Descendants Of Nazi War Criminals Explain How They Found Out About Their Family's Crimes
The Nazis were responsible for one of the most authoritarian and racist regimes the world has ever seen and to be associated with them (let alone their Neo-Nazi spinoffs) is a social death sentence in the majority of circles. But they were also far from the first and haven't been the last to perpetrate crimes against humanity or to inflict trauma that would last generations.
After Redditor jason15300 asked the online community, "Children and grandchildren of Nazi war criminals, how did it feel knowing they were part of the Nazi regimes and how did you find out?"Children and grandchildren of Nazi war criminals, how did it feel knowing they were part of the Nazi regimes and how did you find out?" people shared their stories.
"However, my father's side..."
My mother's side is Russian Jewish and I know on my great grandmother's side everyone died except one eight-year-old and one two-year-old who hid in a bush. Saved purely by luck.
However, my father's side is from Berchtesgaden. When visiting you can see the roads Hitler literally paved and the Eagle's Nest is visible from the bottom of the mountain. They have a certificate signed by Hitler when a great uncle was born saying he was the "perfect child."
Though there was no SS business going on it's so disturbing to think about my father's side living peacefully because it didn't affect them during a time when my entire mother's side was fighting for their lives.
...would make a compelling, if sordid memoir in itself. How many other pairings like this one are out there?
The stories grow only more interesting from here.
"After serving in Libya..."
My great grandfather was an Italian Soldier during WW2, who fought in Africa under Rommel. I only remember him through stories and an extensive amount of writing he did in Diaries. He remembered the camaraderie he had with the German Soldiers, and how they'd often laugh and eat together as friends.
He wrote that the worst part of Libya was the heat and the mosquitos, He said that oftentimes the Wehrmacht soldiers would look down on the Italians because of their inferior Weaponry.
After serving in Libya he went on to serve in the Navy throughout the Balkan campaign and served for 2 years from 1942-1944. According to what he left behind he had quite a successful Career. I have one of his 'Curriculum Vitae'.
He became a First Class officer in the Navy, 3 ranks below an Admiral. He got a bronze medal of Valor for his defense with British soldiers of the Island of Lero. He got 3 War Merit Crosses
The one thing he remembered was how quickly they turned on him and the other Italians as soon as Italy surrendered to the Americans. He was shipped off to a POW camp in Greece. From the camp, he was able to escape and with a group of other Italians walked through Yugoslavia back into Italy.
While escaping he met up with Italian Partisans and helped provide resistance against the Nazis.
My grandmother told me a story that he told her. That while he was going back to Italy, through the alps a battalion of German Soldiers stopped him and his associates and threatened to shoot him. He said, "Sir, I do not serve Mussolini. I joined the Military to serve the King and my country." The soldiers let him go and he went back to Italy.
"My grandmother was born right after the war..."
Well, my GREAT grandfather was a Nazi officer. My grandmother was born right after the war and had 12 siblings.
I didn't find out until I visited my grandmother right before going to college. I've always held an interest in history, particularly WW2, and had asked my mother several times what her side of the family did. She always told me that her grandfather worked on the railroads.
I asked my grandmother about this on the aforementioned trip and she said, "Das ist Purer Scheiss, der Mann war ein Nazi." - that's BS, the man was a nazi. She said that he was a devoted officer and all his kids hated him because he was so cruel. He even kicked one to death.
My grandmother had my mother at 15, and back then that was a big no-no, so my Nazi great grandfather raised my mother for 5 years or so until my grandmother married. He was always super doting on her, being blonde and blue-eyed. I think that's why she refused to tell me all these years. He was struck by lightning twice while out in the fields, and that apparently calmed him down a bit.
As for me, it doesn't really affect me. It's interesting to note that all the times I was called a "Nazi" in the States, it was kinda true...in the loosest, most hereditary way possible.
"I'm the youngest of three grandchildren..."
My grandfather fled alone from Poland. Sadly he got picked up by SS soldiers and was forced to participate in a tank regiment. A year or so later, he and his comrades deserted because their officer told them the war was basically lost. He went back and wanted to study as a mechanic and marry my grandmother but got taken into custody by the American forces. As he knew some English and was also able to write and read, he gained a lot of freedom and was able to work as a translator for the forces. After he was released, he as a manager for a few years and later worked for our city council. He never truly believed in Hitler's goals and was quite traumatized by everything he had seen. He died in his mid-seventies.
My Grandmother is another story. She had only known life within the regime, as she was a few years younger than my grandfather. Losing the war was hard on her, as she had to start doubting a lot of values she was indoctrinated with. I've always known her as a kind, generous and caring woman and she is well respected within our community. Sadly, there are some things she didn't leave behind in the Nazi regime. She remains scared of immigrants and people of color in secret. She's turning 91 this year. She used to be really fit for her age, but due to not being able to see and communicate with more people her dementia worsened and she elected to go live within a senior community.
I'm the youngest of three grandchildren and have always been into reading, especially into reading books with historic backgrounds. The Nazi Regime isn't taught until grade 9, when you're about 13-15, in german schools, as it is considered too traumatizing for younger students. I read about it a lot earlier, I believe I was 10 or 11 and wondered how I could go that long without knowing about such an important event. My grandfather had already died at this point, so I was unable to ask him any direct questions, but my grandmother was, and is to this day, quite talkative. I learned a lot from her about her youth in the regime, wartime sorrows, and the time after.
My great aunt wrote a small book about my grandfather's life story, as she was scared the younger generation would forget. My grandparents' Nazi past affected me greatly, as it is sometimes hard for me to believe that the kind people I know could've taken part in something this gruesome. I'm very grateful for being able to talk about it with my grandmother. Sadly, it hurt their relationship with their children. My uncle fought about it with my grandparents back in the late 60ies, when many german children started questioning their parents' compliance. It led to him moving about 100 km away and becoming pretty estranged.
My grandparents' past still affects us today. We are organizing and decluttering my grandmother's old home at the moment and found a lot of documents and other stuff from that time. It makes me question some things I was taught and also wonder about my grandmother from time to time. I choose to think about the good memories with her though. She always says: you should always gift with warm hands, as you won't need your wealth in death. So I choose to do that and give her stuff away to people in need. I like to think this is in her sense, even though I'm including people she's scared of.
This was quite the ride.
Many of us pay for our family's crimes in some way, whether we should or not. We're glad to see that this individual found something positive amid all this.
This next one is a pretty honest and candid take.
"Obviously this has more layers..."
This is a difficult topic and often there is a lot of skewed information running in families because nobody wanted to admit they took part in it. But here we go, I have a story. My grandfather was a child during WW2 from a family of hardcore Nazis. He was the youngest of 7 kids and absolutely indoctrinated. His oldest brother died early in the war fighting for the Nazis, he was an up-and-coming guy, unfortunately, I have not much information as some of it was destroyed. His parents were extremely upset and blamed the Jews for the death of their precious son.
So the father traveled to Germany to seek reimbursement for the services of his now-dead son. So the ownership of a well-known building right on the main square of our city was given to him, it belonged to a deported wealthy Jewish family. From there on he started to build his family's wealth, something the children would spend years fighting over. It eventually was sold and is now a fancy pharmacy. The whole story of the family is sinister and full of gaps and mysterious deaths. Like I don't know of anyone else actively fought in the war after my grandad's brother died, this surviving generation is very good at not talking about difficult things.
The only thing I know is that my grandad eventually inherited the laundry and cleaning business his dad founded with the bloody money and according to my mother it's rather questionable how it came to inherit as the youngest child. This part of the family was always good at deception and backstabbing.
When I was a kid he would often talk about how digging trenches on the battlefield as a child made him tough and would go on about that although Hitler was an idiot, his goals were ultimately good and he told us all sorts of BS about the Jews. It didn't work btw, my mother is a great level-headed woman that took a great deal of care to not have us indoctrinated. From what I know there is still some of the blood money in the family (my mother got disinherited). Tbh knowing all this makes me pretty uneasy because I knew my grandad but ultimately it feels weird taking personal responsibility for a part of the family I'm not really connected to.
Obviously, this has more layers and is a rather difficult legacy in my family that I might be somewhat confronted with in the near future because my grandmother is very old and ailing and boy, this will get nasty.
"I never heard him say anything..."
My grandfather (Opa) was a Nazi anti-aircraft soldier, he lied about his age and signed up when he was 16 or 17. He grew up in a country filled with propaganda so he thought he was doing the right thing and fighting for his country. After the war was over and he learned what the Nazi party did to people in the concentration camps he was ashamed, and he didn't want his kids to live through another brutal war (two right after each other made it seem likely a third might happen soon after) so he moved his young family to Canada.
I mostly remember how he liked to hunt and fish and enjoy the wilderness that was at his backdoor. None of his kids or grandkids are neo-Nazi, if anything we are the opposite.
I always knew he was a soldier for "the wrong side" in WW2, my feelings on the matter is that war is a terrible thing for everyone involved and I have a hard time celebrating anything to do with war although I'm glad the Germans lost of course. Kids died on both sides doing what they thought was the right thing, the guys in charge abused their power to commit atrocities.
"I feel a terrible guilt..."
My grandmother was raised by her aunt and her aunt's husband was some high-ranking Nazi; they kicked a Jewish family out of their upscale apartment and then lived in it. She was a part of the HJ. Until she was 9 she lived with her aunt & uncle and then was returned to her parents who were total monsters who felt she was spoiled from her upbringing and forced her into sex worker after the war under the guise of being a waitress in the family restaurant.
Like what the actual f***, my great-grandmother was a total f****** monster. My grandmother hooked up with a US serviceman and got the hell out of Germany as fast as she could.
As for my grandmother's uncle, (I found out while doing genealogy) he divorced her aunt and remarried and named his daughter after my grandmother. I don't know that he was ever prosecuted for his war crimes but he did die shortly after the war, like in the 50's I think.
The stuff about what my great grandparents did to my grandmother I found out from family members in my late teens or mid-20's, it was one of those things that were never outright said until after my grandmother died and then one of my uncles told me everything I already suspected. It was just so, so, SO f***** up. Apparently one of my great grandmother's proudest moments is when Hitler's motorcade passed her on the street and he waved at her or something.
I feel terrible guilt that I am descended from such monsters. My grandmother had a lot of demons and rightfully so, she was never truly happy in life and that is sad as hell.
I'm an antique dealer now and Nazi stuff (not mine, other dealers') is one of the biggest sellers in the shop. And that's f***** up too. At least one of the dealers is Jewish, and he said they killed so many of his family members at least he can get something out of them this way.
This was quite a heavy read...
...but we hope those of you reading it got something out of it. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this is that people are not their families. The guilt of having to be associated with people responsible for such atrocities must run very deep.
Have some of your own stories to share? Feel free to write them in the comments section below.
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Reddit user one-droplet asked: 'What have you always done, but later found out was gross?'
There's this amazing quote by Maya Angelou that we can all put into practice: "Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better."
This can be applied to anything in life, from learning more about a subject that we're passionate about, to practicing better time management skills, to being a better friend.
But there are some things that we may not even realize we need to do better... until we suddenly know better.
Cringing in anticipation, Redditor one-droplet asked:
"What have you always done, but later found out was gross?"
The Best Ice
"When I was like five or six years old I would love going to the grocery store with my mom because the vegetable and fruit and meat tables always had the best ice to chew on..."
"I work in a restaurant, and I try to grab a cup to get the ice before they use it for raw oysters and shrimp cocktails. It really is the best ice."
Toilet Paper Use
"As an Asian, I was always taught growing up to throw used toilet paper in the trash bin. It wasn't until I went on a school trip to Italy and the chaperone mentioned to everyone, 'The plumbing system here isn't as good as the USA so you guys are just gonna have to throw it in the trash bin,' and everyone went, 'Ew.'"
"That's when I learned that it was gross to throw toilet paper in the trash bin since the issue was you're basically having shit bits sitting around in a bin."
"All my life, I wiped my toothbrush on the hand towel to dry it up until my sister asked what the f**k I was doing."
"My sister used to scrub the bristles on the faucet where the water came out when she was done brushing her teeth. I guess to dry it off. I still cringe thinking about it."
That's Not Clay
"As a child, I would dig up bits of clay from the local sandbox. It wasn’t as good as Play-Doh, so I would cast it aside and continue digging."
"Maybe I didn’t have a very good sense of smell at that age, because I was well into adulthood before I realized it was probably cat s**t."
"I showered in a dirty tub. Once I discovered how gross it really was, my hoarder mother didn’t like it when I cleaned the bathroom, so I just lived with it til I was able to get a place."
"My hoarder mom was like this."
"When I tried to wash the nicotine off the walls in my bedroom, my hoarder parents were not happy."
"I waited until a towel smelled weird to swap it out."
"Look, the towel forgets everything before the next shower."
Self-Service Assorted Candies
"I used to really like those self-service lollies/candy buckets with the scoops. They were in most big box stores in Australia, like Kmart, Target, Big W. So much fun mixing and matching."
"But then one day I started working at Target. Every single day I caught old people and kids with their hands directly inside grabbing them out and munching down all slobbery-like. That turned me off forever."
"Though not too long after they started disappearing from businesses so obviously someone got the unsanitary message."
"I flushed my tampons my whole life until I was about 30. No one had taught me they weren’t flushable. I stupidly thought they were like toilet paper."
"One expensive and embarrassing plumbing problem later, I never did it again."
"Not brushing my teeth when I wake up. I would only brush my teeth after breakfast, and I would rarely eat breakfast."
"So most days I would only brush my teeth at night. I figured, 'Well, I brushed last night and haven’t eaten anything since, so why should I brush again?'"
" Then I learned about all the bacteria that feed on the tiny bits of food left in your teeth and they literally expel gas and feces in your mouth as they consume it. And this is what causes awful morning breath."
"So I have this mental image of bacteria poop and farts coating my mouth and have brushed every morning since regardless of eating breakfast or not."
"Brush at night to keep your teeth, and brush in the morning to keep your friends."
Not Just Yellow Snow
"Eating snow. Just take the same handful of snow you might see a kid stuff in their mouth and let it melt in a glass. Bet you wouldn’t willingly drink it!"
Don't Visit Everyone's House
"I sit on my couch butt naked when I’m alone watching TV at night. I mean I’m relatively clean but I feel sorry for anyone else that sits there."
Letting the Hair Fall Where It May
"I'm suffering from hair loss at the moment (51 Female) and I'm often absent-mindedly raking a hand through my long hair, glancing at what comes out and then dropping the strands on the floor."
"Just read on another sub that that's pretty disgusting to other people. In my defense, I work exclusively from home in my own small office and would never do it in public, but even so, maybe my husband thinks I'm gross."
"Wearing shoes inside. My family was not a shoes off family and they always wore outside shoes inside."
"I remember a few friends' homes were strict shoes-off homes, but I thought that was the minority."
"I was about 27 years old before I realized it was disgusting and people were definitely judging my etiquette."
"Double-dipping snacks. Pretty logical but only found out recently that’s very bad etiquette."
"Double-dipping is only acceptable if you’re not sharing the dip with anyone."
"Some things I've learned:"
"Wash my bedsheets every week, including bed, pillows, and covers."
"Only use the same bath towel twice before washing it."
"Use a new toothbrush head every month."
"Always wash my hands coming back from a store or public transit."
"And NEVER EVER go into a resort pool with a swim-in bar."
This conversation was so cringe-worthy and left us wanting a shower in the worst way.
At least for most of these Redditors, now that they knew these are gross habits, they've chosen to do something better.
Sources provided by health experts informed us to eat fruits and vegetables in order to nourish our bodies with energy, and to drink milk to ensure we grew up with strong bones and muscles.
However, nowadays, consumers are confused.
There seems to be conflicting information every day regarding the benefits, or harm, of eating the foods we were always told were detrimental to our health.
Curious to hear from strangers online about our misconceptions regarding the foods we eat, Redditor Meerkate asked:
"What are some foods that aren't as unhealthy as people make them out to be?"
People discuss everyone's favorite movie snack.
Pass The Popcorn
"Popcorn. For how good it tastes, it has almost nothing bad in it."
"You add the salt and butter of course, and those arent great, but you're not getting a super high amount of those."
"Adding in decent quality butter (not margarine) and a few shakes of regular salt is not unhealthy at all. The problem is with the sh*t that movie theatres put in popcorn."
Careful With The Seasoning
"My body started rejecting movie theater popcorn butter when I was about 25. That stuff will make you sh*t your pants and miss the end of the movie. Just salt for me thanks. Real melted butter at home or at Alamo Drafthouse."
"I love popcorn."
"You probably buy the kernels too but for those who don't, it's significantly cheaper and healthier to buy just a big container of popcorn kernels."
"Pop them on the stove top with a small amount of oil and sprinkle some finely ground salt (that's what movie theaters use for that magic flavor) and you're golden."
"It's super easy. I don't even add butter."
"You can also pop kernels in the microwave in a paper bag or in a bowl without buying the pre-bagged stuff. You'll never go back to those once you've popped your own kernels."
"An air popper works too of course, though that will definitely require butter."
Redditors talk about the health benefits of eating certain kinds of fat.
Not So Fat
"Fat in general (not the trans ones tho)"
"The low fat craze of the late ‘90s/early ‘00s has A LOT to answer for. My mom is still ridiculous about it. Yeah, moderation is good, but you can add some butter to your food so it’s edible and still live a long life."
Fat Is Your Friend
"Fat is a great source of sustained energy that doesn’t boost your blood glucose like other options."
"You really, really need fat in your diet for proper hormone regulation and other important body processes!"
Go easy on the carbs.
"Potatoes got several countries through famine! Probably alot of people associate them with fatty fries or crisps."
"Boil em, mash em, stick em in a stew"
"Exactly this. High satiation and low cost. You can wash out a lot of the starch if you're worried about it."
Let's discuss fruity.
"I’m so tired of hearing people talk about 'all the natural sugar in fruit.'”
"I guarantee you this banana is healthier than potato chips and cookies."
"My mom has done basically ever fad diet ever, but one thing I do like about the 'new' Weight Watchers is that fruits, vegetables, and lean meats like chicken breast are zero points. I think the logic behind it is that there is no f'king way you're going to eat enough carrot sticks and apples to make yourself gain weight, so they're trying to encourage people to default to that stuff when they're hungry even if they're out of points rather than just starving until they give up and eat a bunch of unhealthy foods. Weight Watchers doesn't really work long term, but that detail is nice."
"I think its the fiber in fruit that makes it not as bad. Also, it has nutrition to make up for it unlike the cookie that's just all refined flour and sugar."
"There are scientific studies suggesting that not all the calories in nuts are bioavailable, so you might only get 75% of the calories! There are also studies showing they contribute to weight loss even despite being high in calories."
When I was told butter is actually a better alternative to margarine–which is known to contain trans fat–I started cooking more with butter.
I believe we can eat anything in moderation, so as much as I love smearing pads of butter on my English muffin, I take it easy.
When it comes to baking with it and putting it on toast, nothing beats the flavor of my favorite dairy fat.
It goes without saying, that when we pay a visit to a hospital, either as a guest or as a patient, we only see a very small portion of all the working parts of a hospital.
While countless doctors, nurses and orderlies will be seen roaming the halls, their hands more than full, there are also lab technicians and administrators who are every bit as busy, just not as visible.
Knowing this does rather make one wonder what goes on in a hospital that we don't see, or don't realize.
Or, for that matter, what we patients are actually entitled to, that they may not realize.
A question possibly best left unanswered.
Even so, Redditor SingLikeTinaTurner was eager to find out, leading them to ask:
"Hospital workers of Reddit, what happens there that's hidden but that we should know about?"
If You Know, You Know...
"Not really hidden and kinda minor but I’ll say it anyways."
"I deliver food to patients and it’s not hard to tell when someone is on their way out."
"Could be simply not being hungry, or could be the inability to eat."
"Had one patient who hadn’t eaten anything off their tray for 3 days straight."
"The last time I delivered to them, they smiled and gave me a wink."
"Next day, they were gone."
"It’s rough seeing these things happen in real-time."
"I’m a grown @ss man who doesn’t cry often, but it always leaves me feeling extra empty picking up the untouched trays and replacing them with another tray that I know will stay untouched as well."- jgss2018
Hidden In Plain Sight
"Sometimes when people die we just put an oxygen mask on them and wheel them through the corridors."
"Less distressing for other patients and visitors to think they are asleep rather than see a body with a sheet over it."- dont-believe-me-·
Know Your Rights
"You, as a patient, have every right to refuse any test or treatment or even leave."
"At any time."
"For any reason."
"Unless a harm to self or others- that's different, at least in the US."
"Added bonus you should know: leaving against medical advice DOES NOT mean insurance will not pay for the care you've received."
"Your insurance will still be billed the same as anyone else who stayed the whole time till discharge."
"But if you leave with an IV in your arm we will call the police to find you and bring you back to remove it, because of drug abuse."- Suitable_Sorbet_8718
Peeking Not Recommended
"The hospital I work at has these big square covers."
"When I first started, I would see transport staff pushing these things around the halls."
"I thought they were food trays, or large boxes of hospital equipment."
"Turns out it’s a structured bed cover, so when they are transporting a deceased patient to the morgue, it doesn’t look like a person under a sheet."- rajortoa9
The Flashing Lights Only Get You So Far
"An ambulance ride is not a one way ticket to the front of the line."
"You still get triaged and could be rolled right to the waiting room if you’re non-emergent."- dozerdude1995emergency ambulance GIFGiphy
Whatever Gets Them In The Zone...
"We listen to music in the OR."
"Most people seem surprised when they hear that."- johnnyscans
Hide And Seek...
"I got a fast bleep (ie. drop everything you’re doing and attend this emergency please) one night to a side room on the ward to find no patient in the bed."
"Was just about to leave the room and go back out to the nurses station, where there had been a bit of a hubbub when I’d dashed past the first time, when something caught my eye."
"Looked up to see a face with wide, slightly wild 'psych eyes' peering down at me from a gap in the ceiling tiles."
"She was a lady waiting for a bed in the psych hospital who’d clearly thought the ceiling was the best place to hide from the people trying to poison her."
"Honestly can’t think of another occasion that I’ve been quite so terrified."
"Worst thing was that I had to walk (well, dash) back out underneath her to get help from the nurses and security to get her down."- Leas-Pe·
Speaking In Code...
"If you register in the ER and tell the triage nurse that your problem is 'personal' we know you’re here because of something genital or anal related."
"A lot of we healthcare workers have seen a lot."
"If you’re not truthful at triage, your care might be less prompt when it’s a true medical emergency."
"It is possible to die of embarrassment."- DocWednesdayHide Reaction GIF by florGiphy
Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Them
"If you come into the ER drunk there is guaranteed a pool of bets on your blood alcohol level, possibly with odds if there's a pharmacist available to do the math for us."- K-Tanz
Ensuring They're Surrounded By Love
"In the ICU you spend a lot of time keeping corpses alive until their family comes around or their body gives out."
“'Oh Jesus ain’t ready for her yet!'”
"Yes, Jesus is ready for her; we’re just actively delaying it."- gamerdudeNYC
Maybe Not Just At Hosptials... Just A Thought...
"Not hidden, per se, but for the love of all that is holy, if you insist on bringing your kid into the hospital, do NOT let them crawl or play on the floor."
"The amount of literal blood, urine, poop, and vomit that has been on it and hastily (not thoroughly) cleaned up is, well, a lot."
"The hospital, especially the floors, is NOT a clean environment."
"Added to that, think of all the rooms nurses, doctors, housekeeping staff, etc. have walked into."
"Rooms that have COVID or Norovirus or group A Strep."
"We walked into those rooms and those same shoes walked into other rooms."
"Tl;dr hospital floors are disgusting as f*ck."- duckface08Baby Crawls Face First Across The Floor GIF by ViralHogGiphy
Not An Exact Science...
"Hospital lab worker here."
"Not particularly scandalous, but most people don't realiZe their lab tests are just very accurate guesses, and have an error range."
"When we say your 'X' is 10g/L, we might actually mean it's 10g/L ± 10-20%."
"I see too many people get extremely worked up about small fluctuations in blood test values that aren't actually in excess of the reference change value, and so technically aren't genuinely different from a previous value."- Hayred
A Decision No One Wants To Make...
"You are doing your 90 year old grandmother a great disservice by making her a full code, she will not survive CPR and her death will be significantly more traumatic because of it."- singlenutwonder
WASH YOUR FREAKIN' HANDS!!!
"I help patients to the bathroom nonstop all day."
"The amount of patients that just leave the bathroom without washing their hands is disgusting."
"If I didn’t hear the sink or soap dispenser your a** is getting led right to an alcohol hand station."- MadamiamadamWash Hands Water GIF by Jared D. WeissGiphy
More goes on in a hospital than we're ever likely to know.
If you check out from a hospital healthier than you were when you checked in, that's probably all you need to know.
Even if it's understandable to ask what song the doctor was listening to when you were open on the operating table.
My family went on a lot trips when I was young, and we always stayed in hotel rooms. Around the time my brother and I were old enough to stay in a room by ourselves (our parents would stay in another one, usually across the hall), he also became a bit of a germaphobe.
At the time, I actually believed hotels changed the sheets on the beds daily, so when my brother fretted about the cleanliness of the hotels, I reassured him they were fine. He believed me at first, since I was his big sister, but by the time he was 12, he got suspicious.
During one of our trips, he decided to test this by making a mark on his pillow cover with a pen and turning the pillow cover inside out before we left for sightseeing the next morning. When we returned, he turned the pillow cover back, and his mark was still there, proving that the sheets hadn't been changed. He only had to do this one more time, during our next trip, for me to realize this wasn't a one-off.
Ever since, and even now in adulthood, my brother and I always intentionally spill something on our sheets during our first night in order to get clean sheets, at least for the duration of our stay. This, in fact, is the first thing we do.
I'm not the only person who does something a bit quirky like this when they first enter a hotel rooms. Plenty or Redditors have stories about this and are ready to share.
It all started when Redditor BlundeRuss asked:
"What’s the first thing you do when you get into a hotel room?"
Preparing For Sights
"Go to the balcony to see if it's going to be public nudity or private nudity during my morning coffee."
"I love that this doesn’t change your plans, just prepares your mind. Excellence."
Show Me The Truth
"Put my bags up on something and check the mattress. I also bought a UV flashlight but after using it at home I’ve decided that bringing it to a hotel would be unnecessary torture. Nothing is clean when you shine the thing on it. And I mean nothing."
"One of my close friends travels a ton for business. She also loves to sleep in a f**king ice box."
"She has found some resource for how to basically jailbreak hotel thermostats. Each hotel thermostat has a specific key sequence that unlocks the lower temps that the hotel normally doesn’t allow guests to set because, you know, money."
"I do this in every hotel."
"Set bags down."
"Look at room for cleanliness."
"Take a dump."
"I showed up early to a hotel after 12 hours straight of driving. Took forever for them to get me in the room (really it was probably only 30 minutes and they were super accommodating)."
"Anyways, I had been feeling the tyrannical gouging of a sh*t demon trying to claw it's way out for about half an hour beforehand. I ran down the hall, opened the door, threw my bag at something, and was kinda hovering over the toilet just in time. Hadn't put cheek to rim yet and my darling baby began his exit."
"It wasn't until after I looked up that I realized neither door was the self-closing kind and you could see all the way in from the hallway."
"You’ve unlocked a childhood memory. I stayed in a lot of hotels while growing up and I saw someone in your position once, trail of belongings leading to the toilet. So I went and shut the door for him."
"Find the bible and flip through it. When my sister and I were kids, we went to Disney, and I think she asked why is there always a bible in the drawer, waved it by the spine and 20 bucks fell out. So I always check now."
"I found $100 that way. 5 crisp 20's,. I was pretty broke at the time too."
"First, I look at the area between the mattress and headboard for any signs of bed bugs, then under the sheets. I’ve never encountered them, but I’ve heard so many horror stories that I’m paranoid about them."
"As someone who worked in hotels, I always double check the door locks and then inspect for bed bugs."
"Look for cameras. I'm a paranoid f**k."
"If anyone wants to see an overweight guy in his mid-40s eat pringles in his underwear while reading Stephen King novels, then they have my flabby white blessing."
"They sell surprisingly easy to use scanners on Amazon. I found a camera in an air bb bedroom alarm clock, threw a towel over it and got the whole stay for free. Some will detect signals but the best way is there’s a looking glass that’s red and it emits a light and you turn off all the lights and look around the room. Any active camera will shine like a cats eyes when you skim over it."
The Things We Find
"I check in odd places to see if anyone stashed drugs or money. You would be surprised at all the sh*t I’ve found over the years!"
"We found an axe under the bed once."
"Yank the comforter off the bed and throw it in the corner. they rarely wash those things."
"I discovered this recently while calling home to say good night to everyone. Dried food stuck to the comforter. Threw that bad boy off the bed."
"I cleaned an air BnB for a little while and I was so disturbed when they told me they didn't wash the comforter because hotels don't.... Like I guess I get it because they're heavy and they're trying to save water on the washes but yuck dude... Cleaning that air Bnb made me NEVER want to book one because of the sh*t the owners wouldn't LET me clean... I don't think I'd ever survive as a maid for a hotel, I could never travel again lol."
It's A Process
"Make a condom for the TV remote control. Take the ice bag from the ice bucket and put the remote in it. Now I never have to touch the remote."
"I'm sure disinfectant wipes could do the job."
Check For Monsters...People Monsters
"Make sure no one is hiding under the bed or in the bathroom 😂😅"
"I travel a lot for work…and I’m shocked no one else mentioned this. First I check the closet, under the bed, the bathroom for a hiding serial killer…then check the mattress for bedbugs…"
Today I Learned
"Check for cleanliness and then take pictures Traffickcam."
"Traffickcam is an app where you take specific pictures of your room and then upload them to their database. They use these pictures to check on the location of human trafficking victims."
"Take a picture of the room and post it on the Trafickcam app so if the room or similar has been used by human traffickers maybe it will help find someone."
And thanks to those last two stories, I'm a little scared to stay in another hotel.