Lonely Planet Writer

Museum staff in Auschwitz discover jewellery hidden in a mug for 70 years

Museum staff at  Auschwitz have discovered jewellery hidden inside a mug with a double bottom.

The ring and necklace, wrapped in a piece of canvas,  were concealed in the enamelled cup that was looted from people who were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

An x-ray of the mug showing the hidden jewellery.
An x-ray of the mug showing the hidden jewellery. Image by Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum

The curators discovered the gold items after the mug’s fake bottom deteriorated due to the passage of time.

It is believed that the pieces originate from Poland in the period 1920-1930.

The ring is said to have been made between 1920-1930.
The ring is said to have been made between 1920-1930. Image by Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum

Jewish people who were deported to the concentration camps, were encouraged to pack possessions believing they were being relocated to other areas.  These items were then confiscated by Nazi guards on arrival at the train station in Auschwitz.

Speaking to the press Paweł Sawicki, spokesman for the Auschwitz-Birkenau state museum  said: “We can see the fear of the person because they hid the jewellery. But in a way we also see the hope that the person had.”

The pieces will now be preserved and put on display at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.