The Heil Hitler violin.

This is a non-distinguished instrument, yet a puzzle.  We guess that it was owned by a Jewish musician or an amateur who needed a minor repair job done in 1936.  The "craftsman" opened the violin for no apparent reason and inscribed on it's upper deck: Heil Hitler, 1936, adding a big swastika. He later closed the violin and handed it back to the owner, who played on it for years, unaware of the inscription.

A few years ago the violin was bought by an American violin maker in Washington DC, who opened it and was absolutely astonished to discover it's insides.  The maker's first instinct was – to burn the instrument, but on a second thought he contacted the Weinsteins in Tel Aviv and donated it to the Violins of Hope project.  Today it is a part of our collection of instruments, but not to be repaired or played. Ever.

It is important to note that the majority of German violins makers were not Nazis.  Many were known to support Jewish musicians who were considered to be their very talented and devoted clients and friends.