Personal items found at Auschwitz


BERLIN (JTA) — The last possessions of doomed Hungarian Jews were found during conservation work at the Auschwitz memorial museum in Poland.

Museum spokesman Jaroslaw Mensfelt reported Monday that workers found hundreds of items, including eyeglasses, toys, jewelry, cosmetics, bottles, dishes and medicines with labels in Hungarian buried outside the camp’s Crematorium 3, where the remains of murdered Jews were burned. Some of the items are to be put on display.

Deportees often were told to bring personal items on the journey from their home cities as part of a ruse to make them think they were being resettled.

Museum director Igor Bartosik told reporters that the discovery "touches me to the core when I think that these are things that these people carried with them to their last moments of life."

According to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, there were approximately 825,000 Jews living in Hungary in 1941. About 63,000 died or were killed prior to the German occupation. Starting in mid-May, 1944, over a two-month period, nearly 440,000 Jews were deported from Hungary in more than 145 trains. Most of them were murdered in Auschwitz.

Recommended from JTA