Menorahs and tableware hidden from Nazis: Polish builders uncover Jewish WWII trove

AP 8 January 2023

Glass cosmetic containers, cigarette holders and hundreds of other items found under Lodz building; local Jewish community lit a restored menorah on Hanukkah

An item found under a Lodz apartment building, January 3, 2022.

WARSAW, Poland — About 400 items believed to have been hidden in the ground by their Jewish owners during World War II have been accidentally uncovered during home renovation work in a yard in Lodz in central Poland.

History experts say that the objects found in the city’s Polnocna Street include Hanukkah menorahs and items used in daily life, TVN24 reported.

Another Polish media outlet,, said that perfume bottles and cigarette holders were also found in the trove, located some 70 centimeters underground.

The stash was found in December, and two of the menorahs were lit on December 22 during Hanukkah celebrations organized by the city’s Jewish community.

Some of the items were found wrapped in Polish, Yiddish, and German language newspapers, which were dated to around October 1939, Israel’s Ynet news site said.

The items are mostly silver-plated tableware, menorahs and glass containers for cosmetics, according to the regional office for the preservation of historic objects.

A hanukkiah, or menorah, found under a Lodz apartment building, January 3, 2022

The office’s experts said on Facebook last week that the objects will be handed over to the city’s archaeology museum.

Unbelievable that it will be told
80 years have passed!!!!
The Polish construction workers at Polnoczna 23 in Lodz could not believe their eyes.
When they dug into the foundations of the building, they found an extraordinary historical treasure: hundreds of Jewish items, including sacred vessels, wrapped in newspapers and papers, which had been kept underground since World War II.
According to estimates, the city's Jews buried them in the hope of collecting them back.

“The discovery is remarkable, especially the quantity,” said Agnieszka Kowalewska-Wójcik, director of the Lodz Municipal Investments board. “These are extremely valuable historic items that testify to the history of the inhabitants of this building,” she told Polish media.

After restoration and cleaning, items found in the trove will be handed over to the Museum of Archeology and Ethnography in Lodz, where researchers will try to determine the identity of the items’ owner.

Silver cups found under a Lodz apartment building, January 3, 2022

The address at 23 Polnocna Street, where the objects were found, was just outside the perimeter of the Litzmannstadt Ghetto that the occupying Nazi Germans established in Lodz in February 1940 and which, until August 1944, held about 200,000 Jews from across Europe. Most inmates died there or in concentration camps.

The building is more than 100 years old.
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