for some other degrading use and, within the work camp of some two thousand Jews were found only a handful of pairs of phylacteries and prayer books which their owners hid at actual risk to their lives. Therefore, after the days of liberation, how great was the longing and thirst for books. Yeshivas were founded but there was nothing from which to learn. In the study houses there were no books for research or study or for public discourse. The books from overseas were not quick in arriving and, if a book would arrive, hundreds of hands would reach for it. This is what motivated us to start the process of printing a few tractates for private and public study. We said, “this is the time to act for the Lord”. With great effort and much work, we were able, with the help of God, to find a printing house which, by way of photo offset, was able to print books. We had only the tractates of Qiddushin and Nedarim in one volume and almost new. These above mentioned tractates we decided to photograph, to print, and to distribute them amongst the remnant survivors in the exile of Germany. We took care that the print quality is top notch.
A special blessing to our friend the accomplished and beloved scholar Rabbi Shalom Gershon Glatt, who toiled and assisted in the work of printing may he be blessed with all goodness.