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"...I never saw anything like this. The animal that came from never had any fur on it.”
September 7, 2010 1:31 PM   Subscribe

I didn’t put much stock in the possibility that a Dominican spiritualist working out of a basement in Union City, New Jersey, would have much to say about a lampshade that might have been made from human skin in a Nazi concentration camp. But there I was.... (via)
posted by The Whelk (74 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
I always thought the Nazis-making-lampshades-and-whatnot-from-human-skin thing was a particularly horrible urban legend. I'd really, really hoped it was a particularly horrible urban legend.
posted by Neofelis at 2:17 PM on September 7, 2010


***Translate the spoiler***

Ng gura raq bs gur negvpyr, gur nhgube yrneaf gung gur ynzcfunqr vf zbfg yvxryl uhzna, ohg gurer'f ab jnl gb cvacbvag gur fbhepr. Fb, juvyr uvf qrfpevcgvba bs Trezna-znqr thvgnef cyhf gur QAN grfgvat yraq fbzr perqrapr gb gur Anmv gurbel, gurer'f ab jnl bs ernyyl xabjvat. Ubjrire, ba gur jvxv cntr sbe Vyfr Xbpu, gurer'f na vzntr bs rkpvfrq gnggbbf cerfreirq va tynff oybpxf, fb....
posted by mudpuppie at 2:21 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Neofelis: I always thought the Nazis-making-lampshades-and-whatnot-from-human-skin thing was a particularly horrible urban legend. I'd really, really hoped it was a particularly horrible urban legend.

That was my understanding, as well. Using human skin leather to bind books, however, was not uncommon, historically. I've read that they used to publish confessional books by condemned men and then bind them in his skin, and that these books were highly collected by society types of the day, but wiki makes no mention of it.
posted by paisley henosis at 2:26 PM on September 7, 2010


Yeah, read the article before the comments. Assume spoilers below!!!!




Anyway, stories about this supposed lamp have been a macabre interest of mine for years. I was really frustrated by the author and his lack of interest in it's origins. Where did the shady guy find this lamp? Surely he remembers the neighborhood? Finding out that it is indeed human skin should be step one of a larger investigation.
posted by boubelium at 2:26 PM on September 7, 2010


It's far too entertaining of a story to be the unvarnished truth. I approve heartily. It reminds me of William Gibson's obsessions with culture and and objects. Except in a more mystical, human-skin kind of way.

...and yeah, the nazis really set themselves up to be the villains of the century. re: humans skin. Why would you DO that?

“Don’t send me stuff like that,” the pathologist said.


You're telling me.
posted by Stagger Lee at 2:26 PM on September 7, 2010


Hans... Are we the baddies?
posted by Navelgazer at 2:32 PM on September 7, 2010 [27 favorites]


I just sort of want SCIENTISTS! to swoop in and determine exactly where the lampshade came from, what (whom?) it's made of, why it was in New Orleans, how old it is, etc. SCIENTISTS!, can you hear me?
posted by Neofelis at 2:33 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Jesus.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:33 PM on September 7, 2010


"...a large woman wearing a ceremonial headdress and smoking a pair of cigars, one on either side of her mouth."

Now that's hard core.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 2:38 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Good piece of writing, that.

It's far too entertaining of a story to be the unvarnished truth.

Truth is stranger than fiction.
posted by scratch at 2:40 PM on September 7, 2010


I'm really curious what happened to the lampshade... did the author keep it? It seems like it should be in a museum or something...
posted by overglow at 2:42 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am not sure how I feel about this post.
posted by lampshade at 2:43 PM on September 7, 2010 [22 favorites]


I haven't finished the article yet. But this....
“That’s made from the skin of Jews,” Dominici replied.

“What?”

“Hitler made skin from the Jews!” Dominici returned, louder now, with a kind of goony certainty.

“Believe me, neighbor,” said Dominici, a half-smile on his bumpy face. “Hitler made skin from the Jews. It is a historical fact!” He pointed at the lampshade Skip held in his hand. “You want it? $35. That’s a good deal.”

A human-skin lampshade for $35. That was a heck of a deal, all right.
...makes me want to fucking vomit.
posted by zarq at 2:43 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I also would like more information.
posted by Stagger Lee at 2:43 PM on September 7, 2010


There should be a "Fun Things to Read" tag.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 2:44 PM on September 7, 2010


The rumors of human skin being used by Nazis was mentioned in the comments here and here. Summary: they were certainly producing souvenirs from human body parts, but there's no actual evidence for a lampshade in particular.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:45 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now Skip began to grok it. The material of the...

Since when did my sci-fi nerdspeak spill over into up-market, mainstream lexicon?
posted by kurosawa's pal at 2:46 PM on September 7, 2010



Since when did my sci-fi nerdspeak spill over into up-market, mainstream lexicon?

It's hip, it's trendy, and the internet is doing baffling things to culture. It's going to be an interesting century.
posted by Stagger Lee at 2:50 PM on September 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


That was a great read, thank you.
posted by jokeefe at 2:50 PM on September 7, 2010


The author's jumping to conclusions about the soldering. I have a couple of pre-war French (glass, thank you) lampshades and the solder is like he described. I suspect that it's not uncommon, and find it hard to believe that a Holocaust artifact like that would end up in someone's New Orleans front parlor. It's made of human skin and that's awful, but he's attaching the ultimate horrible backstory to it to make it more awful with nearly no evidence.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:00 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow, Whelk, just wow. I was captivated by that piece--I suppose because my father, an American GI who grew up speaking German at home had told us of the atrocities unearthed in the last days of the war. He served most of his time in North Africa but at some point got recruited to the OSS because of his fluency in German. He had told us--well, me, I don't really know whether he shared any of this with my sibs--about lampshades and book bindings and soap, all made from the unthinkably heinous acts of the Nazis.

I thought the piece was well written and though, yeah, I too wanted to puke or tear out my eyes from having read this, I could.not.stop.reading.
posted by beelzbubba at 3:00 PM on September 7, 2010


Because if there's anyone in this world that you can trust about Nazi skin lampshades, it's a self-admitted heroin addict selling you stolen goods at 'neighborly' prices. Great story, regardless.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:04 PM on September 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


My parents told me about the lampshades (and the harvesting of gold from teeth) when I was nine.
I never thought of this as an urban myth. Not because I believed everything they said. But when you watch Night and Fog when you're twelve, well, maybe it's believable, as unbelievable as such atrocities may seem. I haven't read King Leopold's War, or Philip Gourevitch's much lauded book with the really long title, but my husband did, so I have sort of, by proxy. More or less of same.

I'm surprised at the praise for this writer. New York magazine sucked even back in the seventies when I was a teenage babysitter. I forget it exists. This particular writer's odd perspective on the lampshade and its provenance kind of creeped me out. In a juvenile, non-serious way.

Not sorry to have read it, Whelk, mind you, just--surprised by the responses here.
posted by emhutchinson at 3:05 PM on September 7, 2010


I'm surprised at the praise for this writer. New York magazine sucked even back in the seventies when I was a teenage babysitter. I forget it exists.

Well then, everyone here who enjoyed the writing is clearly flat-out wronger than the teenaged-babysitter-you. Color me chastened.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:11 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


One of the most horrible things I saw at Auschwitz was the room full of human hair, and the little display next to it of human hair based products, which had recognizable strands protruding.
posted by Artw at 3:15 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


That was my understanding, as well. Using human skin leather to bind books, however, was not uncommon, historically. I've read that they used to publish confessional books by condemned men and then bind them in his skin, and that these books were highly collected by society types of the day, but wiki makes no mention of it.

The Boston Atheneum has one of these. The story the master-bookbinder told when I was on a tour in the book preservation area was that a local highway-man was arrested by a policeman, and imprisoned. While imprisoned he wrote his memoirs (of which two copies were published). He wanted them to be bound in his own skin, and one of them was sent to the man who captured him, as the highway-man was so impressed with his fearlessness.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 3:23 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


My own personal levees were holding OK until the cantor/M. E.

took a deep breath and sat heavily into a chair, placing the lampshade on the table in front of him.

“This is the saddest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” he said.


A masterpiece of the infinitely demanding fugue style of storytelling.
posted by jamjam at 3:26 PM on September 7, 2010


I ... find it hard to believe that a Holocaust artifact like that would end up in someone's New Orleans front parlor.

a friend of mine's father was in germany during the war. somehow or another, he stole a full-length portrait of hitler out of some german's house and got it back to the states. it was in a closet (along with the father's army uniform) with hitler facing the wall. the first time i saw it, i was about 8 years old; we were playing upstairs & for some reason went into the closet and whoa! there's adolf hitler! wtf? that's when i heard the story. as far as i know, hitler NEVER came out of the closet.

fast forward about 15 or so years, and my friend told me her father wanted to get rid of the closet portrait. i was working at a college & one of the staff there collected nazi memorabilia. but when i told him about the portrait, there was zero interest. nada, none, zilch. i don't remember if there was any reason given, but i do know that guy didn't talk to me much after that.

i don't know whatever happened to hitler--i suppose i should ask my friend the next time i talk to her--but i suspect that unless you know the exact right people, there are some things no one will touch. in my mind, a human lampshade would fit into that paradigm. hell, it would be at the top of the list.
posted by msconduct at 3:26 PM on September 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


One time, my friend Stewie forgot his yarmulke and was wearing a Yankees cap instead. Adler snatched the hat from Stewie’s head and threw it out the window.

“You!” Rabbi Adler yelled in his near-impenetrable inflection. “You are not a Jew! … None of you are.”
Case Closed: True Jews are Mets fans.
posted by rouftop at 3:34 PM on September 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


a friend of mine's father was in germany during the war. somehow or another, he stole a full-length portrait of hitler out of some german's house and got it back to the states.

What an awful thought! I'm not saying that it's impossible, but I think it's more likely that a lampshade made of human skin in the American South is more likely to have originated in the US, the Caribbean, or Central America. The only evidence he has of its origins is that it's fashioned in a superficially similar way to some German musical instruments he's seen. The first person to suggest that it's a Holocaust artifact is a junkie who admits that he got the idea from the History Channel. But having seen some of the elaborate Nazi artifacts that pop up in backstreet markets in Eastern Europe, I agree that it's within the realm of possibility, just not the most likely source.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:41 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Is anyone else squicked out by the sanitary implications of objects made of human skin? Even if the object had a somehow less fucked up origin (for example, if someone willingly donated their skin after a natural death), the whole touching dead human skin aspect of it would squick the hell out of me.
posted by qvantamon at 3:42 PM on September 7, 2010


I got some pretty bad sunburn on the beach the other day, and it feels like a pretty big chunk of skin might peel off my back any day soon, so any craft minded folks who want it can have it.

* No guarantees it won't flake down to some dandruff like stuff in transit.
posted by Artw at 3:46 PM on September 7, 2010


There shouldn't be any sanitary implications with tanned human skin. Do you worry about touching leather shoes, belts, or wallets?
posted by Justinian at 3:47 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


A grandfather figure for me (when I was very young) kept a German solder's blood encrusted helmet in the hallway closet. I only found out later what a horrible racist he was. I imagine that he kept it out of some form of respect...

Anyway, point being that it's sometimes tough to imagine the motives of some people.
posted by tmt at 3:50 PM on September 7, 2010


There should be a "Fun Things to Read" tag.

And this should not be tagged with that.
posted by nestor_makhno at 3:58 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm not saying that it's impossible, but I think it's more likely that a lampshade made of human skin in the American South is more likely to have originated in the US, the Caribbean, or Central America.

Are human skin artifacts more common to the US, Caribbean or Central America compared to Europe?
posted by zarq at 3:58 PM on September 7, 2010


Are human skin artifacts more common to the US, Caribbean or Central America compared to Europe?

Given some of the stuff that happened in Haiti, or in South American rubber plantations, which made the Nazis look rather tame, I wouldn't be surprised.
posted by Artw at 4:09 PM on September 7, 2010


Ah. Okay.
posted by zarq at 4:14 PM on September 7, 2010


Are human skin artifacts more common to the US, Caribbean or Central America compared to Europe?

From the article: Hugo Ramirez, who owns a classy antique-lighting shop on 59th Street in Manhattan, agreed: “Definitely central European, maybe thirties or forties; someone put those tassels on later.”
posted by shakespeherian at 4:14 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Since when did my sci-fi nerdspeak spill over into up-market, mainstream lexicon?"

Since TDK used the word in advertisements in the 80's or 90's?
posted by Pinback at 4:15 PM on September 7, 2010


btw, it's a book excerpt, so many of the unanswered questions are probably answered there.
posted by Maias at 4:25 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


While murdering people to acquire their parts is horrific, I have no problem with using parts of people for useful things. Making lampshades out of my corpse, using my skull for performances of Hamlet, or grinding me up to make fertilizer is more appealing to me than filling me with chemicals and burying me in a pretty box for all eternity, or just scattering my charred remains into the sea.

In fact, I've often thought about how I could go about having my tattoos preserved in some form -- lampshade, book cover, or otherwise -- after I die.
posted by coolguymichael at 4:27 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


The first person to suggest that it's a Holocaust artifact is a junkie who admits that he got the idea from the History Channel.

In fairness, he did watch a very special episode of Interior Decorating with Hugo Boss.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:32 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


There shouldn't be any sanitary implications with tanned human skin.
Well... I think it's more "icky" than unsafe. Like (healthy) urine, for example.

Do you worry about touching leather shoes, belts, or wallets?
Well, it's not like I'm going to catch bovine cooties from my car seats...
posted by qvantamon at 4:36 PM on September 7, 2010


This is a great read. Thanks, The Whelk.
posted by brundlefly at 4:38 PM on September 7, 2010


I was really hoping that at some point the author had spoken with his Rabbi and found a way to properly and respectfully either dispose of this thing or place it in a memorial collection or something. Sure, it isn't known if it's really a Holocaust artifact or not, but he probably wouldn't have written this if the skin wasn't suspiciously caucasoid/white/European.
posted by snsranch at 4:38 PM on September 7, 2010


i'm sure in hell there is a nazi section full of those bastards.
posted by tustinrick at 4:44 PM on September 7, 2010


This brought back a memory of junior high from the late sixties. One of my teachers brought in what he claimed was a lampshade made by the Nazis out of human skin. He had us pass it around the class so everyone could get a good look at it. As far as I remember, it looked real. It seemed to be made of light-colored leather anyway.

Looking back now I wonder if those teachers sometimes made us guinea pigs in some academic studies. For instance, how would we react to this object, would anyone call bullshit, would we touch it.

Or maybe the teacher thought it was real. Of course, it certainly seems highly unlikely now that it could have been. Either way, it's pretty fucked up.
posted by various at 4:49 PM on September 7, 2010


Is anyone else squicked out by the sanitary implications of objects made of human skin? Even if the object had a somehow less fucked up origin (for example, if someone willingly donated their skin after a natural death), the whole touching dead human skin aspect of it would squick the hell out of me.
It wouldn't be any less sanitary then any other type of leather.
posted by delmoi at 4:53 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Since when did my sci-fi nerdspeak spill over into up-market, mainstream lexicon?"

Since TDK used the word in advertisements in the 80's or 90's?


I first saw it in a Life In Hell book from the late 80s or early 90s, and the context had it being used in a quote from a professor in the 70s.
posted by norm at 5:02 PM on September 7, 2010


.
posted by ErikaB at 5:12 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


When I read about the cantor/medical examiner, I thought to myself that a character like that could only be made-up for a TV crime drama. It turns out I was half right.

I did a quick search and found out that Dr. Shiya Ribowsky has appeared in Law & Order apparently, and is well-regarded in the forensics community. He wrote Dead Center, a book about the process and the story behind identifying the thousands of remains of the 9/11 victims.

The characters, David Dominici, Doña Argentina, Dr. Ribowsky, assuming they're as true to life as Ilse Koch was, make this an outstanding story.
posted by kaminariko at 5:30 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Apparently you can get anthrax from animal skin drum heads.
posted by jamjam at 5:32 PM on September 7, 2010


Since they had less materials to work with back then, it probably struck them as really suitable to this purpose, since the light would tend to shine through it easily, as compared to the thicker skins of other animals. It's truly gruesome that they began to make products out of the people they were torturing to death.
posted by nervousfritz at 5:37 PM on September 7, 2010


On reading the title ...I never saw anything like this. The animal that came from never had any fur on it I was thinking "Manx cat? Mole rat?" Unfortunately, no.
posted by variella at 5:48 PM on September 7, 2010


Since they had less materials to work with back then, it probably struck them as really suitable to this purpose, since the light would tend to shine through it easily, as compared to the thicker skins of other animals. It's truly gruesome that they began to make products out of the people they were torturing to death.
posted by nervousfritz at 8:37 PM on September 7 [+] [!]


What on earth are you talking about? They had less lampshade-making materials in the 1940s?


There should be a "Fun Things to Read" tag.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 5:44 PM on September 7 [+] [!]


Wow. Ouch. You know, some of us have family members that died at the hands of Nazis.
posted by amro at 6:16 PM on September 7, 2010


They had less lampshade-making materials in the 1940s?

'Y'know I wish we had better material for these lampshades-- I mean, we wouldn't have to be slaughtering all these people all the time! ....Oh well, back to work.'
posted by shakespeherian at 6:42 PM on September 7, 2010


"They are just so suitable compared to those thicker animal skins. If only someone would invent glass or fabric or paper or metal."
posted by amro at 7:02 PM on September 7, 2010


Freaky story; good read. A lot of weird stuff came back with the GIs. My father, who was stationed in Italy throughout most of the war, brought back a cigar box full of Nazi paper money, a bunch of coins, a handful of medals and, the prize of the collection, a "real" Luger. Fired by the Nazis, man, we used to tell our friends. Probably belonged to the SS. Was it? My father gave it to a gun dealer friend of his before he died so I'll never know. Holding any of those artifacts has always felt so weird. There's a reality to seeing a swastika on a reichsmark or looking at a real SS medal with a skull and swastika or an otherwise innocuous newspaper clipping from the 30s with a picture of Hitler just as a statesman, not a madman, that brings it all home: it was real, it happened and it happened in a world that's not all that different from my own. I suppose to me as to most of us here, born long after the war ended, the Nazis function mainly as kind of over the top evil characters on TV shows and movies, but when you see and hold their objects they suddenly gain weight and force.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:27 PM on September 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


This was a fascinating story, but I don't think the author handled it with the gravitas he should have. I kept wondering if at the end of the article, the ME would test the DNA and find the victim's relatives, and how they would feel at the often flippant tone of the story.

As mygothlaundry said,"Nazis function mainly as kind of over the top evil characters on TV shows and movies." They've been relegated to shock value amongst the Freddie Krugers and Michael Myerses of the world.

We are exceptionally privileged today in the Western world, so much so that we can't imagine the horrors of Nazism to be real, thinking they sound more like urban legends.

I'm a history buff. I've read and watched a copious amount of material on WWII, and I've come to the conclusion that Nazis were capable of any atrocity imaginable, and that as humans, we all have the capacity for such evil.

All the more reason that we've got to make sure that we never forget., and never trivialize these barely imaginable acts that go far beyond cruelty.
posted by xenophile at 9:17 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I guess they could have used silk, but it would have been expensive. I don't think light shines through cotton all that well. Any kind of paraffin or, I think, the plastics of that era would have held up terribly under the heat of the lamp. If you were to look at consumer grade lampshades in the store these days you'd probably find most of them are made primarily of plastic, even the ones that have a clothy look to them, and especially the ones that are designed to allow most of the light to pass through the shade.

I thought some comments upthread were to indicate that this was so weird that it seemed like it wasn't true, or that it was more likely a voodoo artifact than anything else, and I would add that I think it makes perfect sense, that this could have only come from the nazis.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go see about scoring my fix.
posted by nervousfritz at 9:23 PM on September 7, 2010


"Do you worry about touching leather shoes, belts, or wallets?"

Well, I will now.
posted by klangklangston at 9:30 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Since when did my sci-fi nerdspeak spill over into up-market, mainstream lexicon?"

Wait, you don't know? There was a time when every hippie in the land, if they had read one sci-fi book, its title was Stranger in a Strange Land. Certainly dropping the word while sharing a doobie would not have caused confusion anywhere.
posted by dhartung at 9:55 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


1. This story has my BS detector ringing like a fire alarm.

2. I have my own story about an artifact supposedly made of human skin, but don't have the answer yet. I'll share when I do.
posted by LarryC at 10:22 PM on September 7, 2010


If you got it from a mohel, it turns into a set of luggage when you rub it.
posted by klangklangston at 10:28 PM on September 7, 2010


This story has been bothering me for the few hours since I read it. I think I know what's bothering me.

While the scientists the author consulted may not have had a definitive result, I know one organization with almost unlimited investigative resources. He should send this artifact to Yad Vashem.
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:07 PM on September 7, 2010


xenophile: This was a fascinating story, but I don't think the author handled it with the gravitas he should have. I kept wondering if at the end of the article, the ME would test the DNA and find the victim's relatives, and how they would feel at the often flippant tone of the story.

Yeah, that really bothered me, too.

Also, all that hemming and hawing about whatever to do with such a thing…they don't have museums or universities where these people live? If it is a lampshade made of human skin, it doesn't matter who made it, when, where, or why, it is already a fairly significant cultural artifact. Let the academics bang on it for a while, eventually one of them will find out and you'll get a pretty solid answer, and he or she will publish something in a journal. Win-win!
posted by paisley henosis at 11:47 PM on September 7, 2010


I guess they could have used silk, but it would have been expensive. I don't think light shines through cotton all that well. Any kind of paraffin or, I think, the plastics of that era would have held up terribly under the heat of the lamp. If you were to look at consumer grade lampshades in the store these days you'd probably find most of them are made primarily of plastic, even the ones that have a clothy look to them, and especially the ones that are designed to allow most of the light to pass through the shade.

Oh my god, you need to stop. If Nazis made lampshades from Jewish skin, it was not because they were desperate for a better lampshade.
posted by amro at 6:27 AM on September 8, 2010 [6 favorites]


Oh my god, you need to stop. If Nazis made lampshades from Jewish skin, it was not because they were desperate for a better lampshade.

Exactly. Thank you.
posted by zarq at 7:10 AM on September 8, 2010


If you got it from a mohel, it turns into a set of luggage when you rub it.

That lampshade was originally a person who was murdered, skinned and turned into some sort of sick trophy.

I read this story and wondered if relatives I'd never met -- that I had known ever been able to encounter as black and white photos in albums and stories told by distraught grandparents, aunts and uncles -- had been desecrated that way.

Intellectually, I understand the whole "laughter is the best revenge" meme. But in this case, forgive me if I'm unable to join in yours.
posted by zarq at 7:34 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


"that I had known ever been able to encounter as"
should be
"that I had not known and had only ever"
posted by zarq at 7:45 AM on September 8, 2010


Thanks for linking to the printable version. So much easier to read.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 11:28 AM on September 8, 2010


i don't know whatever happened to hitler

He killed himself in a bunker.

/snark
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 11:44 AM on September 8, 2010


But when you watch Night and Fog when you're twelve, well, maybe it's believable, as unbelievable as such atrocities may seem.

Oh G-d, Night and Fog. I watched that in a class on the Holocaust in college and ended up lying in the fetal position just sobbing for hours afterwards. This article didn't have nearly the same effect on me, perhaps because it's easier to read something in print than it is to watch it on tape.

I can tell that I read too much about death when I recognized the name of the ME who provided the analysis as "Hey! He wrote a book about cataloging the remains of 9/11 victims! That book was awesome! I mean... wait..." So, yeah, this kind of thing is something I guess I'm kind of "used" to - but the article was chilling nonetheless. I can't even imagine handling something like that and certainly could never stomach having it in my own home.

You know, some of us have family members that died at the hands of Nazis.

Oh man, I certainly hope that none of my own family members in that predicament are living on as lampshades. It certainly puts a whole new spin on how tragic and grotesque those "souvenirs" are when you imagine that the lamp is really your second cousin. (For the record: I'm not talking about hypothetical family here - I really do have family that died in the camps.)
posted by sonika at 9:02 AM on September 9, 2010


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