CHEMICAL INK ANALYSIS OF THE SOLMS-BARUTH

LAND REGISTRIES

The aim of the chemical ink analysis conducted by Dr. Erhard Jägers, Dipl.Chem was to clarify if the instructions to destroy the land registries relating to the estate of Friedrich zu Solms-Baruth were written during the Nazi period, ie before May 1945 - or later.

If prior to May 1945 it would be conclusive proof that instructions were given to destroy the files by the Nazis – so proving Nazi attempts to conceal the theft of the land, thus supporting the legal action of Frederick Solms-Baruth.

Source: BArch, R 3701/2221, pag. 88

The analysis was achieved by comparing the ink of the challenged entry with other dated ink entries: dated before and after May 1945.

For the scientific investigation of the inks, selected samples were taken for analysis on 8th February 2019.

Besides samples of the ink in question relating to the estate of Solms-Baruths, seven comparative samples were also selected, with dated samples prior to May 1945 and post-May 1945.

The sampling was carried out at the Brandenburg State archives in the presence of State Archive staff and Frederick Solms-Baruths’s lawyer, Mr. Christian Linde.

The analysis of the compositions were carried out with the aid of microscopic and spectroscopic methods (energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy).

SUMMARY AND RESULT OF THE INVESTIGATIONS

In the evaluation of the ink samples, it is noticeable that all samples contain calcium (Ca), aluminium (Al), and silicon (Si), which originate from the paper.

In addition, dated samples from before May 1945 contain amounts of iron (Fe).

For all samples from the period after May 1945 the iron is missing.

Aniline blue was detected in these samples using Raman spectroscopy. The dyes of the black-brown inks could not be clearly identified by Raman spectroscopy. It is most likely a mixture of dyes containing tannins (iron gall ink).

This confirms the already visually recognizable difference with a distinctly black colour of the inks pre-May 1945 and the distinctly blue or blue-black of post-May 1945.

Therefore against these scientific criteria, the sample in question is classified in the period before May 1945.

(The reason for such a rapid change of inks at the end of the war can only be clarified by a detailed analysis of the local history).

The original letter detailing the full chemical ink analysis report was signed by Dr.E.Jägers, Hemberger Str.75, D-53332 Bornheim, 8th April 2019.