Station: [352] Salman Schocken a Multi-talented Man

Salman Schocken was a passionate collector and was especially fond of books. He let himself be guided by his intellectual bibliophilic and antiquarian interests. As a result of his professional success Schocken was able to acquire valuable books and even some rare manuscripts, he was especially fond of Goethe, whose works he also published.  

Schocken used Goethe as adviser in both the great questions of life and everyday issues. Through Goethe he developed the ability to masterfully organise his life to a very high degree, to enjoy the nice things and to draw creative energy from them. He took his sons to Goethe’s house in Weimar several times.

His extensive Goethe collection was one of his most complete collections and he owned a variety of first editions and collected works, modern editions, manuscripts and the relevant specialist literature. These were also the most important categories that determined Salman Schocken’s collecting. He proceeded systematically according to author and was intent on attaining the complete works.

Schocken’s books soon filled a whole library. To begin with he predominantly collected books about political economics and law. Later came an increasing number of German classics and Hebrew and Jewish writings, plus works about German art such as paintings, statues and sculptures. Salman acquired these as he did with valuable books and manuscripts at auctions. He got people to „keep an eye out for,“ and buy collectors’ items for him all over the world. In his later years Schocken also collected antique coins.