• Diamonds hidden during Holocaust stolen from Bothell family

    By: Amy Clancy


    Audrey Franke of Bothell no longer has any heirlooms to remind her of loved ones. 
    Her Dutch Jewish family's belongings were lost when all family members were sent from their home in Amsterdam, The Netherlands to concentration camps during World War II.
    However, a single band of diamonds was sewn into clothing, given to a Christian family for safekeeping, and successfully hidden from the Nazis. 

    © 2019 Cox Media Group.

    Franke's mother, Flory Wagenaar, was the only member of her family who survived the war.
    She wore the band of diamonds until the day she died.
    “My mother never talked about the war, even to my father,” Franke said from her home in Bothell on Thursday.
    Franke's father, Philip Wagenaar, also hid a single diamond solitaire, sewn into clothing, when he was imprisoned in multiple concentration camps. 

    © 2019 Cox Media Group.

    Flory Wagenaar wore that ring, too, until she passed away four years ago at the age of 88.
    Their daughter had the two rings combined into one and planned to give that ring to her daughter until it was stolen during a home burglary last December.

    Investigators with the Bothell Police Department believe the thieves entered the Franke home through a second-floor window, then went straight to the master bedroom where they stole nearly two dozen items, all made with precious jewels. 

    In the six months since the burglary, Franke has been spending time online, looking for all the items stolen in the burglary.

    The Bothell stolen ring was the holocaust survivors’ only heirloom.
    The Bothell stolen ring was the holocaust survivors’ only heirloom.
    © 2019 Cox Media Group.

    But mostly for that ring.
    “They were pieces I really like, the bracelet from my husband for my 60th birthday was very special,” Franke said. “But the ring is really the one thing that can never, ever be replaced. Unless I get it back, which would be the most wonderful thing. Not only for me, but for my daughter and generations to come.”

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