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January 13, 2023 2:52 pm
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Hundreds of Personal Items Owned by Jews During World War II Found in Polish Home

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avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

The Jewish cemetery in Lodz, Poland on May 11, 2017. Photo: Isaac Harari/FLASH90.

Around 400 items that were believed to have been hidden by their Jewish owners during World War II were recently discovered during a house and yard renovation in Lodz, Poland, the Associated Press reported this week.

“Those residents who buried these items did so most likely thinking that they would one day return for them, that they would be able to retrieve them,” Lodz Deputy Mayor Adam Pustelnik said. “Most likely, these people lost their lives [in the Holocaust]. Such stories are truly rare and precious and also are a great lesson for us all.”

The objects found in December — including menorahs, tableware, glass containers for cosmetics and other daily use items — were hidden in a wooden box and wrapped in newspapers, said Warbud construction company building inspector Krzysztof Hejmanowski, whose team discovered the items. Two of the uncovered menorahs were lit on Dec. 22 during Hanukkah in a celebration organized by the city’s Jewish community, the AP noted.

The trove of items were found just outside what was once the Litzmannstadt Ghetto, which was established by the Nazis in February 1940. Until its liquidation in the summer of 1944, the ghetto held nearly 200,000 Jews, most of whom died in the ghetto or were deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, according to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

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Małgorzata Loeffler, a Municipal Investment Administration official, said the discovered items and their past evoke “emotion and deep thought about the fact that we are not alone, that we leave something behind.”

The recovered objects will be given to Lodz’s Museum of Archeology and Ethnography, according to officials.

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