Holocaust victims' belongings uncovered after 50 years in Poland

Warsaw:More than 16,000 personal items belonging to Jews who were held in the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz were uncovered in Poland's capital Warsaw, after 50 years since they were excavated. The long-lost objects, including jewellery, thermometres, empty medicine bottles, watches, buttons and keys, were presented on Wednesday at a press conference at the Auschwitz Museum in Oswiecim, Poland, Xinhua news agency reported. The huge range of items were first discovered in 1967 by archeologists searching an area where a gas chamber and crematorium had stood at the former Second World War death camp set up by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland. They were then stowed in 48 cardboard boxes to the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, where they remained forgotten for about 50 years. Auschwitz Museum Director Piotr Cywinski said in a report that in most cases, these are the last personal belongings of the Jews. Cywinski said the objects were a remarkable testimony to the history of the camp and the extermination conducted by Nazi Germany, and a moving personal testimony of the victims. Currently, the museum staff will begin the complicated task of cataloguing and trying to figure out the owners of these possessions. The Auschwitz concentration camp, built in 1940, was first constructed to hold Polish political prisoners and later became a major Nazi death camp. The official figure adopted by the museum shows that at least 1.1 million people died in Auschwitz, around 90 per cent of them Jews.