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Rusted, crushed cup recovered from Chelmno killing center

Object | Accession Number: 1989.308.2

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    Rusted, crushed cup recovered from Chelmno killing center


    Brief Narrative
    Metal cup, likely recovered from a temporary pit furnace at Chelmno killing center in German-occupied Poland, during an archaeological excavation in 1986 and 1987. Killing operations at Chelmno commenced on December 8, 1941. Prisoners were taken to a camp at a manor house (Schlosslager) in the village to undress and relinquish their valuables. They were then loaded into a gas van where they were killed. The van was then driven 2.5 miles northwest of the village to a camp in the Rzuchowski forest (Waldlager), where the bodies were dumped into mass graves. The large number of corpses created a threat of disease and discovery by Allied forces, so the bodies were exhumed and burned in seven primitive pit furnaces. In the fall of 1942, the furnaces were replaced with two open-air crematoria consisting of concrete foundations topped by a grate of train rails. In March 1943, transports to Chelmno stopped, and the manor house and open-air crematoria in the forest were demolished. Deportations to Chelmno resumed from June to July 1944, to facilitate the liquidation of the Łódź ghetto. In this second phase, the entire killing process was carried out in the forest camp (Waldlager), necessitating the construction of new buildings. The Germans abandoned the camp on January 17, 1945, having killed over 172,000 people. The excavations of 1986-87, and later work have identified additional furnaces, crematoria, and mass graves at the site.
    use:  before 1942 September
    recovered:  1986-1987
    recovery: Chelmno (Concentration camp); Chełmno (Koło, Poland)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Muzeum Okręgowe w Koninie

    Physical Details

    Household Utensils
    Drinking vessels
    Object Type
    Drinking cups (lcsh)
    Drinking vessels.
    Physical Description
    Crushed, corroded metal cup with a round, flat base loop-shaped handle and a narrow folded rim. The original surface is entirely covered in a heavy orange-brown corrosion, with small patches of white corrosion. The cup has been crushed from the side, forming a triangular wedge-shape. On the wide end of the wedge, a flat strip of metal forms a curved handle, attaching near the rim and base. Embedded near the bottom of the handle, is a small, round, tan pebble. To the right of the pebble, a large crack runs from the rim to the base, where it splits and extends partially around the base in both directions.
    overall: Height: 3.125 inches (7.938 cm) | Width: 4.875 inches (12.383 cm) | Depth: 2.000 inches (5.08 cm)
    overall : metal

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The cup was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1989 by the Muzeum Okręgowe w Koninie.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-25 12:29:55
    This page:

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