Kentucky Museum


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German Heer (Army) M42 single decal helmet that is missing its original leather liner, manufacture by Eisenhuttenwerke in Thale, Germany and found on Port Cros in the Iles d'Hyeres, France by Robert Penn Warren and his son Gabriel. It served as inspiration for a part of Warren's poem, "Natural History."

Gabriel writes:

Quite aside from its significance to 'Natural History', it is quite breathtaking in its implications. There are even portions of its wearer's name discernible. The tale in the poem is not quite accurate -- I did not find it in the island dump, but in an area in the forest where a few things had been discarded, widely scattered, but it was not clear if the helmet had found its way there that way, or more directly. Even after all these years (1966) I remember the scene vividly. If you read the poem, there is an abrupt break in tone when RPW transitions to the helmet. He was stuck on the piece, and when I interrupted to show him what I had found, he got 'unstuck'.


World War II, Germany


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