Letter: Ring found on the ground in Dachau in 1945 (PHOTOS)

Unfortunately, I have a chronic illness, and I do a lot of research and networking online. A non-Jewish woman in one of my networking groups sent me the letter below, as she knows I am Jewish.

She has a unique ring that one of her relatives found upon liberating the DP camps. She has had this object since the age of 13 and wants it to be placed in a museum in an effort to educate people. The problem is, the museums want proof as to how it got to the DP camp.

We are trying to figure out the meaning of the inscriptions, and to whom this may have belonged to.

Here is what she wrote, as well as some pictures.


“Hi. I really that this is super out of the blue. I’m in an unusual situation. I thought perhaps, for cultural reasons, you might have some insight, or know someone who might.

I have a Holocaust era poison ring that was brought back by a distant relative who participated in the liberation of Dachau. This ring is the real deal. I had it tested by mass spec and NMR several years ago and they found degradation products of cyanide in the dome. Every once in a while, I catch a scent like almonds, which cyanide smells like. This ring was used, the dome was punctured, and likely used to end someone’s life.

This ring has writing on the dome that is definitely not Hebrew or Yiddish. The letters are not Hebrew, Roman or Cyrillic; they look to me like Arabic. I have never been able to find anyone who can tell me what it means.

I have had this ring since I was thirteen years old, and it was given to me by my aunt, who got it from her uncle, who found it on the ground in Dachau in 1945. It has been in the family a long time. However, I am not a Jew. I have felt for some time that it might better serve the Jewish community and remembrance of Holocaust atrocities if it were in a museum. The USHMM would not accept the ring unless I could give detailed provenance, specifically details on the person who owned the ring and brought it to the camp. I think it’s impossible to know that at this point. I have tried a couple other large Holocaust museums/memorials and gotten a similar response.

Anyway, I was wondering if you had idea what is written on the ring, or know a person or organization that might. If we knew that, I think I might be easier to donate it to a worthy recipient.

If you have no idea, and don’t know anyone who might, I totally get that. I just feel like I need to exhaust all avenues before I totally give up (after 23 years).

I am attaching close up photos of the ring. Please feel free to share them with anyone you like.”

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  1. That definitely is arabic. If u contact the Sephardic Heritage Museum in Lakewood, They have arabic translators on staff that would be more than happy to read it to u. I’m sure it would be good also to add to their collection . 732.363.0097
    Contrary to the history books , there were many Sephardim 5-10,000 that were killed in the holocaust r”l

  2. Gypsy came to mind when i first saw this, as it is well know that they were a large non-jewish group targeted by the Nazis yemachsemam. I googled about their alphabet and letters seem to be similar.

  3. It looks to me like ksav Ivri, although in mirror images (perhaps disguised as a signet ring?). Also the ring is being held sideways. I can make out a chaf, pay, samach and yud.

  4. It’s definitely Arabic script, though it could be Persian, as I don’t know the words. It’s handmade and primitive but zip can read it. It says “na lawt yabach nab na (or ya) Allah A”

  5. I just saw this and wanted to tell you I think its wonderful you wanted to put in a museum. You are a wonderful caring person like so many of us.I am not Jewish either. I hope you are remembered. To do the right thing is
    all we all need to do……always…..

  6. Why don’t you email Yad Vashem? They can identify it and likely will be happy to include it. Their website has a contact form at yadvashem.org. Good luck!

  7. The writing is a mirror image, meant to be used as a seal.

    It probably reads: Ta’an bin ‘abd Allah …

    (the middle line being most clearly “bin ‘abd”

  8. The writing is Arabic letters, it’s nothing more than just a basic name engraved backwards like a mirror seal, used to stamp the name. It reads “طعان بن عبد الله” “Ta’an Bin Abd Allah” like saying Moshe Friedman. Most likely someone from Saudi Arabia.

  9. Ok, I’m back and I’ve changed my mind.
    I believe it says “Connected to Abdullah”
    I don’t think it’s a Jewish ring at all , rather probably belonging to one of the gypsies killed in Dachau.
    It’s an Arabic Signet Caligraphy Ring


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