Bearing Witness: Stories Behind the Artifacts in the Yad Vashem Museum Collection

Gifts created by Ben Zion Averbuch in Rybnica prison, for his girlfriend Rosa David, who was imprisoned in the Vapniarka camp

Two pendants that Ben Zion Averbuch crafted in the Vapniarca camp for his girlfriend Rosa David. The pendants are engraved with her initials and her birthdayTwo pendants that Ben Zion Averbuch crafted in the Vapniarca camp for his girlfriend Rosa David. The pendants are engraved with her initials and her birthday   More photos

In 1942, twenty-one-year-old Ben Zion Averbuch was deported to the Vapniarka camp in Transnistria, together with his girlfriend Rosa David. From Vapniarka, Ben Zion was deported to Rybnica prison, together with fifty other prisoners accused of communist activity.

During his incarceration in Rybnica prison, Ben Zion prepared small gifts for Rosa's birthday. He managed to smuggle them out of the prison and into the Vapniarka camp, where Rosa was an inmate.

One of the gifts was a pendant made up of two diamond-shaped pieces of metal engraved with symbolic drawings and inscriptions: on one diamond shape, an image of a man holding a hammer and on the reverse, Rosa's birthday (25.9.1943), her initials and the name of the camp: Vapniarka; the second portrays a man running and placing a flag at the world’s summit, with the same reverse as the first.

The second gift was a hexagonal metal box engraved with a female skier and Rosa's initials (RD). Inside the box is a photo of Ben Zion Averbuch.

With the retreat of the German forces from Transnistria, Ben Zion and his friends were murdered by SS soldiers on the night between the 19th and 20th of March 1944.

Yad Vashem Artifacts Collection,
Gift of Rosa (David) Meier, Ashdod