Soaps, lampshades and shrunken heads

Holocaust denial and related subjects.
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BRoI
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Re: Soaps, lampshades and shrunken heads

Postby BRoI » Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:20 am

Thanks for posting that Hans.

A question posed by the statement of Gustav Wegerer purportedly dated "23 April 1945" applies equally to this statement of Friedrich Wilhelm: Why wasn't it sent to the IMT in January 1946 when Thomas Dodd was desperately hunting for evidence to validate the human-skin charges?

I've other points regarding Wilhelm's affidavit I'll detail later, but he did claim to have seen a human-skin lampshade during his testimony as a defendant at the Buchenwald trial [sentence: death]:

22 July 1947, p.4447 wrote:
Q [Prosecution]. Now while you were at Buchenwald isn't it a fact that you had occasion to go down into the section of the camp where they performed autopsies?

A [Friedrich Wilhelm]. Yes, I was there once.

Q. And you saw, did you not, the lamp shade there that was made out of human skin?

A. That wasn't in the autopsy [sic].

Q. Where was it?

A. It was in the bacteriological department.

Q. Well what happened to that lamp shade?

A. I don't know that.

Q. Well, did you ever know?

A. No.

Q. Did you ever see what happened to it?

A. It was talk [sic] that SS Colonel Koch got it.

Q. Now did you ever see it?

A. Yes, I saw it, but whether this was the same one which SS Colonel Koch was supposed to get I can't tell you because I didn't see that he got it.


22 July 1947, p.4469 wrote:
EXAMINATION BY THE COURT

QUESTIONS BY THE LAW MEMBER:

Q. You have testified that you have seen a lampshade made out of human skin. Will you describe that lampshade?

A [Friedrich Wilhelm]. The lampshade wasn't finished yet. The lamp was made up already and around the lamp there was skin.

Q. Were there any markings on the skin?

A. Yes.

Q. What were they?

A. I cannot remember it anymore.

Q. While you were at Buchenwald did you see any other objects made of human skin?

A. No.

Q. What did the base of the lamp look like?

A. Only the frame was there. The base wasn't ready yet.

PRESIDENT: No further questions.
"I believe that when the history of the [Great] war comes to be impartially written, the two greatest results will be the establishment of the national Jewish home and the creation of the League of Nations. The two are not really disconnected. They represent the two great ideas for which we fought and by which we conquered—the ideas of nationalism and internationalism."
- Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, March 1923.

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Re: Soaps, lampshades and shrunken heads

Postby BRoI » Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:49 am

Hans wrote:
"In der Pathologie arbeiteten unter Kochs Zeiten Dr. NAUMANN, SS-Ustf., und Dr. LEWE, SS-UStuf. Der Truppenarzt Dr. MÜLLER, SS-OSTUF., kam häufig ins Laboratorium, um dieses zu benutzen. Unter seiner Direktion oder vielleicht auch von ihm selbst wurde ein Lampenschirm aus Menschenhaut angefertigt, welcher dem Kommandanten Koch, sei es für ihn selbst oder seiiner Frau zum Geschenk übergeben wurde. Dieser Vorgang wurde mir von Häftlingen mitgeteilt."


(affidavit of Friedrich Wilhelm [SS paramedic] of 9 July 1945, BArch B 162/805, p. 63)


It seems as if this affidavit has changed over the years. Originally it was dated 12 July 1945, and stated the lampshade was given to Pister, perhaps for his wife. But your version says it was given to Koch, perhaps for his wife!

TESTIMONY OF FRIEDRICH WILHELM

Friedrich Wilhelm, one of the accused, testified by deposition (Pros. ex. 79A R. 5589) that "During Koch's time and until about the middle of 1942, Dr. Naumann, * * *, Dr. Lewe, * * *, were in charge of the pathology department. Then Dr. Shiedlausky was put in charge of that department. A Kapo named Wegerer or Wegener also join the department at that occasion and stayed there until he was arrest in December 1944 or January 1945." Under the direction of Dr. Mueller, an SS officer who used the pathological laboratory frequently, "or maybe by himself, a lampshade out of human skin was made and was given to Pister or his wife as a present." The witness heard about this from the prisoners. On the stand, the accused Wilhelm testified that he had seen an unfinished lamp shade made of human skin. There were "markings" on the skin but the witness could not remember what they were. The witness did not know what the base of the lamp looked like, for "the base wasn't ready, yet" (R. 4469). He had seen the lamp shade in the "bateriological department." "There was talk the Colonel Koch got it" (R. 4447).

- US Senate Hearing r.e. Ilse Koch, p.1266


"Pros. ex. 79A R. 5589" was an English translation of a statement by Friedrich Wilhelm, dated 12 July 1945, made in Freising. Wilhelm stated that he only gave one statement in Freising [German original: Pros. ex. 79 [transcript p.4447-8].

Another Wilhelm statement was submitted to the trial: Prosecution Exhibit 78 [trans. 78A] given at Dachau on 5 March 1947 [p.4446].

Unfortunately, the exhibits aren't available online, only the transcript.
Last edited by BRoI on Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I believe that when the history of the [Great] war comes to be impartially written, the two greatest results will be the establishment of the national Jewish home and the creation of the League of Nations. The two are not really disconnected. They represent the two great ideas for which we fought and by which we conquered—the ideas of nationalism and internationalism."
- Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, March 1923.

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Re: Soaps, lampshades and shrunken heads

Postby BRoI » Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:08 am

Hans

Does the version you saw in the BA also state that Wegerer didn't join the PD until after Schiedlausky came to Buchenwald [October 1943]?
"I believe that when the history of the [Great] war comes to be impartially written, the two greatest results will be the establishment of the national Jewish home and the creation of the League of Nations. The two are not really disconnected. They represent the two great ideas for which we fought and by which we conquered—the ideas of nationalism and internationalism."
- Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, March 1923.

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Re: Soaps, lampshades and shrunken heads

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:08 am

Since this statement was likely made under torture, its content is of limited value anyway. Friedrich Wilhelm's statements during the trial are thus more important, but also less clear.
Last edited by Sergey_Romanov on Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Soaps, lampshades and shrunken heads

Postby Hans » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:09 am

BroI,

The 18 page affidavit of Wilhelm is dated 9 July 1945, Freising. There is an 1 page addendum dated 12 July 1945 (not relevant for the issue here).

On Wegerer it reads:
"In der Pathologie arbeiteten unter Kochs Zeiten bis zu Pisters Zeit Dr. NAUMANN, SS-Ustuf., und Dr. LEWE, SS-Ustuf., bis ca. Mitte 1942. Dann wurde die Pathologie Dr. Schiedlauski unterstellt. Bei dieser Gelegenheit übernahm der Kapo WEGENER die Pathologie und blieb bis zu seiner Verhaftung bis zu Dezember 1944 oder Januar 1945."

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Re: Soaps, lampshades and shrunken heads

Postby BRoI » Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:55 pm

Another SS confession........Franz Ziereis confirmed that human-skin goods were produced at Gusen in draft versions of his death-bed confession:

Record of the statements taken from the previous commander of Concentration Camps - Mauthausen-Gusen-Linz etc. wrote:
The majority of the murdered first few thousand prisoners were killed by SS Haupsturnfuhrer Bachmayer in the Camp Mauthausen. Likewise and even many were killed by Campfuhrer Seidler at Gusen. The Seddler and Chmielowski had the skin (from the murdered bodies) prepared and made into sachels, lamp covers, bookcover, etc., I did not prepare anything for me because later it was forbidden by Berlin. (Editors note - Beastly considerate of them, wasn't it.)
"I believe that when the history of the [Great] war comes to be impartially written, the two greatest results will be the establishment of the national Jewish home and the creation of the League of Nations. The two are not really disconnected. They represent the two great ideas for which we fought and by which we conquered—the ideas of nationalism and internationalism."
- Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, March 1923.

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Re: Soaps, lampshades and shrunken heads

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:23 am

Interesting. A more precise sourcing would be appreciated.

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Re: Soaps, lampshades and shrunken heads

Postby BRoI » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:47 am

The Sidney Etkin collection contains documents and photographs obtained by Capt. Sidney Etkin, a medical officer sent to Mauthausen-Gusen to treat prisoners. Arriving in June, 1945, shortly after the camp was liberated by the Third United States Army, Etkin took several photographs of the camp, prisoners, and dead bodies to document the atrocities which took place there. In addition, Etkin acquired documents containing the recorded statements of Franz Ziereis, the commandant of Mauthausen. The statements go into great detail about the atrocities which took place at the camp. Also included is a newspaper clipping summarizing Ziereis’ role as camp commandant.

https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn501228#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=26&xywh=39%2C449%2C504%2C321



Items in the collection contradict the story that it was former-inmates who hung Ziereis's body on the fence after stealing his body from the morgue. Etkin claims American soldiers did it:

Image
https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn501228#?c=2&m=0&s=0&cv=5&xywh=-101%2C0%2C1254%2C800

Image

The caption to a missing photo is very interesting:

Image
https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn501228#?c=0&m=0&s=0&cv=49&xywh=352%2C596%2C350%2C223


A US Army report I found elsewhere utterly destroys the given story of Ziereis' 24 May confession[s]. He wasn't even captured until 29 May:

HEADQUARTERS
US GROUP C C
LEGAL DIVISION
APO 742

14 June 1945
SUBJECT: Review of Activities, TD First and Third US Armies, 27 April 45 to 1 June 45.
TO: Commanding General, Headquarters, U.S. Group C C, APO 742, US Army

[...]

29. 29 May 45. Drove to Ebensee to assist Lt. Sturgis in completing his assignment. On this date, Franz Ziereis, who was the SS Commandant from the Camps Mauthausen, Gusen 1 and 2, and other camps was apprehended at Spital-am-Prim, in company with his twelve-year-old son, Siegfried. During the arrest of Ziereis, he was seriously wounded. He and his son were both returned to the Camp Gusen Hospital, where both were questioned. Franz Ziereis died that afternoon. CIC has the statements of Franz Ziereis (A copy of G-2 Periodic Report, dated 30 May 45 concerning Siegfried Ziereis is attached as Appendix "N").

[...]
ALLEN B. MITCHELL
Colonel GSC
A/Chief, Prisons Branch

http://ecc.pima.edu/~gusen/AG254/2.pdf


Found here: http://ecc.pima.edu/~gusen/Record_Group_260.htm
Record Group 260
Records of the US Occupation Headquarters World War II
NARA explanation of this record group may be found at
http://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/260.html

Adjutant General File 254 Detention and Internment Camps USGCC
Record Group 260 39 40 17 02
NOTE: This file is presented in the order in which it was found. Appendices described and identified as A through K and Q were not found in this file.

[...]

14 June 1945 Review of Activities Report: TD First and Third Armies 27 April 45 to 1 June 45 From Headquarters US Group CC Legal Division. Signed: Col. Allen B. Mitchell, Acting Chief, Prisons Branch
"I believe that when the history of the [Great] war comes to be impartially written, the two greatest results will be the establishment of the national Jewish home and the creation of the League of Nations. The two are not really disconnected. They represent the two great ideas for which we fought and by which we conquered—the ideas of nationalism and internationalism."
- Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, March 1923.

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Re: Soaps, lampshades and shrunken heads

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Sat Mar 31, 2018 2:46 pm

Considering that it's a single summary report made weeks after the events, further elaboration is necessary beyond "dates don't match". Do the details match? Is there further corroboration of the date in the report?

---

https://www.archives.gov/files/publicat ... rip115.pdf

The journal of the XII Corps Medical Section (212­26.1), May 6–20, 1945,
provides a useful, detailed overview of immediate relief efforts at
Mauthausen. Included are hourly reports of the movement to Mauthausen
of medical personnel and supplies, typhus and delousing teams, and camp
inspectors and reports of the 11th Armored Division surgeon on hospital
patients, types of communicable diseases, medical supplies and shortages,
and hospital setups. Also included are miscellaneous sanitation reports for
Mauthausen and Gusen, May 9–16, 1945. Operations reports for the 131st
Evacuation Hospital, May 9–June 15, 1945 (MDEH­131­01), provide
detailed daily narratives of medical conditions, facilities, and treatment
at the Mauthausen main camp, Gusen I and II, and “the Quarry Camp.”
During the month of operations, an estimated 4,000 patients of 22 different
nationalities were hospitalized. Entries for May 23–24 document
the capture of Franz Ziereis, the Commandant of Mauthausen, by former
camp inmates and his death (allegedly by suicide) at the Gusen I
evacuation hospital.

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Re: Soaps, lampshades and shrunken heads

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:18 pm

The logbook shows that the summary report was mistaken:

http://www.company7.com/bosendorfer/gra ... 800558.jpg

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Re: Soaps, lampshades and shrunken heads

Postby BRoI » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:37 am

In 1942, the Nazi leadership's favourite Vienna newspaper was dubious of American claims about a shrunken head.

Neuigkeits-Welt-Blatt, 10 October 1942, p.5 wrote:
Die Haare der Mumie waren - gewachsen

Basel: In einem Museum für Völkerkunde in New York hat man die fast unglaubliche Entdeckung gemacht, daß die Haare einer Mumie die im Jahre 1916 genau gemessen worden waren, in der Zwischenzeit, d. h. innerhalb 26 Jahren, um volle zwölf Zentimeter gewachsen waren. Es handelt sich um einen Schrumpfkopf, wie ihn gewisse sürdamerikanische Indianerstämme aus den Schädeln ihrer toten Feinde herstellen. Man steht vor einem medizinischen.
Rätsel. (tc)
"I believe that when the history of the [Great] war comes to be impartially written, the two greatest results will be the establishment of the national Jewish home and the creation of the League of Nations. The two are not really disconnected. They represent the two great ideas for which we fought and by which we conquered—the ideas of nationalism and internationalism."
- Robert Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, March 1923.


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