Buried hoard of nearly 3,000 coins poses Holocaust puzzle for Hungarian museum

Started by gash, July 31, 2019, 09:38:39 am

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A vast and "unique" trove of antique and Roman-era coins, unearthed in what was one of Hungary's wartime Jewish ghettos, is proving a conundrum for historians.

Thrilled with the chance discovery of the 2,800 gold and silver coins spanning decades and continents, researchers are in the dark, however, about who collected and then hid them.

That the coins were buried under a house whose one-time owner, the likely collector, is presumed to have been murdered in the Holocaust deepens the mystery.

According to a Hungarian Jewish organization, the hoard also exposes how gaps remain in what is known about Hungary's Jews during World War II.

The current owners of the house in the town of Keszthely, 190 kilometers (120 miles) southwest of the capital, Budapest, stumbled across the coins during work on the cellar in February.

They were likely hidden by a Jewish owner who was later deported to a Nazi German death camp in 1944, said Balint Havasi, director of Keszthely's Balatoni Museum where the items are currently exhibited.

"It's a priceless collection that can also help us learn about the Holocaust," Havasi said.

In a letter to the museum, the building's current owners explained how they had been digging a hole in the cellar after pumping out groundwater when they came across the hoard.

"We slowly dug out five carefully sealed and buried glass jars," the letter reads.

"When we opened one of them, we were greeted by an amazing sight, just like in a fairy tale: hundreds of coins, real treasure," it continued. "We hope that it can return to its legal owners one day."

Read Full Article here  :  https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/07/21/world/buried-hoard-nearly-3000-coins-poses-holocaust-puzzle-hungarian-museum/#.XUFFK-hKi72
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