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Mauser P38 pistol found buried in the Kampinos Forest near Warsaw

Object | Accession Number: 1992.134.4

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    Mauser P38 pistol found buried in the Kampinos Forest near Warsaw

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    Brief Narrative
    Metal remains of a German Mauser P38 pistol found buried in the Kampinos Forest near Warsaw, Poland. The P38 was originally developed by Carl Walther in 1938, and in 1942 production was contracted out to two additional firms, Mauser and Spreewerk. Before shipment to the German army, firearms had to be inspected and stamped with a code (called a Waffenamt) unique to the inspector. The original stamp for P38 pistols produced by Mauser depicted an eagle over the numbers 135. The stamp was changed at the end of 1943 to include letters. Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939 and entered the city of Warsaw on September 29. From December 1939 to July 1941, the German army carried out mass executions near the village of Palmiry, in the Kampinos Forest to the northwest of the city. The forest also served as a base for the Polish Home Army, a Polish underground military movement that resisted the German occupation and provided aid to the Jewish resistance groups leading up to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in April 1943. The Home Army organized and fought their own Warsaw Uprising in August 1944. The “Grupa Kampinos” of the Home Army fought in 47 battles and skirmishes against the Germans until they were defeated on September 29, 1944. Soviet troops liberated the city of Warsaw on January 17, 1945.
    manufacture:  after 1941-before 1944
    found:  after 1960-before 1965
    found: Kampinos (Poland)
    manufacture: Oberndorf am Neckar (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Muzeum Wojska Polskiego
    left side, frame, inspector’s mark, stamped : eagle over 135
    Manufacturer: Mauser-Werke AG

    Physical Details

    Object Type
    Mauser pistols (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Heavy, gray metal frame of a Mauser P38 pistol. The pistol is partially intact, missing the grip, magazine, and the front portion of the slide on both sides. The hollow, rectangular handle is angled forward, perpendicular to the abutting oval trigger guard and curved trigger. At the bottom of the handle, on the left side, is a small, rectangular lanyard hook projecting outward at a 90-degree angle. Above the handle and trigger is a flat-sided horizontal frame, which has a stamped, partially worn away Heerswaffenamt (Army Ordinance Office) inspector's mark. On the top back end of the frame is a curved hammer, stuck in the downward position. On top of the frame, partially covering the barrel, is a slide with straight, flat sides and a ridged section on the back. On the left rear of the slide is the safety; a broken, oval-shaped thumb lever. Emerging from the slide is a barrel with a sight on the end. The barrel has multiple cracks with the sections peeling away from one another. The entire pistol is heavily corroded.
    overall: Height: 5.000 inches (12.7 cm) | Width: 8.625 inches (21.908 cm) | Depth: 1.250 inches (3.175 cm)
    overall : metal

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The pistol was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1992 by the Muzeum Wojska Polskiego.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-25 12:17:12
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