A hidden Auschwitz ring was found inside a mug that’s been harboring the secret for more than 70 years. Staff at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland were very surprised that the cup had a hidden compartment to hide the gold item.
The mug is among thousands of items German Nazis looted from Jews as they rounded them to force them into concentration and extermination camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Daily Mail reports. The museum’s collection of these items includes more than 12,000-enamelled kitchenware pieces, including cups, pots, bowls, kettles, jugs, many decorated with images of animals and children playing.
Recently, workers with the Memorial Collections noticed that one enamelled mug in their collection actually contained a double bottom. Inside, they found that the mug’s original owner had stashed away a hidden Auschwitz ring inside the space, perhaps in the futile hope they would one day wear the pieces again.
The discovery was made only recently as workers were moving the mug within their collection. The cup had deteriorated over time, and the second bottom had separated from the mug, Hanna Kubik of the Memorial Collections said in an announcement, Investment Underground reported.
“Under it, among others was a women’s ring made of gold and a necklace wrapped in a piece of canvas,” she said. The ring and the chain both appear to be plated with gold 583, a 14-karat gold commonly used on jewelry pieces produced in Poland between 1921 and 1931.
“For detailed confirmation of the contents of the findings, the object was subjected to specialist tests, among others X-ray pictures, and a test using the XRF method, which proved the presence of the metals: copper, gold and silver,” added Kubik.
Unfortunately, it will likely never be known who owned the mug or the jewelry inside. Most items such as this mug contain no markings to help identify who once owned them. Although it’s been more than 70 years since the liberation of the German Nazi concentration camps, objects hidden by victims of the Nazis are still occasionally found.
Piotr Cywinski, the director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, notes that the Nazis often lied to the Jews they were deporting for extermination, telling them they were being resettled somewhere new. Many of these victims would then carry small amounts of luggage that the Germans hoped would contain valuables they could steal, and that’s how the hidden Auschwitz ring was never found by the Nazi’s.
Cywinski says the fact that so many Jews chose to hide their valuables in everyday items shows that the victims knew it was likely they were going to be robbed. At the same time, “it shows that the Jewish families constantly had a ray of hope that these items (would) be required for their existence,” he said.
Yahoo News said the hidden Auschwitz ring discovered in the cup will now be displayed as is in the Collections of the Museum, just the way they had been hidden by the owner, “as a testimony to the fate of the Jews deported to the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp,” the museum said.