Brass Cylinder with Cyanide Capsule

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giselher
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Brass Cylinder with Cyanide Capsule

Post by giselher » 05 Nov 2009 18:25

Maybe something interesting: I have a brass cylinder with cyanide capsule (capsule has fallen apart but the remains are still inside). This particular one was handed to an SS officer by Reichsarzt-SS Ernst Robert Grawitz. I am attaching a picture of this cylinder for you to look at. There are no markings on the cylinder.

There are a couple of points I would be interested to know:

1. Does anybody know where and by whom these were produced?

2. Do you have more examples of these cylinders? Do they all look the same? How rare are they?

Somewhere on the internet I have seen pictures of similar cylinders, supposedly replicas from what was found when Göring committed suicide, with a lot of engravings on them: Tesch&Stabenow and SS-Runes or something like that. Looked like phantasy products/lousy fakes to me...Therefore it was exciting for me to find a real one...

Best Regards Tilman
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Mark in Cleveland, Tn.
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Re: Brass Cylinder with Cyanide Capsule

Post by Mark in Cleveland, Tn. » 06 Nov 2009 03:28

Ok.
THen put the remains in your mouth and see if genuine :D

giselher
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Re: Brass Cylinder with Cyanide Capsule

Post by giselher » 06 Nov 2009 10:19

Hi Mark, kind of a funny story: I got the capsule from an old lady, something like 92 years old now and when she gave it to me she was thinking that the capsule inside was still intact but last time she had looked was probably 30 years ago. So first she tried to open the cylinder and did not make it, then I started to try and she was asking "shall I go and ge a wrench?". I said "no, no" and finally I got it open. One could see some remains of glass and the black smear of the cyanide and then some black crumbs fell onto my hand. I quickly ran to wash my hands as I wasn't sure about the "effectiveness" of these crumbs. After that I carefully closed the thing and since then I have never opened it again. Tilman

CHRISCHA
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Re: Brass Cylinder with Cyanide Capsule

Post by CHRISCHA » 08 Nov 2009 18:49

Hello.

I can add nothing to help you as I know nothing about cyanide tubes.

I just wanted to comment on your experience.

Bloody hell!

Chris.

giselher
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Re: Brass Cylinder with Cyanide Capsule

Post by giselher » 09 Nov 2009 14:29

On saturday there was on German TV a very long documentary about the Nuremberg trials and they also covered Himmler's and Göring's suicide. In this connection they showed both times pictures of cyanide capsules and brass containers that looked different from mine. This made me search the internet again and I found photos of the brass container from the Lattimer collection that is claimed to be from the Göring cell in Nuremberg. I am attaching one photo from NY Times of the brass container and one from wehrmacht awards forum which shows a book page referring to the container and stating that it was made at Mauthausen concentration camp.

This is the type of container of which apparently lots of replicas were made.

My one is different as it does not have a screw-on cap but two tubes sliding into each other. Obviously they made different types of containers, maybe also at different places. In the rather recent German Grawitz-biography by Judith Hahn, she is quoting a document in which it says that Grawitz's secretary at the German Red Cross, Radke, was distributing 50 pieces cyanide capsules at the German Red Cross on April 21, one day before Grawitz's suicide. Seems he had some to spare in the end and they were not so rare... (Judith Hahn: Grawitz, Gebhard, Genzken, page 429)
Tilman
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giselher
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Re: Brass Cylinder with Cyanide Capsule

Post by giselher » 09 Nov 2009 17:34

here is one that was on offer at http://www.zillion.co.nz. Looks as if the seller was claiming it was original... Tilman
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giselher
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Re: Brass Cylinder with Cyanide Capsule

Post by giselher » 09 Nov 2009 17:43

And here are some photos of replica brass containers that are on offer from http://www.usmbooks.com. Pictures are used with kind permission of USM, Inc.

What I am wondering about are the engravings: Which historical/authentic examples had such engravings? Is there reference to such engravings in the literature or are there photos? Tilman
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giselher
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Re: Brass Cylinder with Cyanide Capsule

Post by giselher » 10 Nov 2009 11:41

I asked the Vienna archive of the Mauthausen Memorial if they knew anything about brass containers or cyanide vials having been produced in Mauthausen (compare erlier post, photograph of book page, Lattimer collection) and just received a reply: It is not known to them that these things were produced in Mauthausen. Is there a source for the connection with Mauthausen? Tilman

giselher
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Re: Brass Cylinder with Cyanide Capsule

Post by giselher » 27 Nov 2009 22:42

Does nobody have anything to add concerning the brass containers? I thought there must have been lots (or at least many) around and I was thinking that collectors must have found some...

With the photo of the supposed Göring vial and container there must be something wrong because first of all, there won't have been a second vial after he swallowed one and secondly this did not take place in 1945 but in 1946, therefore I would question this very much, but concerning Himmler, it can be found in the reports when the British searched him that they found one brass cylinder with vial and one empty one. Are there any photos of those?

I think I remember also that I read somewhere on the internet that people with metal detectors claimed to have found such brass containers alongside the road between Schwerin and Lübeck. Nonsense?

Who can add something?

giselher
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Re: Brass Cylinder with Cyanide Capsule

Post by giselher » 10 May 2010 08:52

Found new info concerning this topic: In the Peter-Ferdinand Koch book on Oswald Pohl the cyanide containers are mentioned on page 24 and 25 with some detail:

"In Pohl's concentration camp Sachsenhausen, a secret group produced thin glass vials with a length of 30mm and a diameter of 8mm. .... The vials were placed in brass containers with slide-on brass cap similar to a lip stick."

Koch does not clearly state his source of information in this case.

Some interesting info in here: first of all, the type of container described is the same as I have here in contrast to the screw-on caps of the "replica containers". Secondly the fact that the containers were produced in Sachsenhausen makes more sense to me than Mauthausen because of the proximity of Sachsenhausen to Berlin and because of the fact that a cyanide vial was tried out on a camp inmate at Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

What I am asking myself though is if the containers were really produced under the control of Pohl as the book is suggesting. In Oranienburg close to the Sachsenhausen camp there was the criminal technical lab of the RSHA under Dr. Widmann and I think this would have been a more likely institution to produce these cyanide containers.

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Johnnyrocket
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Re: Brass Cylinder with Cyanide Capsule

Post by Johnnyrocket » 11 May 2010 22:19

Does anyone know on the Forum where the original Göring capsile is? I hear it was for sale from the John Lattimer Collection sale recently, but it was not listed in the sale items. Then I heard it was being sold through the Hermann Historical site in Germany? I have no idea where it went to or who now has the capsile.

Johnny R. :milwink:

Maverick75
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Re: Brass Cylinder with Cyanide Capsule

Post by Maverick75 » 24 Feb 2024 01:16

It is believed that the guard or a guard helped Goring, as he was held in a cell below the courtroom. He didn't have many "personal items" allowed, and it's said (I believe) that he had some sort of lip balm/lotion that he would use. There is really no way for him to have hid that without it being found for over a year, that being said, he had to have somebody give him it after the guilty verdict.

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