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Presentation box for spoons recovered at Belzec killing center

Object | Accession Number: 1998.48.3

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    Presentation box for spoons recovered at Belzec killing center


    Brief Narrative
    Modern presentation box for two silver-colored metal spoons that were recovered on the site of Belzec killing center, and presented to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1998 by the Polish Government. 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. The Germans then ploughed and built a manor on the site, disguising the killing center as a farm. Approximately 450,000 Jews were killed from March to December 1942. 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.
    received:  1998 July 09
    received: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.; Washington (D.C.)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Polish Government

    Physical Details

    Physical Description
    Rectangular box covered in navy blue synthetic leather, which also conceals the hinge. The base interior is filled by an insert lined with a dark green velvet fabric and has two centered, spoon-shaped depressions, oriented in opposite directions. Within the depressions for each bowl and handle is a colorless, translucent residue. A narrow, white cardboard lip protrudes upwards from the interior on three sides. The top interior is lined with the same dark green velvet, and attached to the center is a rectangular, brass-colored plastic plaque with nine lines of etched Polish text. A narrow white ribbon diagonally connects the lid to the base on each interior side.
    overall: Height: 2.000 inches (5.08 cm) | Width: 11.750 inches (29.845 cm) | Depth: 7.750 inches (19.685 cm)
    overall : cardboard, synthetic leather, velvet, plastic, ribbon
    Interior lid, on plaque, engraved : ŁYŻKI ODNALEZIONE NA TERENIE / OBOZU ZAGŁADY ŻYDÓW W BEŁŻCU / DAR PREZESA / RADY MINISTRÓW / RZECZPOSPOLITEJ POLSKIEJ / JERZEGO BUZKA / DLA / UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST / MEMORIAL MUSEUM / WARSZAWA - WASZYNGTON 1998. [Spoons found in the area of the death camp for Jews in Belzec / Gift of the President / of the Council of Ministers / of the Republic of Poland / Jerzy Buzek / for / the United States Holocaust / Memorial Museum / Warsaw-Washington 1998.]

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
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    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The presentation box 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:

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