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Truth to grandfathers story?

Article about: Greetings, I've a bit puzzled by something I heard today. My grandfather was a pvt. in the 42nd infantry (Rainbow div.) during the war. He went in in 44' and was honorably discharged in 45.

  1. #1

    Default Truth to grandfathers story?

    Greetings,


    I've a bit puzzled by something I heard today. My grandfather was a pvt. in the 42nd infantry (Rainbow div.) during the war. He went in in 44' and was honorably discharged in 45.

    During his time in the serive he served in France, Belgium and Germany. He had a hat full of stories but one struck me quite oddly. He talked about how a few days after one of the major battles he had watched an old woman come around the dead and look for tattoos when she wound find one she would to spare hte graphicness "remove it" and then make wallets and things out of them. German, American etc. dead were subject to the defilement if they were left unattened near he hunting grounds. Does anyone know anything about this? It disturbed me alot and I was wondering if there ever was such a person recorded?


    If anyone has any photo's of men from the rainbow div. please post them! Thanks SO much for ALL the help!!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Truth to grandfathers story?

    I think your grandfather was pulling your leg or was talking about Ilse Koch "The Bitch of Buchenwald" who it was reported to have made lampshades and other items of human skin.
    Any civilian caught skinning American soldiers would have been shot on the spot.
    On another note it takes time and a lot of work to turn rawhide into leather soft enough to make a billfold and it would require about 1 1/2 square feet of rawhide to tan out to make a proper billfold.
    I know this because I have tanned rawhide and made leather to make into various items.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Truth to grandfathers story?

    As Steve says, the Ilse Koch stories come to mind here. Nothing was proven with regards to her macabre collection actually being linked to her. Some former prisoners stated that they heard from others at KZ Buchenwald that these objects were not hers. Regardless, she was still one sick woman...but thats another story...

    Regards,

    Carl
    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

    www.concentrationcamptours.com

    www.concentrationcampmoney.com


    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wíyópeya oki hi sni"

  4. #4

    Default Re: Truth to grandfathers story?

    Interesting insight. It's very possible he may have been speaking of Koch. Well now I know more about the story then I did since I heard it. Thanks for the information guys!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Truth to grandfathers story?

    I for one could not see this happening, ask yourself this question, if you saw this happening to some of your dead comrades, would you walk by, i know i wouldnt and very likely that "old woman" would be my next target, looting like that was frowned upon by both sides, you could expect the removal of badges, watches etc but not to desecrate a body in such a way, and i cant see your grandfather standing by and letting it happen in front of him

  6. #6

    Default Re: Truth to grandfathers story?

    As to nthe validity, I can only say that G.I's were known to well...have their versions of thos3 infamous fish stories. He very well could have been talking about Koch, but seeing as how his group liberated Daschau I think it's unlikely. He very well could have heard it from one of his veteran comrades. In the end I'm left with questions but with additional info from helpful folks like yourself I can give a decent answer to myself as to the fact whether he was B.S ing me. Well Thanks again everyone!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Truth to grandfathers story?

    Although parts of the story are true in respect to things that actually
    happened 'over there', I suspect it was more likely a rumour
    he heard.

    Stories can become inflated or embellished over the years, in the
    same way some Vets play down their important roles - like never
    telling family members they were a fighter pilot, or that they
    participated in key battles, etc.........
    Regards,


    Steve.

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