Construction workers in Lodz, Poland, discovered around 400 Jewish artifacts of great value while renovating an apartment building in December.
The workers were digging underground to insulate the building’s foundation when they found a wooden box containing the valuables. These precious items were most likely hidden by Jews to keep them from being confiscated by the Nazis.
The wooden box contained many items of Judaica, including Hanukkah menorahs, kiddush cups, etrog holders, candlesticks and items used in daily life, like perfume bottles, cigarette holders, plates and silverware. Some of the objects were found wrapped in newspapers, in various languages, dated as far back as October 1939.
“This is the most prominent Judaica discovery of its kind in recent years in the Lodz area,” said Daria Belszczyńska, spokesperson for the Provincial Heritage Protection Office in Lodz.
Two of the Hanukkah menorahs were lit for Hanukkah celebrations on Dec. 22, organized by the Jewish community of Lodz.
Only around 5,000-7,000 Jews from Lodz survived the Holocaust out of an original population about 230,000.
Adam Pustelnik, vice-mayor of Lodz, commented on the find on social media: “Just wow. A find like this comes along once in a decade. During construction at 23 Północna Street, we found 400 historic traces of old Lodz.”
The apartment building is located near the center of the city, just outside the area of the Jewish ghetto. Authorities believe there might have been a synagogue in the area.
The items are being cleaned and will be donated to the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography in the city.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.