The Shem Olam Institute for Education, Documentation and Research on Faith and the Holocaust received an amulet this week with a dedication from a son to his mother, which survived the Holocaust.
"With love to Mom, from Avram. Lodz Ghetto. March, 1943," the son inscribed on the amulet, that was pieced together from two old coins.
Avram also inscribed a drawing of the ghetto, that includes the surrounding fence, the guard tower and the bridge that split the ghetto in two.
The letters LW, thought to be the initials of the mother's name, were also carved on the amulet.
The amulet was found in the ruins of the ghetto by a Polish man who was not aware of the historic value of his finding. After over 70 years, the amulet finally found its way to the institute this week through the finder's heirs.
The amulet was believed to have been put together in the ghetto in March 1943 and was given as a gift from a son to his mother so she could have a keepsake to remember him by – in case he was sent to an extermination camp.
The institution further believes that the rest of the family members, that included the father and several other brothers who were forced to perform slave labor, were sent to the death camp in 1942, before the engraving on the amulet was made.
Both the son and the mother, according to the institute's research, were sent to the death camp in 1944 and were killed in the same year – approximately a year after the amulet had been engraved with the dedication.
During World War II, Lodz was home to the second largest Jewish ghetto. Over 200,000 Jews are said to have passed through the ghetto, many later going to the notorious Auschwitz death camp. Only 10,000 are said to have survived. Saturday marked 70 years since the liquidation of the ghetto began.
"The exciting discovery tells of a love story between a son and his mother, said Rabbi Dr. Avraham Krieger, the Director of the Shem Olam Institute of Holocaust Studies. "More than anything, in the face of oppression and extermination, they wanted to remember each other from inside one of the most crowded and cruel ghettos in Poland.
"It seems that these amulets have surfaced as a reminder, particularly in such days in which the feelings of bereavement following the loss of those killed during Operation Protective Edge are still fresh, that we must maintain our special unity."