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Hairbrush with a metal swastika

Object | Accession Number: 2004.705.9

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    Hairbrush with a metal swastika


    Brief Narrative
    Floreloid brand natural bristle hairbrush with a small metal swastika nailed to the wooden handle. This style was marketed as a military hair brush with a sterling silver decorative crest mounted on the handle. The product was popular in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. This brush may have belonged to Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Chief of the Security Police known as the Gestapo in Nazi Germany. He was the most senior member of the SS captured alive after the defeat of Germany in May 1945. He was directly involved with the implementation of the Final Solution and operation of the concentration camp system. Kaltenbrunner was found guilty of war crimes by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, sentenced to death, and hanged October 16, 1946. The brush was given to the West German ambassador to the United States, Heinz L. Krekeler, at some point after the war by Major Robert Matteson, the US counterintelligence officer who captured Kaltenbrunner on May 12, 1945.
    manufacture:  approximately 1903
    manufacture: United States
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Estate of Robert L. White
    top, etched : SOLID BACK
    top, etched : FLORELOID
    Original owner: Ernst Kaltenbrunner

    Physical Details

    Object Type
    Hairbrushes (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Rectangular, black painted wooden hairbrush with natural white bristles, now discolored, with darkened tips inserted into the unpainted side. The ends are rounded and the top and side edges are slightly concave. A dull, tarnished silver colored metal swastika with gold colored edges is fastened with 2 nails to the center of the handle. Product information is etched on the sides and the paint is worn along the edges.
    overall: Height: 6.125 inches (15.558 cm) | Width: 1.750 inches (4.445 cm) | Depth: 1.625 inches (4.128 cm)
    overall : wood, bristle, paint, metal

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The hairbrush was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 by the Estate of Robert L. White.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-09-05 15:25:33
    This page:

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