|Eva with a cyanide pill|
Concentrated solution of potassium cyanide (KCN) in a glass vial
Traditionally, lethal pills are oval capsules, approximately the size of a pea, consisting of a thin-walled glass ampoule covered in brown rubber (to protect against accidental breakage) and filled with a concentrated solution of potassium cyanide. It is important to note that purpose-made lethal pills (of the rubber-coated type) are never swallowed whole. Instead, they are first crushed between the user's molars to release the fast-acting poison contained within.
Their main advantage is that, whereas a concealed pistol will quickly be discovered and confiscated when someone is overpowered and searched, a small pill more easily evades detection.
Himmler gave Hitler a large quantity of cyanide pills. Eva Braun decided that she would commit suicide with a pill rather than blow her brains out with a gun. Traudl and Gerda also asked a pill for themselves.
In order to test the effectiveness of the pills, Hitler decided to test one of them on his dog, Blondi, with the help of his dog handler Fritz Tornow and dr. Werner Haase. The dog died nearly instantly.
According to Hitler, the cyanide was so deadly it would kill faster than a gun to the head and kill you before you fell to the floor.
- Adolf Hitler
- Eva Braun
- Goebbels children
- Walther Hewel
- Martin Bormann
- Ludwig Stumpfegger
- Heinrich Himmler
- Hermann Göring
- Erwin Rommel