I’ve written about the latest fiction books I’ve been reading but thought I’d change things up this week and read a couple of non-fiction books. Absolutely nothing related in the books, other than that they caught my eye at the library.
Mark Jacobson’s, The Lampshade, A Holocaust Detective Story from Buchenwald to New Orleans, had some interesting parts–and some that were worth skipping over. I think this story represents something weird that happened to Jacobson–he was given a lampshade that proved to be made of human skin–that he tried to blow up into a book. It should have stayed a magazine article. I was very interested in the parts about the lampshade, the Nazi’s “supposed” penchant for making human lampshades, the search for such evidence as the lampshades, and the ways in which Holocaust deniers use this kind of “evidence” to claim that the Holocaust didn’t occur.
I was less, much less, interested in how the shade showed up in New Orleans or all the people in between the shade showing up in New Orleans and it reaching Jacobson.
I had accepted as fact that such lampshades existed–I mean, the Nazis carried out HORRIBLE experiments, of which there is much documentation, photos, and video footage. But apparently, these lampshades and much of the items made from human skin have disappeared. Gone underground, aren’t available. And that lack of evidence has fueled Holocaust deniers.
Hmm. Seems like there’s enough other evidence–plus the millions of people “missing”–that Holocaust deniers have no ground to stand on. Whether these lampshades existed or not doesn’t disprove the certainty of the Holocaust.
But back to the book. Better as a skim, for me, anyway, for all the interesting bits about Buchenwald and the Nazi’s who carried out truly evil acts there.
Speaking of evil people, Sarah Thornton’s, Seven Days in the Art World, was an illuminating look at various aspects of the world of fine arts. I like art. I make art. But I discovered from this book that I really don’t know anything about art. What I do would be lumped (with much disdain) into the term “craft” by people with their noses up. Nevertheless, I got a nice sneak peak into a Christie’s sale and an art critique at a famous art school in LA. I’m glad I’ve managed to miss both of those in real life. While I still love art, I think I do so for the sensual pleasure it brings. I’m not interested in art as an investment or a means of feeling superior. But it was very interesting to read about the kinds of people who do!