Appendix: Documents Concerning Ilse Koch
This page contains exerpts from sources concerning the case of Ilse Koch and the the issue of human skin ornaments at Buchenwald.
The Buchenwald Report, trans. and edited by David A. Hackett (Boulder: Westview Press, 1995).
In April 1945, an Intelligence Team from the Psychological Warfare Division of the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Forces went to the newly liberated Buchenwald Camp, and interviewed survivors and attempted to document what had happened there. The team was headed by 2nd Lt. Albert G. Rosenberg, and the Main Report (history of the camp) was written by survivor Eugen Kogon.
Kogon used the report as the basis of his 1946 book, Der SS- Staat (English ed.: The Theory and Practice of Hell, 1950).
Although the report's existence was known of by scholars, it was supposed that it was lost or buried in some archive. Kogon had lost his copy in a flood at his home. But Rosenberg has saved a carbon copy for himself. This edition is the first time that the entire report has been published, in any language. The original plan was that it would be translated into English and published, but nobody knows what happened to the original report.
--From the "Individual Reports" Section of the book:
page 143: Excerpt from "The Early Years of the Camp," by Fritz M"annchen, Dresden:
page 337: Excerpt from "Valet for Koch," by Kurt Dietz, Tiefenau über Riesa:
page 338: Excerpt from "Sidelights on the Koch Affair," by Stefan Heymann, Manheim:
From Laurie, Clayton D. The Propaganda Warriors: America's Crusade Against Nazi Germany (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1996), p. 285, note 6:
Seventh Medical Laboratory
APO 403, c/o PK, New York, N.Y.
Section of Pathology
25 May 1945
SUBJECT: Identification of Tattoed Skin Hides
TO : COMMANDING GENERAL, Third U. S. Army (ATTN: JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL)
1. There were submitted to this laboratory section for examination three tanned pieces of skin by Lt. Col. GIVIN from Buchenwald Camp with office record designation of Case 81 T.J.A.
2. The description follows:
PIECE C: Is truncated, measures 44 cm. at the base. The upper portion is 30 cm. long and the sides measure 46 cm. The skin is transparent, and shows two nipples in the upper area. These are 16 cm. apart. From the nipple level to the umbilicus is 23 1/2 cm. ....
MICROSCOPIC: The tissue consists of bundles of collagen showing occasional epithelial and sweat gland remnants. Granular black pigment granules are seen between some of the bundles.
3. Based on the findings in paragraph 2, all three specimens are tattooed human skin.
For the Commanding Officer,
AMBASSADE DU CANADA CANADIAN EMBASSY PARIS [Seal] PARIS 27th April, 1945.No. 548
Will you please refer to my telegram No. 299, dated 24th April, which relates to my visit to Buchenwald camp.
2. In company with eight members of the United States Congress, I left London for Weimar on Sunday morning, the 22nd. April. The names of the Congressmen, and of the States for which they sit, follow:
9. A lampshade was found - and this I saw - made from tattooed human skin.
I have the honour to be, Sir, Your obedient servant, [s/ Georges Vanier] CANADIAN AMBASSADOR
It is apparent that even some of the SS thought that these kinds of things are going too far, because a letter to the Buchenwald Pathology Department asks that the manufacturing of shrunken heads etc. will stop.
Source: The Nizkor Project.