Book Review: The Lampshade

A lampshade made out of human skin that could possibly be a Nazi relic. That is what noted journalist Mark Jacobson received in the mail from his friend Skip Henderson, a social worker who bought it at a rummage sale in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. The seller, a junkie cemetery robber, claimed that it was made from the “skin of Jews.” Confronted with what to do with a lampshade that may have been made on the order of Ilse Koch, wife of Nazi commandant Karl Koch in Buchenwald concentration camp, Jacobson begins an investigative journey to discover its provenance. Along the way, he meets an array of colorful and disparate characters, such as a Dominican Spiritualist, a Jewish Cantor and 9/11 medical examiner, World War II veterans, Nazi memorabilia collectors, staunch Holocaust museum directors, rabid Holocaust deniers, and even, neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan leader, David Duke.

Chock-full of compelling historical facts and memorable character sketches interspersed throughout, Jacobson’s quest takes him to places such as New Orleans, Germany, and Israel in an attempt to uncover the lampshade’s secret past. But whether the lampshade was or was not made from the skin of Jews from the Holocaust, the universal truth remains. DNA proved that it was made out of human skin.

As a unique, atrocious event that encompasses criminal, moral, ethical, psychological, and spiritual components, the Jewish Holocaust is brought to our attention once again through Jacobson’s newest book. A lampshade that survives a Hurricane is unearthed for the sake of humanity. The Jewish Holocaust desperately needs to be revisited constantly. It forces man to question and hold himself accountable. It pleads with the present from the trenches of the past to not repeat itself, pointing and running after the trail of “radical evil,” leaving its footprints, even in our present realities. If would benefit the world if it took its blinders off and looked at the evidence and listened to the stories of the Jewish survivors from the Holocaust. They are our brothers and sisters who have been to hell, come face to face with evil, and have miraculously survived to tell us about it.

The Lampshade offers a Pandora’s Box to its readers. As the deepest, darkest, most malignant of evils are unveiled through the retelling of the Jewish Holocaust, one thing remains. Hope for a future devoid of evil. But, the evil must be unmasked before it can be eradicated. This book may not be for everyone, though it would behoove everyone to read it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a review copy of the above mentioned book from Simon & Schuster. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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