Three pendants inscribed with the “Shema Yisrael” prayer and depictions of Moses and the Ten Commandments have been discovered in archaeological excavations in the Sobibor extermination camp over the past decade, the Israel Antiquities Authority revealed on Thursday.

The findings, made by Wojciech Mazurek from Poland, Yoram Haimi from the IAA and Ivar Schute from Holland, with the assistance of local residents, were made public on Thursday to coincide with International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The metal pendants, each of which differs from the others, are from Lviv in Ukraine, Poland and the Czech Republic, according to researchers.

“The personal and human aspect of the discovery of these pendants is chilling,” said IAA Director Eli Eskozido. “They represent a thread running between generations of Jews— actually a thick thread, thousands of years old, of prayer and faith. This moving discovery reminds us once again of the importance of settlement in our land and our obligation to reveal the past, to know it and to learn from it.”

One pendant was found in the archaeological excavations in the remains of the building where victims were undressed before being led to the gas chambers. A second was discovered in the area where victims were undressed in Camp II. The final piece was discovered next to a mass grave.

The team is looking to understand if the pendants were distributed in synagogues by local Jewish communities or possibly produced for individual orders, or if they were made and distributed in another way. Haimi has asked the public to contact him with any information at his email:


Jewish News Syndicate

With geographic, political and social divides growing wider, high-quality reporting and informed analysis are more important than ever to keep people connected.

Our ability to cover the most important issues in Israel and throughout the Jewish world—without the standard media bias—depends on the support of committed readers.

If you appreciate the value of our news service and recognize how JNS stands out among the competition, please click on the link and make a one-time or monthly contribution.

We appreciate your support.