This Week In History News, Jun. 6 – 12

Published June 11, 2021

Last remaining liberator of Auschwitz passes away, ancient Greek jar used for curses unearthed, and evidence of Stone Age dance parties uncovered.

The Last Surviving Liberator Of Auschwitz Has Just Passed Away At Age 98

David Dushman In His Uniform

Getty ImagesDavid Dushman initiated the liberation of Auschwitz almost single-handedly when he plowed through the camp’s barbed wire and electrified fence with his tank, allowing scores of soldiers to then storm in.

The Jewish World War II veteran who was the last remaining liberator of the Auschwitz concentration camp has just passed away at the age of 98. Red Army Major David Dushman almost single-handedly initiated the camp’s liberation on January 27, 1945 when he barreled through its electric perimeter fence in his tank, allowing his comrades to storm in.

As Dushman recalled, “Skeletons everywhere, they stumbled out of the barracks and lay among the dead. Terrible. We threw them all of our canned food and immediately drove on, to hunt fascists.”

Lean more about the heroic story of David Dushman here.

Archaeologists Have Discovered An Ancient Greek Jar Used To Curse 55 People In Athens

Greek Curse Jar From Above

Athenian Agora ExcavationsArchaeologists discovered the 2,300-year-old Greek curse jar during an excavation at the Athenian Agora.

In 2006, archaeologists in Athens made the stunning discovery of a 2,300-year-old jar holding the bones of a dismembered chicken. Most remarkable was that 55 names were inscribed on the exterior of the jar (or chytra).

Researchers have just decoded the message and believe these people were the targets of an ancient curse. Read more in this report.

Stone Age People Had Hours-Long Raves And Wore Elk-Tooth Ornaments To Make Entrancing Soundscapes

Stone Age Dancer With Elk Teeth

University of HelsinkiAn illustration of a Stone Age person dancing while wearing “tooth rattlers.”

The Yuzhniy Oleniy Ostrov site in Karelia, Russia is the largest Mesolithic cemetery in Northern Europe. Surprisingly, over half of the 177 graves discovered there yielded elaborate elk tooth ornaments.

Archaeologists have dated the ornaments to around 8,000 years ago. Many of them are more elaborate than others and contain over 300 individual teeth. Only a recent study by experts from the University of Helsinki and the Russian Academy of Sciences has convincingly posited a theory concerning their exact use.

It is now believed these were worn to produce entrancing noise at ritualistic dances. Dig deeper here.

All That's Interesting
All That's Interesting is a Brooklyn-based digital publisher that seeks out the stories to illuminate the past, present, and future.