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Martin Doutré writes from New Zealand about Josef Kramer, the "Beast of Belsen", Saturday, December 27, 2003
The Belt of the "Beast"
AS a matter of possible historical interest to you, I have a friend here who, most definitely, has the original waist belt of Joseph Kramer, Commandant of Belsen [right].
My friend's father, who was part of the first British commando group to enter the Belsen camp, arrested Kramer and relieved him of his belt and weapon. He described Kramer as the biggest man he's ever seen and a very reasonable and personable individual. My friend's father was later assigned to guarding Joseph Kramer until the execution by hanging.
I hope I'm not suggesting something macabre, related to grisly souvenirs, but if you would like photographs of the belt (with dimensions) as well as pictures of many German (regimental) badges (not medals . . . as my friend's father would never take medals from prisoners), I'd be happy to arrange for the photos to be sent to you. Perhaps they would be of some interest or help in your historical research and writing.
Auckland, New Zealand.
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