Red Cross butter tin from Colditz Castle

Contributed by creole blend

Red Cross butter tin from Colditz Castle

This Canadian Creamery Butter tin comes from Colditz Castle in Germany. The tin was part of a Red Cross parcel, sent to Allied Officers imprisoned there during the Second World War. I acquired it at the castle museum in 1990, when they were raising funds to support their work.

Colditz was declared "escape-proof" by the German wartime command. They used it to house Allied officers who had escaped from other camps and were recaptured, or who were considered to be high escape risks.

The interesting part of the story for me is that, according to the museum curator, the tin is likely to have been used by would-be escapees when digging one of the two main tunnels out of the castle. Small sections of the castle's soft rock were first heated by candle-flame and then splashed with cold water to make it crack, and the debris was then scraped away.

Tins like this one were found when the tunnels were discovered by the prison guards. The tins and other detritus were left where they were, only to be discovered decades later when the tunnels were re-opened to see what was in them.

Comments are closed for this object

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline

Location

Most likely Canada

Culture
Period
Theme
Size
Colour
Material

View more objects from people in Beds Herts Bucks.

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.