The Lost Ring from Erfurt, Germany Warmly Received at Beit Hatfutsot
A moving ceremony took place at Beit Hatfutsot last Wednesday, attended by the Premier of the State of Thuringia, Germany, Mr. Bodo Ramelow, and the Mayor of Erfurt, Mr. Andreas Basewein, along with the Chairperson of the Board of Beit Hatfutsot, Ms. Irina Nevzlin and the CEO, Mr. Dan Tadmor.
One of the most amazing artifacts in the Erfurt treasure, discovered in 1998, was a wedding ring, an identical copy of which will be on display to the general public at Beit Hatfutsot. The ring is decorated with a crescent and a star with six points, characteristic of Jewish wedding rings of the period, as was the unique combination of silver, gold and enamel. The original ring will eventually also be displayed at BH, when the new Core Exhibition opens in 2019.
Members of the Government of Thuringia including ministers, spokespeople, and leaders of the Jewish community are currently visiting Israel to commemorate 50 years since the establishment of relations between Israel and Germany.
“The story of the ring is symbolic to the story of the Jewish people,” said Irina Nevzlin, “a story embroidered with secrets and fascinating details shedding light of the lives of Jews in various eras and communities”.
In 1998, during an archeological dig in what had been the Jewish Quarter of Erfurt, Germany, a veritable treasure trove was discovered in one of the old houses. It included jewelry, coins and amazing silverware, gothic artifacts made from gold and silver, alongside articles of clothing, which had been buried there in the 14th century. Researchers concluded that this treasure had belonged to the Jewish moneylender Kalman von Viha, who had apparently buried it in 1342. A short time thereafter, the entire Jewish community was exterminated in riots following the outbreak of the bubonic plague in Germany. This treasure remained buried for hundreds of years.
The coordination with the Government of Thuringia was led by Enia Zeevi Kupfer, Director of Israel, Europe & South America Desks at Beit Hatfutsot. Beit Hatfutsot invited leaders of states in Germany to visit the Museum within the framework of the events held to commemorate 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany. Mr. Bodo Ramelow , the Head of the State of Thuringia then announced they will be presenting , the ring from the Erfurt treasure to Beit Hatfutsot.
The new Museum of Jewish Peoplehood will offer its visitors a fascinating journey of discovery into the unique, manifold and continuing story of the Jewish people. The Museum’s new Core Exhibition will include videos and interactive units, and will incorporate the most advanced technology. Alongside this authentic artifacts will be displayed. The gold ring from Erfurt, a copy of which you now see in the Museum’s lobby, will be one of the first of many original artifacts which the curators of Beit Hatfutsot are currently collecting and researching.
To learn more of the Erfurt Treasure please click here
To learn more of the new Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot please click here