A 16th century two-volume Bomberg/Pratensis Rabbinic Bible is back in the hands of its rightful owners 71 years after it was stolen by the Nazis. Today, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York returned the Bible to Vienna's Jewish community, known as Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Wien (IKG).
The Rabbinic Bible, published between 1516 and1517, is a manuscript that includes an Aramaic summary and a series of commentaries by key medieval rabbinic figures including 11th century French scholar Rashi, late 12th/early 13th century Provencal scholar David Kimche, 13th century Spanish scholar Nachmanides and 14th century French scholar Gersonides.
The New York City auction house Kestenbaum & Company had offered for sale in its June 25, 2009, auction catalogue, an item described as a "Bible: Venice. Bomberg, 1516-1517." An ICE investigation determined that the ancient Bible described in the catalog was actually part of the library and property of IKG. The Bible was illegally imported into the United States on March 19, 2009. Once agents provided Kestenbaum proof of the Bible's provenance and prior ownership, the auction house immediately agreed to withdraw the Bible from auction and return it to its owners.