Jewels returned to Trieste Jews

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The Independent Online
MORE THAN 50 years after they were stolen by the Nazis during the Second World War, five sacks bulging with jewels, watches, coins, gold teeth and other personal belongings were finally returned yesterday to the Jews of Trieste.

A moving ceremony was held in Rome to mark the handover of the valuables - discovered gathering dust in vaults last year - to the Jewish community of the Italian city. The necklaces, rings, bracelets, cutlery, trays, family silver and some precious stones were stolen from Jews in and around Nazi-occupied Trieste between 1943 and 1945.

Many of the city's Jews perished in nearby Risiera di San Sabba, the only German Nazi death camp in Italy. It was from San Sabba that "these wretched objects were taken away, snatched from the necks, the wrists, of children, of the elderly," said Trieste's Chief Rabbi, Umberto Piperno.

The objects were found stashed in five crates in a vault in 1997.