By Hinda Mandell
Wed. Jan 23, 2008

Hidden Collection: Items of Jewlery found among the clothing of Auschwitz inmates and long hidden by a camp survivor are on display at a Massachusetts museum.

Watertown, Mass. – After sitting in the darkness of an attic for nearly 60 years, an unusual jewelry collection made its sparkling debut in a museum here last weekend.

The 13 pieces — including an elaborate gold-and-emerald bracelet and diamond-and-sapphire brooches — earned their place in the museum not because of their value, but because of the journey they have been through with their protector, Meyer Hack.

Hack was deported to Auschwitz at age 27, in 1941, and was assigned to work in the Bekleidungskammer, the area where the clothing of inmates was taken before the inmates went to the gas chambers. During his four years in the camp, Hack periodically found jewelry in the clothing of dead inmates. He squirreled it away and, after surviving the camps, hid the collection in his attic.