Waffen SS stamped tartan blanket

Discussion in 'The Holocaust' started by Owen, Jun 16, 2015.

  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Saw this in the IWM collection.
    At first it looks like the Waffen-SS were issued with warm snug tartan blankets, that is until you read the text underneath.

    Blanket, Waffen SS
    Wool blanket of tartan style pattern stamped with the text, 'WAFFEN SS'.

    Blanket, Waffen SS. © IWM (EQU 4473)IWM Non Commercial Licence

    Originally from Bucharest, Romania, Vera May Atkins (formally Rosenberg) moved to England with her family in 1933. In 1941she joined the Special Operations Executive, working as secretary of the French Section ('F Section'), directly responsible to Section Head, Maurice Buckmaster, who was responsible for covert operations in occupied France. Later to become the section’s Intelligence Officer and Buckmaster’s deputy, she was commissioned as a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. Atkins helped with recruit selection and their subsequent operational briefings, knowing the personal details of each of the 400+ agents that dropped behind enemy lines. Over 100 agents did not return, and although some were killed in action, most disappeared at the hands of the Gestapo and the concentration camps system. Atkins felt some personal responsibility for the loss of her colleagues and became a driving force in investigating individual cases, and following a post-war visit to Germany was told that the SOE was to be disbanded and her search would no longer be sponsored. However, taking advantage of a personal contact she gained a semi-official attachment to MI6 and returned to Germany, interrogating a host of former concentration camp staff and examining records and visiting key locations. The results of her investigations confirmed the fates of 104 dead (91 men and 13 women). This blanket was retrieved from Buchenwald KZ by brothers, Alfred and Henry Newton, who were parachuted into France and later captured in June,1943. Both survived brutal interrogations and ill-treatment, and were liberated in April, 1945.

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