Pendant owned by Holocaust victim.
(photo credit: COURTESY YAD VASHEM)
A child Holocaust victim whose pendant was found at the Sobibor death camp last year will be remembered by stumbling stones that will be laid in front of her family’s last known address in Frankfurt, Germany, during a ceremony in November.
The unique pendant, which bore a close resemblance to one owned by author and Holocaust victim Anne Frank, sparked an international search for its owner and family.
Through the use of Yad Vashem’s online pan-European Deportation Database, “Transports to Extinction,” researchers found that the pendant belonged to a girl by the name of Karoline Cohn, born on July 3, 1929, who was deported from Frankfurt to Minsk on November 11, 1941.
The database is funded by the Claims Conference, which initiated and is sponsoring the event in November.
The discovery of the pendant led to genealogical research, tracing the surviving members of Karolina’s family, who in many cases knew nothing about her existence.
Twenty-six members of Karolina’s extended family will travel in from all around the world to meet in a first-ever reunion and participate in the stone laying.
Cohn’s pendant was discovered alongside other personal items, which archeologist believe were removed by Holocaust victims before they were sent to the gas chambers. The items were found at the location believed to be where victims were forced to undress and have their heads shaved before being sent to their death.
The items were discovered by Polish archeologist Wojciech Mazurek, Israel Antiquities Authority archeologist Yoram Haimi and their Dutch colleague, Ivar Schute.
The remains of the building dug up by the archeologists are located on the so-called “Road to Heaven,” the path along which Jewish victims were forced to walk to the gas chambers. The personal items found in the foundations of the building probably fell through the floorboards and remained buried in the ground until they were discovered last fall.
On Cohn’s pendant are engravings of the words “Mazal Tov” written in Hebrew on one side and on the other side the Hebrew letter “Hei” for Hashem as well three Stars of David.
Yad Vashem researchers explored a possible familial connection between Frank and Cohn, in light of the similarity between the pendants that belonged to the two girls, who were both born in Frankfurt.
Although the researchers have not found a familial link, they did uncover additional pendants of this kind that had belonged to other Jewish children.