Burying the boxes

Secretly, in 1942, Bono Wiener and Abram Goldberg began collecting artefacts in the Lodz ghetto. They hid the material in their apartment attic. The items included official ghetto notices and orders, ration cards, work cards, an illegally-constructed radio, as well as a variety of other invaluable documents. Both Abram and Bono were politically active in the Bund (a Jewish socialist organisation) and collected the material as evidence of the conditions in the ghetto. The items testify to Rumkowski’s authoritarian rule of the ghetto, and give an insight into the hardships faced by ghetto inhabitants.

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Coupon for coal

Chaja Goldberg's bread ration card

Notice in ghetto, dated 7 Aug 1944, calling for Jews to report for deporation

Invitation for black coffee at the Department of Evidence

Metal ammunition box, similar to the ones buried by Bono and Abram

During the liquidation of the Lodz ghetto, between July and August 1944, Abram and Bono hid two metal boxes containing the artefacts. One was buried under a toilet, which they hoped would deter thieves, owing to the stench. The second box was buried in a garden under trees. After liberation, Abram, who heard that Bono had died in Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, returned to Lodz in May 1945. Although he retrieved the box hidden in the toilet, he failed to find the second box containing the radio and some of his diaries.