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Greis

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Bergenbelsen

The infamous death-camps of Nazis were a horror unto themselves and one could fill an entire library with novels concerning the unsettling cruelty that people inflicted upon the poor and defenseless. With such regular brutality it is no wonder many tales have spread about these camps - ranging from the all-too-real to the kind of stuff you expect from a borderline schizophrenic conspiracy theorist.

The tale I am about to share with you is known as "Greis" and concerns one of the many camps set up during the Holocaust, designed purely to detain and murder "undesirables" - due to the fanatical hatred the Nazi regime had implanted into the minds of its people, even children were not spared - and this is how our story was spread.

According to legend, an "old man" would wander about the camp just as children were being rounded up for execution, somehow unseen by guards - he was taller than most (some accounts claim as much as nine feet) and extremely skinny with skin as pale as chalk (suggesting that he was an Albino). He dressed in an S.S. Uniform, yet seemed all but invisible to the Nazi officers that patrolled the area.

This ghoulish figure would watch in silence as the children were taken away, stopping only to converse with a single child - picked at random - whispering into their ear and then leading them from the crowds, spiriting them away from right under the noses of the guards.

This figure became known as "Greis" and became somewhat of a bogeyman figure amongst those who heard of him, though the fate of the children he took away was never touched upon.

Several theories cropped up over who or what "Greis" was. Some believe he was a high-ranking officer who took children away to be experimented on and was ignored by the guards as a result - this is, sadly, the most realistic of the theories but does little to detract the bogeyman image of this silent spectre.

Other theories delve into more supernatural origins such as an angel of death (or mercy), a ghost or even (in the most extreme theories) an alien or demon.

- Whatever the origin, the story of "Greis" is just one of many disturbing tales and the truth behind it may well remain hidden in the dark corners of history.

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