RIF soapDocuments on the absurd Allied Propaganda Story that the Nazis turned Jews into Soap


The legend stated that the initials RIF [Reichsstelle Industrielle Fettversorgung] stood for "Pure Jewish Fat" (from this Website's picture archive)

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1942: See the Statement issued by Dr Stephen S. Wise, President of the American Jewish Congress, as reported in The American Hebrew, New York, December 4, 1942.

The Northern California Jewish Bulletin
April 27, 1990

Holocaust expert rejects charge that Nazis made soap from Jews

by Hugh Orgel

Tel Aviv (JTA) -- Professor Yehuda Bauer, head of the Hebrew University's Holocaust history department and regarded as one of the foremost researchers of the Holocaust, has denied the frequently quoted charge that the Nazis used the bodies of Jewish death camp victims to make soap.

The technical possibilities for transforming human fat into soap were not known as that time, Bauer said Sunday at a Holocaust memorial meeting for Yom Hashoah.

"The Nazis did enough horrible things during the Holocaust. We do not have to go on believing untrue stories," Bauer said.

Unsubstantiated rumors about the use of bodies of British soldiers to make soap had circulated during both World War I and World War II, he said.

Raoul Hilberg, professor of political science at the University of Vermont and a pre-eminent historian of the Holocaust, agrees that the soap rumor, although widespread, was probably unfounded.

"There were all kinds of rumors," he said, noting that a New York Times article during the war suggested that Jews were given lethal injections before deportation and arrived at the extermination camps already dead.

Other rumors speculated that Jews were killed in the Belzec camp by electrocution in water; some thought the Jews were gassed in the trains.

"All of these rumors are untrue, based on nothing at all," Hilberg said. "No evidence has turned up" to suggested that the Nazis used human fat to make soap.

In Danzig, Germany (now Gdansk, Poland), pictures of dead, heavyset people cut into pieces and a recipe for soap were discovered in 1945 at the Stutthof camp. "But we don't know that the bodies were of Jews, or that the pictures and recipe went together," said Hilberg.

Moreover, the rumor was being circulated as early as 1942, according to documentary evidence.

"It's fairly reliable that the story was circulated, but I can't say whether or not it is true," said Hilberg. square

JTA staff writer Elena Neuman in New York contributed to this report

April 25, 1990

Jewish soap tale 'was Nazi lie'

Israel's Holocaust Museum, rebutting a common belief, said yesterday that the Nazis never made soap from the fat of murdered Jews during the Second World War. But skin was used for lamp shades and hair to fill mattresses.

Historian Yehuda Bauer said many Jews believed their murdered families and friends had been turned into soap because the Nazis themselves propagated the idea. "Nazis told the Jews they made soap out of them. It was a sadistic tool for mental torture." -- Reuter

Correction: This Website has seen no evidence that (human) skin was used for lampshades in Nazi Germany. See the statement by SS investigating judge Konrad Morgen.

Selling their Souls . . . April 1995

MA'ARIV, Tel Aviv

Die Antisemiten der Erde reiben sich freudig die Hände, wenn in Israel öffentlich Holocaust-Souvenirs versteigert werden sollen. Das ist genau, was sie immer behaupteten: Für Geld sind Juden auch dazu bereit, ihre Seele zu verkaufen. Es ist bekannt, daß die Deutschen keine Seife aus dem Fett oder der Asche von Juden machten. Dies ist eine Legende, die wegen einer falschen Interpretation der Kürzel auf der Seife in den Konzentrationslagern entstand. Wenn die Juden bei dem Thema Seife lügen, werden unsere Hasser sagen, lügen sie auch bei dem Thema Gaskammern und Krematorien.

Quoted from Die Welt, 6.4.1995

MA'ARIV, Tel Aviv

THE  world's antisemites rub their hands with glee whenever Holocaust souvenirs are put up for public action in Israel. It's just what they always said: if there's money to be made, Jews are even willing to sell their souls.

It is well known that the Germans never made soap from the fat or ashes of the Jews. This is a legend that originated from a misinterpretation of the characters on the soap used in concentration camps. If Jews can lie about soap, our haters will say, they are also capable of lying when it comes to gas chambers and crematoria.

Related story on this website:

pp Museum, author at odds over Nazi "soap" fable: Lipstadt advises, let story stand
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