The Soap Allegations

Part 3 of 6


Claims by Bradley R. Smith

Smith's first claim:

The Encyclopedia Judaica (New York City, 1971) contains a photograph of the inside of a German soap factory. Titled "A German soap factory near Danzig," the photo accompanies the Encyclopedia's article on Poland. ...The photograph is not sourced, but who would want to doubt the intellectual integrity of the publishers of the Encyclopedia Judaica? [20]

Indeed, the integrity of the publishers is beyond question; the sources are readily available. Actually, there are two photographs of the interior of the Danzig Institute on those pages of the Encyclopedia (vol. 13, pp. 761-762). The two photographs were first published (along with a third) in Zaglada zydostwa polskiego: album zdjec, ed. Gerszon Taffet (Lodz: Centralna Zydowska Komisja Historyczna w Polsce, 1945), p. 96. According to that book's Introduction:

The photographs contained in this album are only a part of the photographic documents in possession of the Central Jewish Historical Committee in Poland.

The photographs also appeared in Mydlo z ludzkiego tluszczu: alfa i omega niemieckich zbrodni w Polsce, by Stanislaw Strabski (Poznan: Wydawnictwo Zachodniej Agencji Prasowez, 1946). There are other photographs of the interior and exterior of the Danzig Institute in Polish Monthly Review, no. 1 (Aug. 1945): 22-23; and in Het boek der kampen, by Ludo van Eck (Leuven: Kritak, 1979), pp. 247-252.

Smith's second claim:

At Nuremberg the human-soap indictment against the Germans was upheld.

Smith is half-correct. As quoted above in the section on Mark Weber's first claim, the Judgment of the IMT actually says that "attempts were made."

Smith's third and fourth claims deal with Yehuda Bauer. His third claim:

Yehuda Bauer has told a Holocaust memorial meeting for "Yom Hashoah," the yearly Jewish celebration of German bestiality, that the Jewish soap story isn't true after all.... He says that the "technical possibilities" for rendering soap from the cadavers of murdered Jews were not yet understood during World War II. Do you suppose it's been worked out since?

What, exactly, are Professor Bauer's views regarding the soap allegations? After he was quoted in several newspapers (including the Jerusalem Post, May 5, 1990; Chicago Tribune, Apr. 25, 1990; and Northern California Jewish Bulletin, Apr. 27, 1990) that the "technical possibilities for transforming human fat into soap were not known at that time," Bauer later explained that he was discussing the industrial production of human soap. In a follow-up letter to the editor of the Jerusalem Post (included as an Appendix to this document), Bauer wrote regarding the Danzig experiment:

It emerges very clearly that this was a first and unique experiment and that it was in its experimental stages. The bodies used may have been those of prisoners of war and forced labourers from the immediate vicinity. It is also clear that had the war continued, the Nazis were certainly capable of turning this into another mass horror.

There was no industrial production....

Thus, Bauer is convinced that there was a preliminary experiment performed by Spanner at Danzig.

Smith's fourth claim:

Why did Yehuda Bauer choose to deny the Jewish soap hoax this year rather than last year or the year before? Or ten or even twenty years ago.

As mentioned above in the Mark Weber section, most Holocaust historians have never believed the allegations concerning mass production of human soap, especially as they have been "presented" by revisionists, who confuse the Danzig experiment with the R.I.F. soap rumors. As Smith pointed out earlier in his chapter, Deborah Lipstadt did write a letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times on this topic. [21] And Yehuda Bauer has been quoted on this topic. The rational explanation as to why historians periodically mention this issue in public is because members of the public continue to bring it up. During 1995 alone, there were at least two attempts to sell "human soap," once in Israel and once in Poland.


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Source: The Nizkor Project. Reprinted by permission from the author.