The Wheels Of Justice Grind Slowly

…but they DO grind, and sometimes, you just have to stop the day and draw in a large lungful of life-giving air, when you read stories like this:

Bible looted on Kristallnacht returns to Vienna home

By The Associated Press

A 16th century Hebrew Bible looted by the Nazis from a library in Vienna during Kristallnacht, the start of the Nazi pogrom against Jews six decades ago was returned to city’s Jewish community on Monday.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials turned over the two-volume Bible to two Austrian emissaries during a repatriation ceremony at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan.

Published in Venice in 1516-17, the Bible once was part of the well-known medieval manuscripts collection of S. H. Halberstam, officials said. In 1908, it was donated to the Vienna Jewish community library.

In 1938, during the annexation of Austria, Nazi soldiers confiscated the Bible in a seizure of the Jewish community’s library, and the Bible later wound up in Berlin.

It was illegally imported into the United States in March, authorities said.

In June, New York auction house Kestenbaum & Co., which specializes in rare books, offered the Bible for sale, according to immigration officials and federal prosecutors. An investigation by immigration officials concluded that it belonged to the library.

The auctioneer had been unaware of its history and withdrew it from the sale.

The Bible includes an Aramaic summary and a series of commentaries by medieval rabbinic figures from the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th centuries.

It was given to Ariel Muzicant, president of Vienna’s Jewish community, and Ernst-Peter Brezovsky, Austrian consul-general.

It doesn’t mean money to us,” the New York Times quotes Muzicantas saying at the ceremony. “It’s about spiritual value.”

Although only a handful of the 80,000 volumes taken from Vienna have turned up, the work to locate them will continue, Ernst-Peter Brezovsky, an Austrian diplomat who also spoke at the ceremony, told the New York Times.

“All of these objects reflect the lives of the victims, their ideas, their passions, their interests,” Mr. Brezovsky said. “I think it?s so important to show that good supersedes evil.”