Monday, January 09, 2023

From Times of Israel:

About 400 items believed to have been hidden in the ground by their Jewish owners during World War II have been accidentally uncovered during home renovation work in a yard in Lodz in central Poland.

History experts say that the objects found in the city’s Polnocna Street include Hanukkah menorahs and items used in daily life, TVN24 reported.

Another Polish media outlet, o2.pl, said that perfume bottles and cigarette holders were also found in the trove, located some 70 centimeters underground.

The stash was found in December, and two of the menorahs were lit on December 22 during Hanukkah celebrations organized by the city’s Jewish community.

Some of the items were found wrapped in Polish, Yiddish, and German language newspapers, which were dated to around October 1939, Israel’s Ynet news site said.

Gazecie Wyborczej, an archaeologist in Lodz, said that the items appeared to have been buried in a hurry, likely when the owners were ordered to appear in the Lodz Ghetto. According to Wyborczej, the site of the building used to be a synagogue.

The items are mostly silver-plated tableware, menorahs and glass containers for cosmetics, according to the regional office for the preservation of historic objects. The office’s experts said on Facebook last week that the objects will be handed over to the city’s archaeology museum.
This is a heartbreaking story, especially when you look at the recovered objects themselves. They aren't for the most part made out of silver or gold but rather silver-plated; they were not objectively that valuable - but they were valuable to the owners. These were personal items that the Jews wanted to keep in their families.

YNet shows some of the objects:





























Here are some photos from the scene as the objects were being uncovered (there's also video on the same site):






The broken, dented and tarnished objects are more affecting than the cleaned-up, polished ones. 





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