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Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History
Vilniaus Gaono Žydų Istorijos Muziejus

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EXHIBIT OF THE MONTH

 
Published: 2020-11-04

 Fragment of floor tile

Inventory No. VŽM 9090/2
Size: 14.5 x 11.2 cm, thickness - 1.4 cm.
End of the 19th century – beginning of the 20th century

 

The fragment of the floor tile was found in 2018 during the archaeological exploratory research (lead by Karolis Duderis) on the territory of the Vilnius Old Town and suburban archaeological site (u.k. 25504) located in the south/shouthwestern part of Upės St. in the section between G. Baravyko St. and the White Bridge. Along with the fragment of the tile, a fragment of a stone slab with inscriptions in Yiddish was found. According to archaeologist Duderis, the findings discovered on the archaeological research side could have originated from the nearby Šnipiškės synagogue, which was wrecked during World War II. According to the plan of Šnipiškės suburbs of 1933, the synagogue was located between the central department store and the former Hotel Lietuva. During the construction of the central department store, extensive land removal and relief transformation works were carried out in the area, during which the remains of the synagogue were probably pushed towards the bank of the River Neris.

 
The embossing on the inside of the floor tile is reminiscent of the Star of David. Tiles with such an embossing were also found during the archaeological excavations in the Treblinka concentration camp in Poland, which operated from 1942 to 1943. In both cases, the archaeologists' initial conclusion was that the emobossing is the Star of David.
 
In 1883, Jozef and Vladislav Lange and Jan Dziewulski established a ceramics factory and a brickyard in Opochno, Poland. The manufacturing mark of the factory to mark the tiles was a hexagonal star or a star with the letters D and L embossed on both sides.
 
Thus, the embossing on the fragment of the tile found during the aforementioned archaeological research is the manufacturing mark of the Dziewulski i Lange factory, and not the Star of David.
 
Prepared by Asta Vasiliauskaitė
Conservationist-researcher of the Inventory, Research and Conservation of Holdings Department
 
© Photos courtesy of Karolis Duderis
© From the holdings of the Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History
 
 
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