S. Ind. Goodwill officials remove controversial WWII helmet from website


by Johnny Archer


Posted on July 29, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 30 at 4:06 AM

(WHAS11) -- A World War II German Nazi helmet was being sold by Goodwill of Southern Indiana on their shopgoodwill.com website and had reached a bid of $478.00 on Sunday.

“We are very sensitive to community and that’s not something we want to sell,” says Candice Barksdale, the CEO for the Goodwill of Southern Indiana.

Barksdale says she was unaware the helmet had gone up for sale on July 23 until WHAS11 brought it to her attention.

She says money generated from their stores and their website help fund the organization, which services nine counties in Southern Indiana and costs $11 million per year to run.

“All that money is used to provide services for children and adults with disabilities,” says Barksdale.

She says the $478 for the helmet could supply three weeks of care for a child with disabilities.

So, how would a World War II Vet feel about the helmet being sold by the Goodwill?

We talked to U.S. Navy vet John Lawler of Louisville who served from 1944 to 1946 on the U.S.S. Midway.

“What happened with the helmet happened 70 years ago and it really has no relationship to what’s going on today in my opinion,” says Lawler. 

But he admits it might offend some people.

For that reason, the Goodwill is reconsidering the sale of the helmet that came from an unknown donor.

“Items such as that [the helmet] are items we want to discuss [with Goodwill personnel],” says Barksdale. “Is this in the best interest of the community or would be better to donate it to a museum?”

On Sunday, Barksdale said they planned to take the helmet down from the website and donate it to the Frazier History Museum after they have had a chance to contact the museum on Monday.