(JTA) – Staffers at the Auschwitz museum found a gold ring hidden in a false bottom of one of the cups on display in the main exhibition.
During conservation work on one of the enamel mugs, a double, or false, bottom was discovered, the museum said in a statement this week.
Inside the false bottom, the staffers discovered a women’s gold ring and a gold chain. Both items were tested and the lab determined, based on the properties of the gold that they were likely made in Poland between 1921 and 1931.
“The hiding of valuable items – repeatedly mentioned in the accounts of survivors, and which was the reason for ripping and careful search of clothes and suitcases in the warehouse for looted items – proves on the one hand the awareness of the victims as to the robbery nature of the deportation, but on the other hand it shows that the Jewish families constantly had a ray of hope that these items will be required for their future existence,” Piotr Cywinski, director of Auschwitz Museum, said in the statement.
The jewelry found in the mug will be displayed in a form reflecting the manner in which it had been hidden by the owner, the museum said.
The Collections of the Memorial features more than 12,000 enameled kitchenware items, including cups, pots, bowls, kettles and jugs.