New York Man Returns Overdue Holocaust Book to Library — 42 Years Late

Shimon Pepper's $271 Fine Waived for 'While Six Million Died'

By JTA

Published October 15, 2013.
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A New York man returned a library book about the Holocaust to his home town library in Fall River, Mass. more than 40 years after he checked it out.

herald News photo

Shimon Pepper returned “While Six Million Died,” by Arthur Morse to the Fall River Public Library last week, the Herald News reported. Its due date was June 19, 1971.

Pepper had visited his home town to retrieve Torah scrolls and religious books from his boyhood synagogue, which no longer used the religious objects, in order to donate them to synagogues in Israel, New York and New Jersey.

“I saw it last night and said ‘This is the time,’” said Pepper, a Fall River native and 1968 graduate of B.M.C. Durfee High School, who returned to the city last week to rescue some sacred books from the former synagogue on Robeson Street.

At the 1971 rate of 2 cents a day, Pepper owed about $271 in fines, though the library allowed borrowers to pay $50 for a lost book. Pepper made a donation to the library, which could not track the book since it did not have bar codes in the 70s, according to the newspaper.


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