Goering's soup bowl

Contributed by David Hutt

My father was a captain in the British army during World War II. He was posted to Berlin when the city fell to the Allies in 1945. He happened to arrive at the house where Hermann Goering had lived during the war, as US troops were clearing the contents. He watched as they brought out a huge dinner service, piled it up on the lawn, then brought in a tank which began crushing the lot. My father ran forward and grabbed one object - this beautiful soup bowl with a peacock motif. He brought it home and it's been in our family ever since.

By modern standards the bowl is huge - glazed pottery more than a foot across and holds over two pints. Its sheer size says a lot about appetites at the time. The inscription on the bottom shows that it was made by Leipsinger of Munich in 1924.

The provenance of the bowl holds a chilling fascination for me The manner of its rescue, when the destruction of all that the hated Goering possessed was clearly a cathartic process for the conquering allies, seems poignant. Sometimes beauty must be sacrificed to purge evil, but this chance find means that an object of meaning has survived to tell its tale.

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