Station: [359] The Bestsellers

Schocken Verlag began with the issue of Almanacs that presented a colourful mix from their authors and extracts from the publisher’s new publications. The first almanac sold out within a few months and had to be re-published. The success of this was the impulse behind the series Schocken Library; it not only secured it financially, but also showed that there was an interest for the subjects on offer. 

The Schocken Library was dedicated to various Jewish subjects such as prose, history and religion. The books also mirrored the spirit of Schockens’ Department Store: they were standardized and advantageous for both the production and technical side as well as in terms of price and turnover. As quality high-class mass-produced items they could be sold inexpensively.

Schocken Verlag released about 40 books a year, many in two languages: German and Hebrew. Even though Schocken spent no time in Germany from 1934 onwards, he kept the publishers out of the red with cash injections until 1938. Without his passionate love of books and financial generosity the publishing programme could never have come to fruition.