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Auschwitz victims’ personal belongings unearthed after decades

PR dla Zagranicy
Alicja Baczyńska 08.06.2016 15:21
Over 16,000 items belonging to the victims of the Nazi German Auschwitz death camp have been uncovered after 50 years.
Photo: PAP/Andrzej GrygielPhoto: PAP/Andrzej Grygiel

First discovered during archeological digs in 1967, the items were stored at the Polish Academy of Sciences. Forgotten by academics for decades, they were finally found by the Auschwitz Museum’s staff following a several-month-long search.

“It’s an unexpected, absolutely unique moment in the museum’s recent history,” said the head of the Auschwitz Museum, Piotr Cywiński, on Tuesday when the discovery was announced.

Photo: PAP/Andrzej Grygiel

The objects, including thermometers, medication bottles, watches and keys, belonged to Jewish prisoners who were carrying the items in their pockets as they were led to the gas chamber at the Auschwitz Birkenau camp.

“In the case of Jewish transports, people were forced to part with their luggage at an unloading ramp, and everything they carried on them ended up in the gas chamber with them,” Cywiński said.

“These items mostly belonged to Polish and Hungarian Jews.” The belongings were later discarded in a ditch beside the camp’s crematorium III.

Photo: PAP/Andrzej Grygiel

A touring exhibition showcasing the artifacts is to be put on display in several Polish cities, and will be made available for viewing at Warsaw’s Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

Over 1.1 million people were murdered in the Auschwitz death camp by German Nazis during World War II. The vast majority of the victims were of Jewish origin. (aba/pk)

Source: IAR

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