The Auschwitz museum has recovered thousands of personal items belonging to Jews who died in the camp, decades after they were first found and swiftly forgotten.
In 1967, a major research project on the site of the “Auschwitz II” Birkenau camp uncovered a huge range of items belonging to victims. Elżbieta Cajzer, head of the Museum Collections said in a statement that the museum set out to track the objects down after realizing that the official register of excavated objects only listed 400 items when staff knew there had to be far more.
After making contact with the last living participants in the archaeological project, museum curators eventually tracked down 48 cardboard boxes stored in a building at the Polish Academy of Sciences.
They contained more than 16,000 personal items including thermometers, empty bottles of medicines, fragments of shoes, jewellery, cutlery, watches, brushes, tobacco pipes, lighters, fragments of kitchenware, buttons, pocket knives, keys, and many others.