The Holocaust in the Palm of Your Hand
By Jett Rucker
It’s a gas valve—no doubt about that to anyone (apparently there are very few of us) who has ever put a wrench to a gas pipe. It would have controlled a flow of natural gas or other gaseous fuel to a burner in an oven or a furnace the way millions of such devices do every day in homes, offices and factories all over the world.
But wait! What’s this? Clearly stamped into the side of the casting? It can’t be. But yet … there it is, plain as day with all four of its crooked arms: a swastika! Could this be a Nazi gas valve? What could make it a Nazi gas valve? Could it have regulated the gas being fed to the furnace of one of the crematoria in which the Germans are said to have burnt up the bodies of millions of Jews they had just killed? Would that have inspired the supplier of the valve to stamp the symbol of the German National Socialist Workers’ Party into the side of the valve, neatly and squarely? Would the Nazis buying the valve, in how many millions of units, have specified that their fearsome rune be emblazoned on a mere fuel valve? If not, could the valve have had an even-more-evil purpose? It clearly regulates gas … Oh, no! The thought of poison gas valving through to the quivering lungs of millions of innocent, suffocating Jewish babies and their mothers is too much to bear.
But not too much to pay for. In South Florida on October 11, Jay Sugarman Auctioneers offered up the very valve, one side of which can be seen in the photograph above, for sale in their “Ultimate Evil Historical Auction” (www.jaysugarman.com/past-auctions [This image has since been removed; ed.]) along with other mementos of evil such as purported Ku Klux Klan robes, daggers, prison correspondence of serial killers and other fetishes contrived to stimulate the perfervid imaginations of people susceptible to that sort of thrill (and willing and able to pay for it).
But that valve! Aside from being a real gas valve, was it really stamped with a swastika die by its manufacturer? Yes, it was, as will be shown below. Were there others like it? Yes, there were, thousands and thousands of them, and a number of them can still be found in collectors’ (and auctioneers’) hands.