Skip to comments.Dress Made From Nazi Flag Reveals Owner’s Past as Spy
Posted on 09/26/2011 4:30:28 PM PDT by nickcarraway
At the climax of World War II, a symbol of hate a Nazi flag was transformed into a dazzling red dress for a female secret agent. A gift from a lost love, today it is helping brighten the twilight of her life.
When 91-year-old Beatrice Jackman put the dress up for auction recently, her colorful background at last came to light, along with the fascinating story behind a romantic memento she had carefully preserved for 66 years. And all because she needed a big-screen TV.
Symbol of hate, symbol of love
The saga of the dress begins at the climax of World War II, when Jackmans fiance, an American soldier named Parsons, stole a Nazi flag from a balcony of the Reichstag building in Berlin. Arriving with it in a Mercedes stolen from Nazi leader Hermann Goering, the young major gave it to Jackman as a romantic gesture. The flag was made of high-quality cotton a rare commodity during the war. Backman had the swastika removed from the flag and took the remaining red fabric to a dressmaker, who crafted it into a scoop-necked gown. Decked out in dazzling red, she wore the dress regularly to parties celebrating the end of the war.
Jackman had more reasons than many to celebrate the Allies victory in vivid style, because she had spent the war fighting Nazism from the shadows. Her career as a secret agent began where she grew up: in Denmark, where she delivered government messages on her bicycle as a teen-ager.
(Excerpt) Read more at today.msnbc.msn.com ...
What a story!
You two still have the fohole pinglist handy?
How did Parsons, an American GI, end up in the middle of Berlin at the climax of the war? My understanding is that during the Battle of Berlin when the Russians stormed the city, there were NO American troops there. Something here does NOT compute.
This is what the Reichstag looked like at the end of the war:
No, you twisted freaks at MSNBC. It was a spoil of war and a trophy. He deserved ever fiber of it.
Err.. that should read as “Foxhole”... me an my typos..
But the lady's life story shouldn't be tarnished by either fading memories or typically lax reportage.
(After all - a "stolen Mercedes" and the Reichstag sound a lot more newsworthy than "a jeep and a flag found in a retreating divisional headquarters".)
I hope the lady enjoys her soaps for many years to come.
You are CORRECT. As far as I know there were NO American GI’s in Berlin during the final assault by the Soviets. I’m thinking this story is the result of POOR fact checking on the part of MSNBC. When you have little knowledge of history, you will let a dubious story like this get by. Meanwhile MSNBC declines to even report on the glaring FACTS of the ATF Fast & Furious scandal.
Not piling on here, but I'm pretty sure Goering wasn't anywhere near Berlin at the end of the war either. He spent his final days far away from Berlin in a bunker, until Hitler had him arrested for suggesting that he take command. What are the chances he would have an abandoned Mercedes left sitting around intact?
This story is obviously PHONY starting with the idea that an American GI was in Berlin when it was being stormed by the Soviets. I call BULL on this story and am amazed by the historical ignorance of the NBC reporters.
Anybody here know where I could find video of this Today show story?
In the story, he took the flag from a balcony in September 1945. Just what he was doing there, and what the flag was still doing there months after the war ended, I don’t know. She didn’t get the flag until months after the war ended and there may have been some embellishment about where it came from. Clearly, the US officer didn’t get the flag from the Reichstag “before it was turned into ruins.”
Which the allies allowed to fly months after the war ended? Sorry, I'm not buying it.
Now if it was September, 1944 and he swiped a flag from a Reichstag balcony and boosted Goering’s car, THAT’S a story.
Great post. Thanks.
She may believe her story. The American GI (if there was one, they aparently never married) perhaps told a tall tale to impress the then young lady. In any event, it was probably from a real Nazi flag during the war. A Soviet flag would have been just as good.
There were quite a few SOE agents in the area mentioned. It is possible the officer was in the OSS. If so, they were in areas few people knew about. The story may have happened, just the location was different. It is only recently, that the SOE released any type of records at all. A lot of records are still sealed. I would imagine it would be the same for the OSS. The Governments of the US and England still does not want to put all the information out there.
Could Parsons have possibly been OSS? Shouldn’t you at least consider this. As far as I know, some OSS agents were in Berlin all during the war.
I hadn’t seen your post, but I came up with a similar scenario.
A typical lapse of reverence for those that grant freedom.
Read the whole article. It says he died of pneumonia 4 months before they were to be wed.
Of course if she escaped to Sweden in 1943 when things got to hot for her as a spy, that makes her having an American fiance at the end of the war a bit curious too. I wonder how they authenticated the material in the dress.
That's what makes me think that he may have been OSS.
I like many, love WW2 history.
A bit off topic, but recently caught a gem of a movie.
Max Manus, Man of War
Norwegian film, about one of their resistance leaders. Two thumbs up.
RIght that would make the fiance being OSS not surprising. It is just a bit surprising they stayed together after she split, but you never know.
Drink more coffee.
The dress was sold at auction for a fair amount of money. I’m sure a dress made from a flag “stolen from the Reichstag” is worth more than a dress made from a bolt of flag material stolen from a warehouse.
Provenance is a big deal in setting the price of something historic. She got $3200 for it because the dress is pretty and her personal history isn’t challenged. The fabric is probably consistent with other Nazi flags and I’m sure there is some expert who can tell you all about it.
Some of my best family stories told to me by elder members of my family are a bit shakey when looked at objectively.