Holocaust Survivors and Remembrance Network
IN THE NEWS From:
Yad Vashem: Nazi soap stories 'invention'
By Amiram Barkat
February 11, 2005
A box of soap which, according to the Romanian Jewish community, was made from the bodies of Jews killed in the Holocaust was found yesterday in a funeral home in Magdiel (part of Hod Hasharon) in central Israel, Army Radio reported.
The box was buried under a tombstone that read "Soap of Holy People."
The tombstone in Hod Hasharon, bearing an inscription "Soap of Holy People." (Nir Keidar)
Sources at Yad Vashem expressed disappointment at the radio report, calling the story a "pure invention that was given a stage by the media."
A Yad Vashem spokeswoman said there is no proof the Nazis made soap from human bodies during the Holocaust.
The sources said similar claims have been made in the past regarding soap made from Jewish bodies, including soap found last year in the Nahariya cemetery. In that case the soap was determined not to have been made from human remains.
In 1990 samples from several soaps claimed to have been made from Jews were sent for DNA testing at Tel Aviv University. Likewise, those tests determined the soaps did not contain human fats.
In Magdiel, the director of the Jewish burial society (Hevra Kadisha), Moti Elbaum, told Army Radio of the discovery. "I was very surprised and terrified. I didn't know that in Israel there is a grave for soap that was made from saints that were set on fire," said Elbaum. "It is shocking and horrifying. Each time we are shocked more and more by the things that were done to our people."
Others in the community were angered by Yad Vashem's casting doubt on the authenticity of the soap. Holocaust survivors claim that the soap was engraved with writing that said it was made from fat from Jewish bodies.