by Michael F. Szcepaniak
Over the years of being a WWII collector, I have never been bored with the hobby. The search adds to the excitement of the find. Going to shops, antique stores, and shows, the question is always in my mind, “What will I find next?”
Years ago, I talked to a woman dealer and told her I was a WWII collector. She said, “I have a cigarette case with German writing on it.” I looked at it and was stunned by what I read:
SS PANZER DIVISION
I paid her the $40 asking price. I tried to inquire about background information, never letting on to what I had purchased. She had no more information to share.
The aluminum cigarette case shows wears and dings. The engraving on the outside is in cursive. The interior of the case is trimmed in brass with the metal hinges to hold the cigarettes. The word “PATENT” is impressed on the catch the case.
It is well-known that Skorzeny was a dedicated smoker. He served with Das Reich in Russia in 1941. The unit was redesignated a “Panzer Division” in January 1944.
To me, the case is a real mystery — and a “Favorite Find.”