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Auschwitz’s message in a bottle

Last week, a construction crew renovating a cellar in Auschwitz discovered a bottle hidden in a concrete wall. Rolled up inside was a note, written in pencil on what appeared to be a scrap from a cement bag, dated Sept. 20, 1944.

“One, two, three, four, five, six โ€” there’s me at the end, the seventh,” Veissid, a retired clarinet player and mason, said by telephone as he read a copy of the note. He went on: “A12063, Veissid Albert, Lyon (French).”

The same number, his prisoner ID, is tattooed on his left forearm, freckled with age.

The note is brief, bearing the names, camp numbers and hometowns of the prisoners, six from Poland plus Veissid. “All of them are between the ages of 18 and 20,” the final sentence reads.

One or two others are believed to be still alive.

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