5. Hundreds Of Shoes
Hundreds of shoes, belts and uniforms that may formerly have belonged to camp prisoners were found scattered in the forest just outside the former Stutthof Nazi concentration camp in Poland. Stutthof was known as one of the sources of human bodies that the Nazis used for the production of soap. Out of the 110,000 prisoners detained in Stutthof, around 85,000 people died.
During the holocaust, the prisoners’ clothes and shoes that were still in good condition were given to the Germans. In this case, it is not clear why the shoes were left outside Stutthof.
4. Escape Tunnel
A 100-foot tunnel buried five to nine feet below the surface was located in a Nazi extermination site in Ponar, Lithuania. The site was used before the Nazis started using gas chambers. One researcher calls Ponar the “ground zero for the Holocaust”.
During the holocaust, around 100,000 Jews were killed at Ponar, Lithuania. In 1943, when the Soviets were about to take over the place, the Nazis decided to dig a pit where the bodies of the killed Jews were to be dumped and burned to destroy all evidence of the killings. The Nazis gathered 80 Jews from the nearby concentration camp to exhume and bury the bodies. These Jews were called the “Leichenkommand”, “corpse unit,” and “Burning Brigade”. The group decided to dig an escape tunnel because they knew that once they finished their task, they too will be killed and burned. Half of the group spent 76 days digging the tunnel by hand and though other available tools such as spoons. On the night of April 15, 1944, they made their escape. However, because of the noise, the Nazis were alerted; they were able to gun down some of the escaping Jews. Only 12 Jews managed to escape.
3. Gold Ring In A Double Bottom Mug
An Auschwitz Museum staff accidentally found a woman’s ring made of gold and a necklace wrapped in a piece of canvass under the double bottom of a mug. The mug is one of “12,000 cups, pots, bowls, kettles and jugs held by the museum; items looted by German forces from the luggage of people who arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau during World War Two.” Because of the passage of more than 70 years, no identifying marks can be seen on the mug and jewelry that may help trace the owner of the materials.
2. Auschwitz’ Tattoo Stamps
The holocaust had long been over but the memories of the Auschwitz survivors remain to be clear partly because of the numbers unwillingly imprinted on them. Auschwitz was the only concentration camp where individuals were tattooed with prisoner camp numbers. Prisoners were marked on the left side of their chests and left forearms upon their arrival at the camp. It served as a symbol of slavery and superiority.
The recently discovered set of metal tattoo stamps with embedded needles is composed of a two, two threes, and a six or nine. It was found in an evacuation route near Auschwitz.
According to Piotr Cywinski, director of the Auschwitz museum, the discovery of the tattoo stamps is one of the most important finds in years. He said, “The sight of a tattoo is getting rarer every day as former prisoners pass away, but these stamps still speak of the dramatic history that took place here.”
1. Anne Frank’s Pendant
The latest breakthrough discovery is the rare triangle-shaped pendant which bears with it the words “Frankfurt A.M.”, the date July 3, 1929, the Hebrew letter for the name of God, three Stars of David, and “Mazal Tov”, a Jewish phrase used to express congratulations. The pendant was found on the floorboards just a few steps away from the gas chamber located in the Nazi extermination camp in Sobibor, Poland. Leading experts believe that the owner of the pendant might be a girl named Karoline Cohn who was born on July 3, 1929. According to their research, Cohn was deported from Frankfurt to Minsk on November 11, 1941.
What makes the finding especially significant is the fact that the only known pendant similar to that purportedly owned by Karoline Cohn belonged to Anne Frank, the owner of the infamous diary. Aside from the pendant’s similarity in appearance, both Anne Frank and Karoline Cohn were born in Frankfurt on the year 1929. Researchers suggest possible familial connection between the two.