Mark Jacobson tracks the origin of a supposedly skin lampshade, from the Holocaust to post-Katrina New Orleans, with help from those who identified the victims of 9/11:

I wanted to know. And I had to confess, I wanted it to be “real,” i.e., to have once been part of a walking, talking human being. It was a sick thing, I had to admit, but it wasn’t only me. Everyone I spoke to about the lampshade said, given a choice, they would be disappointed to find out it was made from a goat or a pig’s bladder. Here, even in the age of 9/11, after a century of genocide from Armenia to Rwanda, there was a desire to possess the unthinkable.

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