An Israeli investigative reporter has discovered a large amount of personal and ceremonial artifacts which were looted from Jews during Kristallnacht in 1938.
The items have recently been unearthed by Yaron Svoray at a waste site the size of four soccer fields in Brandenburg, located north of Berlin.
Kristallnacht, also known as the "Night of Broken Glass" or the "Crystal Night pogroms," saw the destruction of more than 200 synagogues and the ransacking of tens of thousands of Jewish businesses and homes. During the Nazi pogrom 92 Jews were murdered and 25,000–30,000 were arrested and deported to concentration camps.
The waste site is located in close proximity to the former home of Hermann Goering, who commanded the German air force (Luftwaffe) during World War II.
Jewish shops vandalized during Kristallnacht (Photo: Getty Images)
According to Svoray, the son of the waste site's watchman had told him that remnants from Kristallnacht were dumped there, and after learning of the possible importance of the artifacts from the director of the Kibbutz Lochmei Ha’ Getaot Museum, Simcha Stein, he returned to Germany with a group of volunteers.
"Within an hour of digging with our bare hands we found a bottle embossed with a Star of David," Svoray told Ynet. "We were very excited, because the chances of a bottle surviving a war are so slim.
"Forty meters (approx. 130 feet) from where we unearthed the bottle I discovered a huge metallic swastika. That's when I knew we had a major story on our hands," the journalist said.
Additional artifacts found by Svoray's crew included mezuzahs and chiseled windowsills and armrests from destroyed synagogues. A swastika-shaped ornament was also discovered.
The search for additional artifacts at the site is ongoing under the constant watch of bodyguards, this after Svoray complained of threats made on his life.
Svoray refrained from making his findings public for fear that the site would attract people looking to get their hands on Nazi treasures.
"There are no real treasures here, but there is still a danger that the site will turn into a circus of auctions organized by skinheads," he said, "the site is drawing more and more interest; people are starting to dig."
Svoray stressed that an organized archeological dig will be required in order to unearth all of the Jewish artifacts at the site.
The journalist also reported of a plan to erect a hunting museum in Goering's honor at the site. He said that so far his repeated efforts to scuttle the plan have failed.