Saturday 23 September 2017

Pendant with link to Anne Frank found in Nazi death camp excavation

Anne Frank. Photo: AP Photo/ Anne Frank House/ Frans Dupont, HO
Anne Frank. Photo: AP Photo/ Anne Frank House/ Frans Dupont, HO

Raf Sanchez Jerusalem

A pendant nearly identical to one worn by Anne Frank has been discovered by researchers excavating a Nazi death camp in Poland, raising the possibility that the young girl who wore it was related to the famous diarist.

The triangular pendant was found in the remains of the Sobibór camp and bears a striking resemblance to a necklace worn by Anne before her death in 1945.

The pendant. Photo: Yoram Haimi, Israel Antiquities Authority via AP
The pendant. Photo: Yoram Haimi, Israel Antiquities Authority via AP

Experts at Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust memorial, said the pendant probably belonged to Karoline Cohn, a young Jewish girl who is believed to have died in the camp. The triangular piece found has the words "Mazal Tov" written in Hebrew on one side along with Karoline's date of birth. The other side has the Hebrew letter "heh", an initial for God, as well as three Stars of David.

Both Anne and Karoline were born in 1929 in the German city of Frankfurt and the similarities between their pendants have led researchers to suggest they may have been related or at least knew each other.

While Anne's family fled to Holland when the Nazis rose to power, Karoline's family stayed in Frankfurt and were eventually deported to Minsk in Belarus.

The young girl may have died in the horrors of the Minsk ghetto but her pendant somehow reached the Sobibór camp. It appears to have fallen through floorboards on the path to the gas chambers and remained buried for 70 years.

Anne died at the Bergen-Belsen camp in 1945.

"This pendant demonstrates once again the importance of archaeological research of former Nazi death camp sites," said Yoram Haimi, an archaeologist from the Israel Antiquities Authority.

"The moving story of Karoline Cohn is symbolic of the shared fate of the Jews murdered in the camp." (© Daily Telegraph London)

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