LODZ, Poland (AP) — A recent discovery of objects that were most likely hidden by their Jewish owners during World War II is a rare and precious discovery, officials in central Poland said Wednesday.
Lodz city authorities were showing to The Associated Press and commenting about around 400 items, including silver-plated menorahs, hanukkiahs, tableware and daily use items, which were uncovered there last month during house and yard renovation works.
“Those residents who buried these items did so most likely thinking that they would one day return for them, that they would be able to retrieve them,” said Lodz deputy mayor, Adam Pustelnik.
“Most likely, these people lost their lives” in the Holocaust, Pustelnik said. “Such stories are truly rare and precious and also are a great lesson for us all.”
The items were packed in a wooden box, now partly disintegrating, and wrapped up in newspapers, said Krzysztof Hejmanowski, a building inspector with the Warbud construction company that came across the stashed trove.
Experts believe the package was hidden early on in the war.
The address at 23 Polnocna Street, where the objects were found, was just outside the perimeter of the Litzmannstadt Ghetto. The occupying Nazi Germans established the Jewish quarter in Lodz in February 1940, and until August 1944 and it held about 200,000 Jews from across Europe. Most of the inmates died there or in concentration camps.
The items will be handed over to the city’s Archaeology Museum.
A Municipal Investment Administration official, Małgorzata Loeffler, said the items and their history stir “emotion and deep thought about the fact that we are not alone, that we leave something behind.”
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