"If you were going to start a new life, and could only take a small bag, you'd fill it with your most precious possessions."
The Nazis knew what they were doing. When the luggage of Jews, who were send to Auschwitz, was seized the Nazis looted the valuables that it contained. Some of the valuables, however, were hidden within the objects found in the luggage and remained undiscovered for more than seven decades. At the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, an enamel mug was recently found to have a false bottom that held a gold necklace and a gold ring. Its original owner is unknown.
If you visit this link at NPR, you'll see the jewelry and discover how a round of routine museum work revealed them.
Photo courtesy Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum www.auschwitz.org/.
If you're a reader of fiction, then Love and Treasure, a story of WW II stolen goods, by Ayelet Waldman [F WAL, LP WAL] may interest you.
In 1945 on the outskirts of Salzburg, victorious American soldiers capture a train filled with unspeakable riches: piles of fine gold watches; mountains of fur coats; crates filled with wedding rings, silver picture frames, family heirlooms, and Shabbat candlesticks passed down through generations. Jack Wiseman, a tough, smart New York Jew, is the lieutenant charged with guarding this treasure--a responsibility that grows more complicated when he meets Ilona, a fierce, beautiful Hungarian who has lost everything in the ravages of the Holocaust. Seventy years later, amid the shadowy world of art dealers who profit off the sins of previous generations, Jack gives a necklace to his granddaughter, Natalie Stein, and charges her with searching for an unknown woman--a woman whose portrait and fate come to haunt Natalie, a woman whose secret may help Natalie to understand the guilt her grandfather will take to his grave and to find a way out of the mess she has made of her own life. Publisher's description.