Auschwitz mug reveals secret possessions hidden for 70 years

The double-bottomed mug has finally given up its secret. Photo / Miroslaw Maciaszczyk, Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum
The double-bottomed mug has finally given up its secret. Photo / Miroslaw Maciaszczyk, Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum

Auschwitz museum staff have uncovered jewellery hidden for 70 years inside a mug with a double bottom.

The "very well hidden" possessions, a gold ring and a necklace, were found by curators carrying out maintenance work on items in the museum.

It was found in one of thousands of enamelled kitchenware looted by the Germans from people deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau during World War II.

The items were discovered after the mug's fake bottom deteriorated over time, with the items now set to be stored in the Collections of the Museum.

Hanna Kubik of the Memorial Collection said they found the ring and necklace wrapped in a piece of canvas.

"During the works to secure the enamelled kitchenware located at the main exhibition, it turned out that one of the mugs has a double bottom," he explained.

"It was very well hidden, however, due to the passage of time, the materials underwent gradual degradation, and the second bottom separated from the mug.

"The ring [and chain] have test properties for gold 583 placed on products produced in Poland in the years 1921-1931. It is the head of a knight with the number three on the right side."

More than 70 years since the liberation of the German Nazi concentration camp, there are still cases of accidental discovery of objects hidden by the victims.

"The Germans incessantly lied to the Jews deported for extermination," said the Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Dr Piotr Cywinski.

"They were told about resettlement, work and life in a different location. They allowed the victims take with them little luggage. In this way, the Germans were confident that in the luggage - including clothes and items needed for life - they would find the last valuables of the deported families."

The jewellery found in the mug will be stored in the form reflecting the manner in which it had been hidden by the owner, the museum added.

In March, an Auschwitz survivor becomes the world's oldest living man.

This archive footage shows the Nazi German concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The necklace is revealed. Photo / Miroslaw Maciaszczyk, Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum
The necklace is revealed. Photo / Miroslaw Maciaszczyk, Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum
The ring is believed to have been made in Poland between 1921 and 1931. Photo / Miroslaw Maciaszczyk, Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum
The ring is believed to have been made in Poland between 1921 and 1931. Photo / Miroslaw Maciaszczyk, Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum

- Daily Telegraph UK

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