'Hackney hoard' of gold returned to family

Rob Sharp,Arts Correspondent
Tuesday 19 April 2011 00:00
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A German-Jewish man's lost hoard of gold, which lay buried in a garden in east London for 70 years, has been returned to his family.

Martin Sulzbacher fled from Nazi persecution to London in 1938 and buried his worldly possessions in a garden in Hackney for safekeeping.

The hoard was lost when the home was bombed in the Blitz, but discovered by the current residents. Last October a coroner decided to give any claimants until yesterday to come forward. As nobody has, the hoard will now be returned to Mr Sulzbacher's descendants, including 81-year-old retired chartered accountant Max Sulzbacher. He said he would use the £80,000 collection of gold coins to pay for gravestones for his family members killed in London during the Blitz.

"The tombstones were poor quality during the war," said Mr Sulzbacher. "They have disintegrated and now we know how to pay for new ones."

One of the 80 American dollar coins will be donated to the Hackney Museum. They are on display at the British Museum until the end of the week.

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