Tiny Wooden Charm Found in Auschwitz Attic Likely a Symbol of Resistance Against Nazis, Says Head of Memory Sites Foundation
A miniature charm belonging to an Auschwitz inmate was discovered this month in the attic of a concentration camp building, the UK’s Daily Mail reported on Thursday.
According to the report, the tiny carved wooden clog hanging from a chain was found during maintenance work at the Budy-Bor sub-camp — part of the preservation of the historical sites of the Nazi death camps in occupied Poland during World War II. The size of the shoe, 0.28 inches, and the fact that it was found attached to a chain, indicate it was worn as jewelry by one of the women deported to the camp, said Agnieszka Molenda, chairman of the Foundation of Memory Sites Near Auschwitz-Birkenau (FPMP).
Because prisoners were prohibited from wearing or making jewelry, Molenda said the object could have been a small symbol of resistance. She called it a “real piece of art from Auschwitz,” and said the trinket was most likely hidden between bricks in the wall of the attic where it was uncovered, the site of the massacre of 90 French-Jewish women, bludgeoned to death by Nazi prison guards, on Oct. 5, 1942.
Though the charm’s owner and origin are still unknown, Molenda suggested that it may have belonged to a victim of that massacre.
The FPMP, established in 2013 by private collectors, preserves artifacts from Auschwitz–Birkenau and its sub-camps. Together with the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, the FPMP has collected thousands of items kept in private homes since World War II.