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  • Writer's pictureIlka Knüppel

Leukoplast Tape - a revealing detail.

You may wonder how the authorities kept all the patients straight as they shuttled them from institution to institution.


I found several references that specifically refered to patients having a piece of Leukoplast Tape with their name printed on it placed on the back of their coats, between their shoulders. When the patient arrived at their new destination, the hospital staff would check their medical record folder against the name on their back to ensure the correct record was with the right person. (Check out my November 9, 2023, blog post for information on medical records).


So, I can just imagine, Ruth, dressed in her Anstaltskleid, the institutional ‘dressing gown’, which had been made soft from repeated washings and wearings, probably wearing a coat or jacket and hopefully a hat to keep her warm, with a piece of Leukoplast tape with her name “Ruth Mühlmann” written on it, placed between her shoulder blades on her coat as patient processing protocol dictated as she boarded the bus. 

Leukoplast was a relatively new invention. The self-adhesive plaster tape using zinc oxide and natural rubber was invented in 1901 by Oscar Troplowitz and Isaac Lifschütz, two German Jewish chemists.


While you many not have heard of Leukplast Tape, I know you've heard of another one of their inventions:

Oscar Troplowitz had purchased a company named Beiersdorf AG in 1890. He hired Dr. Isaac Lifschütz who was the discoverer of the emulysifiying agent, Eucerit. Eucerit is the main ingredient in Nivea skin cream.


Oscar Troplowitz and Dr. Isaac Lifschütz


When I read this fact, I almost fell out of my chair. I have Nivea cream on my bedside table. It just struck me that this was another little sign of the interconnectedness of Tante Ruth's story to the current time.

There is no person that existed that in some way is not connected with other people or places in a variety of ways.

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2 Comments


Kelly Dawson
Kelly Dawson
Dec 22, 2023

They are also signs/evidence that you continue to be on the right track. Imagine if all of their stories could be told.

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Ilka Knüppel
Ilka Knüppel
Dec 26, 2023
Replying to

Thank you for the encouragement! Wouldn't that be fitting.

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