In 1934 the Ordensburg Krossinsee building was being constructed. This building is in the town of Zlocieniec, in Poland which, during WWII, was known as Falkenburg and was German territory. The Ordensburg Krossinsee building was originally used as a training centre for Nazi officers and is still used by the Polish military today. On the 22nd April, 1934, as the foundations were being constructed a copper cylinder that had been filled with memorabilia from that year as well as prominent literature of the day was entombed within the concrete. Learn more with International Inside.
The existence of the time capsule was a well known fact but no-one could recover it due to its location. Whilst examining the concrete base of one of the towers the capsule was recovered by archaeologists who had to wade through ground water, avoid German mines and hammer through thick concrete to collect their prize.
According to RFM24, a historian at the Szczecin museum, Dr. Marcin Peterleitner, said about opening the capsule, “There are two ways. Either we do it mechanically or chemically. The idea is not to damage the contents.” The use of chemicals was discarded due to the potential to damage the contents of the capsule and the cylinder was opened by cutting off the end with a tiny circular saw.
When the tube was opened a treasure trove of photographs, coins, newspapers and books saw the light of day for the first time on over 80 years. There was a letter written to the future generation that recovered the capsule, two copies of Hitler’s Mein Kampf, photographs, local and national newspapers dated 20th to 23rd April 1934, an original Nazi badge and an envelope with coins in it. Also found in the capsule was a book commemorating the town’s 600th anniversary which occurred in 1933.
Dr. Peterleitner said, “Everything was perfectly preserved, it looks as if it had been deposited yesterday.” All the papers were in excellent condition and have been placed in the National Museum in Szczecin but they have not yet been inventoried.
(All photographs RMF24)