Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Close-up photo of the "human skin" lampshade

"A lampshade made from human skin, from the Buchenwald camp. This lampshade was made for Ilse Koch, the wife of the camp commandant."


"German inhabitants of the city of Weimar, ordered to visit the nearby Buchenwald camp to view the atrocities there. The order was given by the American army, whose forces had liberated the camp. In the photo: an exhibit (foreground) displaying the private collection of Ilse Koch, wife of the camp's commandant, that included a lampshade of human skin, tattoos taken from the corpses of inmates, and inmates' shrunken heads."

As you can no doubt see in the first picture above, a part of the lampshade is missing and you can tell that the stitching has been cut. This made me immediately think of the tests that were performed in early May 1945 by British pathologist Sir Bernard Henry Spilsbury "on a piece of leather stated to have been cut from a tattooed lamp shade" at the Buchenwald camp. Spilsbury writes in his report that:
"The tattooing of the leather is however the clearer proof of its human origin.

The pigment is introduced into the skin through small punctures which afterwards heal + thus fix the pattern in the skin.

The tattooing must therefore be done during life + cannot be done in dead skin or imitated by painting on leather.

I am not aware that elaborate patterns are ever tattooed on animals + they would be very difficult on a hairy surface."
There are of no tattoos visible on the lampshade in the photograph, which just appears to be a leather lampshade. If Spilsbury really did test the piece cut from this lampshade, and claimed that its tattoos were "the clearer proof of its human origin," this obviously throws further doubt on his shoddily written report(s) that are held at the Wellcome Library in London.


  1. Same question as about Wiesenthal: Vere is ze tattoo? ;-)

  2. Wiesel, not Wiesenthal. Sorry...

  3. What about an Elie Wiesel costume party set? A wild white artist´s mane, a pinocchio nose and a sticker with the number he pretends to have. You just have to train the transfigured, into-the-distance-spotting look before the mirror.

  4. Spilsbury was not quite mentally all there; he committed suicide a year later.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.