A drum made out of an ancient Sefer Torah and used by the Hitler Youth marching band was discovered recently in Poland and has been purchased by the From the Depths association, which aims to preserve the memory of the Holocaust.
Two weeks ago, one of the association’s volunteers from the city of Lodz, Poland, received information about an estate sale at the apartment of an elderly member of the Nazi party who had no heirs. The association’s representative was sent to the auction to purchase the unique drum, which was paid for in part by the Levkovich family in memory of relatives who perished in the Holocaust.
The drum was delivered to From the Depths chairman Johnny Daniels, who was dumbfounded by the rare finding.
“Once I saw the drum, I broke into tears,” Daniels said. “They probably thought the letters serve as nice ornaments. Over the years there have been reports by Jews regarding Nazi desecration of Jewish religious books and Jewish ceremonial art. We managed to locate the drum, which was made of leather bands taken from a Torah scroll. … We investigated and discovered the drum had been used by the Hitler Youth marching band in parades to boost Nazi propaganda. We do not often purchase items dating back to the Holocaust period, but because of the drum’s significance, we decided to buy it in order to convey a message and a lesson to the younger generation across the globe about the way the Nazis attempted to harm Jews in every possible way.”
Daniels has been planning to embark on a lecture tour in Poland and other countries across Europe and the U.S. After receiveing special permission from rabbis, he will travel with the drum to present it to his young audience.
“We will use this drum as a pedagogical tool and allow people to physically touch a piece of history. We believe that through the personal stories, the Holocaust can be taught in a powerful and unique way. I feel this is our personal victory to have been able to bring this drum to Israel,” he said.