Children’s treasure discovered after decades

A box filled with metal toys, coins and other objects was dug out during a workshop for children in Żarów, South-western Poland, after being hidden underground in 1944 by a man who recently sent a letter concerning his deposit.

Various metal find from the box (by Żarowska Izba Historyczna & Bogdan Mucha)

The search for the deposit was organised after a man, who was born in 1934 in Żarów, sent a letter to the local authorities with a story describing how in 1944 he and his friends have hidden a box filled with metal toys, coins and other objects in a specific location. The description was so detailed that a historical-archaeological workshop for children was organised with the aim to conduct search for the box.

The box after unearthing (by Żarowska Izba Historyczna & Bogdan Mucha)

In his letter, Mr Georg Rathmann wrote that he, and his friend Paul Koppe have hidden their “treasure” consisting of lead figurines, coins, and ring handed by Paul’s sister. The searching party made two attempts at finding the box, but eventually a metal box was unearthed at the area pointed in the letter. However, inside the box more objects were found, than mentioned by Mr Rathmann.

Lid of the box (by Żarowska Izba Historyczna & Bogdan Mucha)

Young amateur archaeologists discovered a total of 17 objects inside the box. The metal container itself dates to first quarter of the 20th century and bears a visible sign saying: “Dr MED LAHMANN’S NÄHRSALZ-CACAO VON HEWEL & VEITHEN KÖLN A/ RHEIN”, indicating it originally contained medical nutrient salt and cocoa sold by a German company from Cologne.

German coins (by Żarowska Izba Historyczna & Bogdan Mucha)

There were 2 German coins worth 10 pfennig from 1942, 1 Polish coin worth 2 grosze from 1942, a round box containing the coins and a small copper ring, nine lead figures of mostly animals and soldiers, 3 copper ornaments in shape of a four-leaf clover and woman’s face.

Metal horse and cavalryman (by Żarowska Izba Historyczna & Bogdan Mucha)
Metal toys (by Żarowska Izba Historyczna & Bogdan Mucha)

(after Żarowska Izba Historyczna & Bogdan Mucha)

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