"Himmler's watch was mine for just 300 cigarettes"
It hasn't worked since 1946. "I used to wear it," he says with a shrug of indifference. "Then I dropped it on a marble floor. Took it to a couple of local watchmakers for repair but they didn't have the spare parts. Shame. The Germans made very good watches."
In fact, so efficient was this one that it once adorned the wrist of one of the Nazi regime's most infamous and vilest figures. Brutal beyond belief, vicious and callous, Heinrich Himmler was the driving force behind the Nazi's loathsome Gestapo, the architect of the horrific concentration camps and the man upon whose ruthless orders millions of people perished.
And his Etanche German Army issue watch, barely an inch in diameter and with its golden numerals now slightly tarnished, had a particular and undeniably sinister significance. After all, Himmler is the man infamously credited with being so precise about his murderous task that he made certain the concentration camp trains loaded with their tragic cargo ran right on time . . .
"Some people don't like to touch it," says Tom, glancing upon the dial that once held Himmler's gaze. "I think it gives them the creeps. But to us soldiers at the time, well it was just a watch."...
comments powered by Disqus
- Hull of Confederate Submarine H.L. Hunley Found 150 Years Later
- U.S. Textbook Skews History, Prime Minister of Japan Says
- Recalling a Film From the Liberation of the Camps
- Skull Fossil Offers New Clues on Human Journey From Africa
- Are crude conspiracies right? Research shows nations really do go to war over oil
- Ronald Suny says historians have shied away from exploring the roots of the Armenian genocide for fear of taking attention away from the victims
- Columbia University professors Eric Foner, Alan Brinkley, and Alice Kessler-Harris to retire
- A powerhouse appropriations subcommittee is now headed by a historian: Republican Rep. Tom Cole (OK)
- Slavic scholars divided over a scholarship sponsored (and withdrawn) by Stephen F. Cohen
- Claire Strom to Step Down as Editor of Agricultural History