My husband woke me up this morning with an unusual question:
"Did you ever look at the marking on the bottom of our big serving platter?"
My husband isn't exactly the kind to get excited about porcelain makers. In fact, his main concern is usually the food on a plate rather than its brand name. So I was intrigued. He refused to tell me what the mark was until I went up to look at where it was drying on the counter top. (I'd used it to serve chicken on Shabbat, and it had sat in the fridge covered in plastic wrap since then. The plate is very large and heavy, but I manage to fit it into our microwave.)
I stumbled into the kitchen and saw this on the underside of the platter:
Didn't quite catch that? Maybe a closeup will help.
After a little bit of Googling, we learned that FI. U. V. stands for "Flieger Unterkunft Verwaltung"-- inventory of the German Luftwaffe (air force.)
I've been serving Shabbat chicken on a Nazi plate.
Now we are in a quandry. Do we A) continue to use this as a normal serving platter, B) save it as an interesting historical artifact, or C) try to sell it?
Option A doesn't feel right. For one thing, I can only imagine the reaction of my husband's Holocaust survivor grandparents if they noticed that I served fish to them on this Nazi platter. These are people who shudder at the sight of Volkswagons, let alone dishes marked with actual swastikas. Besides, I think I've lost my appetite.
Option B is kind of tempting. The platter was obviously brought to Israel by Holocaust refugees (and ultimately left in our cupboards by the previous tenants). In a way, it represents Jews rising out of the ashes of the Holocaust to live in freedom in our own nation. Take that, Nazi pilots! I served Shabbat dinner on your plate! On the other hand, it feels wrong to give any Nazi item a place remotely resembling honor in our home.
So then there's Option C, selling the plate. It's probably worth about 150-300 dollars (see similar, smaller plates here: http://www.redrumautographs.com/His2.html). But people who collect Nazi memorabilia creep me out... this guy, for example, seems way too enamored with Hitler and swastikas. The ideal option might be to donate the platter to an Israeli museum, but I'm not sure which one.
So, that's how I woke up this morning. What would you do? Have you encountered any Nazi items in Israel? Any suggestions?
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