Cap stolen from Majdanek heading back to Poland

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — A prisoner’s cap from the Majdanek concentration camp — likely stolen decades ago from the museum there — was found in the United States.

The gray-and-blue-striped cap was scheduled to be transferred to the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage on Thursday and returned to the museum. Experts who checked the cap confirmed its authenticity.

In June, the Ministry of Culture received information that the cap was part of an online auction in the United States. The cap still bore part of a badge with the words “Majdanek” and “Museum.” The museum at Majdanek notified police and, with the help of the FBI, will now get it back.

Danuta Oleksiuk, deputy director of the Majdanek museum, believes the cap could have been a part of an exhibition shown in one of the barracks from 1962 to 1995.

“There was no such security as there is now,” Oleksiuk told the Polish Press Agency. “Exhibits were separated from visitors only with mesh wire.”

On Thursday, U.S. Ambassador to Poland Stephen Mull will pass the cap to a representative of the Polish culture ministry before it is returned to the Majdanek museum.