I just think that if today we were to find one of these lab coats with a whopping big skull on it we would dismiss it as "totally bogus man!!!"
Another salient lesson in keeping an open mind in the TR collecting field .....
( my tuppence ha'penneys worth anyway )
Cheers all, Dan
" When you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle "
Currently working on several KZ related projects, including items for the USHMM, Groß-Rosen Museum and various private concerns and studies. Available as a guide to KZ sites, contact for details.
"maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wíyópeya oki hi sni"
Regardless...I'd give a pretty dollar for one of those 1938 German lab coats....
"Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."
I saw a SS Lab coat in a collection in the late 80s in the US, it had the Runis on it, not a skull.
mein first chemistry set
Very interesting and very strange.
Almost certainly no SS connection there; the skulls don't resemble the official SS style (and by 1938, things had been pretty thoroughly standardized when it came to such regalia). Also, photographic evidence shows that SS medical/scientific personnel sometimes wore the large circular runic patch (as used on sports clothing) on their lab coats, or simply completely plain coats. It doesn't strike me as particularly likely that some unit comander/facility director would have unoffical "death's head" patches made.
Stefan's theory about them being personnel working with hazardous material might be a possible explanation, but to be honest, I don't think that's the answer. Hazard warning signs are used for very specific purposes and under very regulated conditions. They will be only found on containers, rooms, areas, etc. where the respective hazard is present; otherwise, they would be meaningless. Applying them to lab coats doesn't really make sense; after all, the coats or the people wearing them aren't toxic.
Be that as it may; we have actually seen this type of patch before. Have a look here:
SS patch for sport shirt with skull, I have never seen
(My theory back then was that this was a variant of the Totenkopfschwimmerabzeichen [Death's Head Swimmer Badge], but that would be just as odd if being worn as a lab coat patch...
I would agree and there is a vague and blurred visual suggestion of blacked out teeth in the skull mouth on the coat of the lab techinition in the backround of the OP photo such as indicated in the sports swimmer patch thread you linked to...a curious photo then.
I am still inclined to the theory that the skull patches on the lab coats are to warn anyone walking into the room or up to the lab bench that these technicians are working with poisons. There are no visible "danger pioson" signs on any of the packaging on the shelves in the photo or on the vessels the technicians are handling so a large skull "warning" patch on their jackets as a warning symbol would make sense IMO.
The fact that the technicians are not wearing gloves etc might mean they are simply in a non hazardous part of the lab when the photo was taken.
I wouldn't be at all surprised if a rare lab technicians coat with skull patch will turn up for sale shortly now this obviously very unusual and probably rare photo evidence has been "published" .
I collect, therefore I am.
Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.