Hidden Treasures Discovered In Auschwitz Museum After 70 Years

Bartosz Siedlik / Getty Images
Jews and others persecuted by Nazis during the Second World War faced looting of their most prized possessions. In the Auschwitz Museum memorializing the former Nazi concentration camp, a treasure hidden in the bottom of a confiscated mug has been discovered, 70 years later, NPR reports.

An enameled mug, one of more than 12,000 pieces of kitchenware stolen by the Nazis as they sent people to the Auschwitz concentration camp in occupied Poland, was found to have a false bottom hiding a gold necklace and ring. Tests revealed that the gold was likely made in Poland in the 1920s.

"Despite the passage of more than 70 years since the liberation of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp, there are still cases of accidental discovery of objects hidden by the victims," a statement from the Auschwitz Museum read.

While it is likely impossible to connect the found objects with their original owners, this discovery is a sobering reminder of the hope and optimistic spirits of the victims before they were sent to the concentration camps. While Jewish families were evidently aware the German Nazis would loot their valuables, they were mislead to believe they would be relocated and resettled after their deportation. But more than a million prisoners, most of them Jews, died at Auschwitz during the Holocaust.

According to an announcement from the museum, "The jewellery found in the mug will be stored in the Collections of the Museum in the form reflecting the manner in which it had been hidden by the owner, as a testimony to the fate of the Jews deported to the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp.”

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