Mitsrekh. מיזרח is Yiddish for ‘east’ (noun). In German מיזרח is (der) ‘Osten’. In Hebrew מִזְרָח (‘miz’rach’) is ‘east’ (noun). Yiddish speakers and their descendants traditionally prayed in the direction of Jerusalem. For those living in the Habsburg Empire, they prayed in an easterly direction. In the synagogue, מיזרח also refers to the wall that faces east and where seats are reserved for the rabbi and other dignitaries. In their homes, depending where they said their prayers and where it was practical, an ornamental wall plaque, also called a מיזרח would be hung on the wall to direct their prayers towards the holy city. As they became more and more assimilated and their social circles expanded to people of other faiths, the מיזרח would have been put out of sight to visitors, perhaps in the bedroom. After the Nazi invasion, house searches became common place and a מיזרח along with a chanukiah became the most obvious objects to be confiscated. The mezuzah attached to the door posts were not so easy to remove. As many of those who could not leave or even chose to stay in Vienna, continued to believe that the Nazi occupation was only temporary; many decided to preempt the inevitable house searches by burying their מיזרח and their Judaica in the courtyard garden or in their own garden if they had one. If there was a hollow space beneath the floorboards a small box could be hidden there with perhaps a kippah and small kiddush cup. Even when they had to assemble in the Sophiensäle and were sent by open lorry to the Aspang Bahnhof or later the Nordbahnhof, they believed they would return and recover their treasured possessions. They didn’t know about the fate that awaited them. They would have made sketches and little maps and sewn these into inside pockets of jackets. As there were usually no survivors, these directions would have been lost. I believe portrait paintings of family members by now-famous artists were also buried. I wouldn’t be surprised if a Schiele gets unearthed during some excavation work. It would be worth millions, but it really should still be hanging in a great-granddaughter’s living room.