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Metal spoon recovered from Belzec killing center

Object | Accession Number: 1998.48.2

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    Metal spoon recovered from Belzec killing center

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    One of two silver-colored metal spoons recovered from the site of Belzec killing center, and presented to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in 1998 by the Polish Government. In 1995, the United States Holocaust Memorial Council and the Polish government arranged for American donors to contribute half the funds for the creation of a memorial on the site of the camp. Prior to construction, archaeologists conducted excavations at the site between 1997 and 1999. In 1941, construction of the killing center began on the site of a former labor camp in southeastern German-occupied Poland. Construction was completed in the winter of 1942 and operations commenced on March 17, 1942. The killing center, and two others, Sobibor and Treblinka II were built for Operation Reinhard, a code name for the plan to kill the two million Jews who resided in specific areas of German-occupied Poland. Prisoners arrived by train and were forced to hand over their possessions, which were sorted and transported back to Germany for redistribution. With the exception of the few selected for labor, incoming prisoners were gassed upon arrival. In October 1942, Jewish laborers were forced to exhume the mass graves and burn the bodies in the open-air on top of old railroad tracks. By June of 1943, the camp was dismantled. Approximately 450,000 Jews were killed from March to December 1942.
    Date
    recovered:  after 1997-before 1998
    received:  1998 July 09
    Geography
    recovery: Belzec (Concentration camp); Belzec (Poland)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Polish Government

    Physical Details

    Classification
    Household Utensils
    Category
    Flatware
    Genre/Form
    Spoons.
    Physical Description
    Silver-colored metal spoon with a large, oval-shaped bowl with a flat, narrow, metal stem connected to the wide end. The stem widens slightly and tapers again, forming small, rounded points, then tapers down and continues long and straight, until it reaches the handle, where it widens to form a pointed, beveled, tip. On the top of the spoon, there is a set of five raised lines on the stem and another set of five raised lines where the stem transitions into the handle. On the bottom side, there is a colorless residue on the bottom of the bowl and on the handle.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 8.500 inches (21.59 cm) | Width: 1.625 inches (4.128 cm) | Depth: 0.875 inches (2.223 cm)
    Materials
    overall : metal

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Bełżec (Poland)

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The spoon was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1998 by the government of the Polish Republic.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-23 08:57:40
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn45963

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