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Dr. Herlitz Saves Confidential Documents from the British
Dr. Alex Bein's joining of the archive triggered a series of initiatives. The first of these was the production of a bibliographic booklet. The idea was born from the financial distress that prevented the purchase of all the Zionist literature that was published in those days. The publishing of the booklet as a bibliographical bi-monthly magazine drove the publishers to move the books issued by them to the archive free of charge, in order for them to appear in the bulletin and so the library, an important component in the archive's work, continued to be updated.
During 1937, work had begun on the expansion of the Jewish Agency's Wing in the National Institutions Building. This was an opportunity for the archive to improve its location. In a letter Herlitz sent to the heads of the Jewish Agency, he recommended that "a suitable place on the first floor above ground should be made available to the archive." Since he sought to avoid the known bureaucratic response of "we have considered your request but unfortunately and so forth...", Dr. Herlitz proposed his own solution to begin with: A redistribution of the rooms of Keren Hayesod and the Jewish Agency. Dr. Herlitz particularly emphasized the difficulty in inviting people to the exhibit prepared by the archive on the basement floor and concluded: "I hope the honorable executive realizes this proposal of mine." However, the great distress had fallen on (partially) attentive ears. The basement floor of the new wing was placed entirely at the Central Zionist Archive's disposal.
The sense of relief and the relatively spacious location triggered another move: The transfer of the personal collections of the movement's leaders, which had previously, and without much choice, been entrusted in the Jewish National and University Library – to the Zionist Archive. These were the first "unofficial" archives that were attached to the archive. Thus, the official materials of the "Zionist Commission" (1918-1921) and of the Palestine Office (Palästinaamt) since its beginnings in Jaffa in 1908, which were purchased and sent to the archive at that time, was added to a long list of archives of personages, including Menachem Ussishkin, Yehoshua Hankin, Max Bodenheime, Alter Druyanow, the estate of Joseph Trumpeldor and others.
These purchases raised a question in an internal professional discussion: Should the purchase of materials precede registration or should it be the opposite – to dedicate the resources at the archive's disposal to register the existing material. Dr. Bein had prevailed in this argument. He continued the momentum and in 1939-1942 he made dozens of trips in the Land of Israel, knocking on the doors of personages and institutions, asking them to add their archives to the Zionist Archive. During this journey, he had to convince people and their next of kin to hand over their estates to the archive became clear. In his memoirs, Dr. Bein noted that when he noticed the dilemma faced by the objects of his requests, he quoted a saying attributed to Herzl: "I can promise you immortality." In the meantime, there was an increase in security incidences in the Land of Israel and in Jerusalem, and the archive prepared for any disaster. During the "Arab Revolt" in the Thirties, the archive had equipped itself with fireproof iron closets for the important materials. In 1940, the Zionist archive transferred copies of important books and printed materials to the Zionist Archive and Library in New York. In June 1946, the "Black Sabbath" surprised the archive and its Director, Dr. Herlitz, who was taken from his home on Sabbath morning, was forced to open the Archive's storerooms, as well

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