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  • Zyklon B Container and Gas Mask

Zyklon B Container and Gas Mask

Empty Zyklon B Canister for 500 g with Degesch label.Degesch played a key role in the development and manufacturing of Zyklon B. Many German companies had stock in Degesch, but all eventually sold their shares to the chemical giant Degussa (now part of Evonik Industries) in the early 1920s.

Degesch's role at this point was limited to acquiring patents and intellectual property: it did not produce Zyklon B. The manufacture of Zyklon B was handled by Dessauer Werke für Zucker and Chemische Werke, which acquired the stabilizer from IG Farben, the warning agent from Schering AG and the prussic acid from Dessauer Schlempe and assembled them into the final product. Dessauer Schlempe extracted prussic acid from the waste products of the sugar beet refining process. Apart from Dessauer Werke, Zyklon B was also produced from 1935 by Kaliwerke AG in the Czech town of Kolín and in France.

Upon production, Zyklon B was sold by Degesch to Degussa. To cut costs, Degussa sold the marketing rights of Zyklon B to two intermediaries: the Heerdt and Linger GmbH (Heli) and Tesch & Stabenow (Tesch und Stabenow, Internationale Gesellschaft für Schädlingsbekämpfung m.b.H., or Testa) of Hamburg. Both suppliers split their territory along the Elbe river, with Heli handling the clients to the west and Testa those to the east.

Zyklon B is still in production in the Czech Republic in the factory Draslovka Kolín a.s. in the city of Kolín, under the tradename Uragan D2.

Zyklon B was used by Nazis to poison prisoners in the gas chambers in the extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, and concentration camps: Majdanek and Sachsenhausen.

In our collection we have also standard gas mask M30 type.

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