Friday March 23, 2018

An Auschwitz mug that held a secret treasure for 70 years

Between 1940 and 1945, about 1.5 million people, most of them Jews, were killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau in occupied Poland.

Secret jewelry, Image credits-

The staff at the Auschwitz museum have uncovered jewelry secretly hidden in an enamel mug since the liberation of the wartime Nazi death camp in 1945.

The mug, one of the thousands of kitchenware items seized by Nazi guards from those deported to the camp in southern Poland during World War II, was found to have an inside double bottom, under which a gold ring and necklace wrapped in a piece of canvas were hidden.

The objects, believed to have been made in Poland in between 1921 and 1931, were discovered during maintenance of the museum’s enameled kitchenware exhibits.

“When I picked up this mug, it turned out that there were hidden objects inside,” museum staffer Hanna Kubik said.

Recovered mug, Image credits -
Recovered mug, Image credits –

“With time, the fake bottom had detached from the cup, so it was clearly visible that inside there was a bundle and you could see a fragment of the chain and a ring”.

Between 1940 and 1945, about 1.5 million people, most of them Jews, were killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau in occupied Poland.

Those sent there had belongings taken away upon arrival, many of which are on display today.

Many hid valuables inside, items the museum says are still being discovered years later. However, their owners often remain anonymous because of the lack of traces on the objects to identify them.

The museum, which says it has more than 12,000-enamelled kitchen items — like cups, pots, bowls, kettles, jugs — in its memorials collection, said the jewelry would now be stored in “in the form reflecting the manner in which it had been hidden by the owner.”(REUTERS)

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Israeli Shepherdess Uses Modern Sheep Breed to Revive Ancient Shofar Sound

Shepherdess Jenna Lewinsky holds a lamb from the Jacob sheep breed, in Ramot Naftali, Israel, Feb. 21, 2018. VOA

The piercing note of a shofar – a ram’s horn used in Jewish religious ceremonies – cuts through the mountain air of the Galilee.

Here in northern Israel, shepherdess Jenna Lewinsky is raising a flock of Jacob Sheep, pictured here, as a religious calling.

With anything up to six horns on each animal, the breed is ideally suited for the manufacture of the horn traditionally blown during the Jewish New Year and the Day of Atonement, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.

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Jacob sheep stand in their barn in Ramot Naftali, Israel, Feb. 21, 2018. VOA

The spotted breed of Jacob Sheep was bred in England in the 17th and 18th centuries, and this flock was brought to Israel from Canada by Lewinsky in 2016.

But sheep have been recorded since antiquity across the Middle East, and the modern breed’s name echoes the ancient Biblical story from Genesis in which the patriarch Jacob took “every speckled and spotted sheep” as wages from his father-in-law, Laban.

Turning her flock’s horns into shofars is part of God’s plan, says Lewinsky, who calls herself a “traditional and God-fearing Jew.”

“The Jacob Sheep horns can probably be processed anywhere in the world but what makes the horns special is that we are processing them in Israel, which gives them a holiness,” she said.

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A print of an orthodox Jewish man sounding the Shofar, a ram’s horn, is seen on the shirt of Shofar maker Robert Weinger, in his workshop in Rishon Lezion, Israel, Feb. 27, 2018. VOA

Robert Weinger, a shofar-maker who works with the horns from Lewinsky’s farm, said that a ram’s horn made from the breed can sell for $500 to $20,000 or more, depending on its sound quality, as it produces a wider range of musical notes than other shofars. (VOA)

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