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'They can be here for remembrance': Silver stolen from victims of Holocaust now in London


It has been a long journey, but two silver items looted from a Jewish family that was killed in the Holocaust, are now in London, Ont.

“They belong to the Ackermann family, they were coerced into giving up objects that were rightfully theirs, and now they are going to be held in Museum London, in the city where they made their home,” said Eric Robinson, program director of the Jewish Community Centre.

Robinson said they recently learned that the pieces of silver were being held since 1940 by a Museum in Germany.

Dr. Matthias Weniger is the curator of the Bavarian National Museum in Munich, Germany and works toward restitution of Nazi silver that had been stored in their museums since the Holocaust.

“We wanted to return the pieces to the family if we can, and if there is no direct descendants, then what accords to the will of the family since it was a Jewish Community Foundation, and therefor we brought the objects here, and now they can be here for remembrance,” said Weniger.

The silver belonged to Mina and Adolf Ackermann, but the couple was forced to give them up to a pawn shop. The family would later be killed during the Holocaust, with only their son, Theodore, surviving and eventually settling in London, Ont. with his wife Ellen in 1974.

Two silver items looted from a Jewish family killed in the Holocaust, are now in London, Ont. (Reta Ismail/CTV News London)

“On Theadore’s tombstone, Ellen wrote, ‘survivor, scientist, chess master, musician’ and that essentially captures what Theo was all about,” recalled friend Gloria Gilbert, a volunteer with the London Jewish Community Foundation.

The couple, who did not have any children, left their estate to the London Jewish Community Foundation, and in turn the silver will be handed to Museum London to be held in public trust.

Museum London said this is an especially important gift, and they look forward to exhibiting the objects and sharing their stories with Londoners.

“Museum London has a vast collection of artifacts, we hold 45,000 objects related to the history of London, but out of the 45,000, so far, only two objects in the collection are related to the history of Jewish Londoners,” said Julie Bevan, executive director at Museum London.

The silver objects, a bowl and a small lamp, date back to the 17th century. It is believed the items were passed down from generation to generation until 1939.

Bevan said they will intergrade the artifacts into an exhibit at Museum London called “London, a History.” Top Stories

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