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Dutch mayor returns Holocaust survivors’ jewel box

THE HAGUE (JTA) — The mayor of Amersfoort in the Netherlands returned a box of jewels to a Jewish man 70 years after his parents hid the box in their pharmacy.

According to De Telegraaf, a Dutch daily, the parents of 73-year-old Bert Manasse hid the box in the cellar of the building and fled to Soest, a nearby town.

Nazi troops took over the pharmacy. The Manasses, who survived the war, searched for the jewels – including a chain, a wedding ring and a wristwatch — after liberation, but found noting. 

The box, made out of glass, was found earlier this year during archaeological digs at the building. City employees used the city’s archives to confirm that the box in all likelihood belonged to the Manasses and informed Bert Manasse of the find. 

A spokesperson for the city told De Telegraaf that archaeological finds are usually claimed by the city, but “in this case, it was so clear that the owners can be reached that an exception was made.”

The jewels are not worth much money, M. Manasse-Lezer, Bert Manasse’s wife, told the daily Trouw.

Still, the objects are of great emotional value to the couple, she said. “It’s not nothing, to find your father’s wedding ring after all those years.”

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