http://www.codoh.com/newrevoices/nwidm ... dsoap.html
Soap and Lampshades: The Lies Persist
by Richard A. Widmann
In his recently published book, Why People Believe Weird Things, Skeptic editor Michael Shermer recounts an exchange from the Phil Donahue show. On that particular episode, CODOH director Bradley Smith stated, "It [is] a lie that Germans cooked Jews to make soap from them." Shermer, who is skeptical of many things, but generally a believer in the Holocaust story, replied, "No, not a lie. It's a mistake."
For some the tales of vicious Germans manufacturing Jews into bars of soap and lampshades are indeed a lie, for others, like Shermer, they are the products of innocent mistakes; for still others, the stories remain an unassailable truth. In fact, these propaganda lies have been dispelled many times, but continue to be repeated frequently in establishment sources. It is no wonder that many people still believe these horror stories.
General Lucius Clay, the military governor of the US zone of occupied Germany, explained the lampshade story, "Well, it turned out actually that it was goat flesh [sic --clearly the general meant skin]. But at the trial [of Ilse Koch] it was still human flesh." (Interview with Lucius Clay, 1976, Official Proceeding of the George C. Marshall Research Foundation Quoted in M. Weber, "Buchenwald: Legend and Reality," The Journal of Historical Review, Winter 1986-87 7(4), pp. 406-407.)
In regard to the human soap story, darling of the establishment media and virulent anti-revisionist Deborah Lipstadt noted in 1981 "The fact is that the Nazis never used the bodies of Jews, or for that matter anyone else, for the production of soap." ("Nazi Soap Rumor During World War II," Los Angeles Times, May 16, 1981, p II/2.) Michael Berenbaum, former director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, now supervising Steven Spielberg's taxpayer-funded Holocaust remembrance project, admitted in 1994, "there is no evidence, despite widespread reports, that human fat was used for soap. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum tested several bars of soap reported to be composed of human fat but no such fat was found." (Y. Gutman, M. Berenbaum, Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp, Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis, 1994, p.80.) One would clearly think that the case is closed, and that further repetition of these propaganda stories would constitute nothing more (and nothing less!) than arrant anti-German bigotry.
Still, the lies persist. On May 10, 1997 the New York Times ran an article entitled, "Holocaust Collection Is Educator for Young." The story concerns Milton Kohn, the owner of the world's "largest private collection of Holocaust memorabilia." Kohn wanders the world repeating anti-German hate stories to children. Part of his traveling collection includes an alleged "bar of soap rendered from human fat [which] was bought from a third party in Eastern Europe in 1968." Surely the New York Times, which prides itself on reporting "all the news that's fit to print," is aware that the soap story has been discredited.
The month of May also saw a revival of the hateful story of human lampshades. In a mailing from Time-Life Video designed to hawk their "World at War" series of videos, the advertisement reads: "More than 60 million people were shot, hanged, bombed, starved, gassed, frozen or drowned. Nazis turned humans into lampshades... Now you can see what hell is really like in the most definitive war footage you can find today!"
Obviously, anti-German hatred still sells. Those who profit from spreading these hateful lies should be called to account. It's up to those with a sense of justice and respect for the truth to let the offenders know that countenancing, let alone spreading, such lies can't and won't be tolerated.
...we could only conclude that it originated from some large animal...
Analysis from the Tanners Council Laboratory at the University of Cincinnati 1982.
http://www.fpp.co.uk/Auschwitz/document ... Koch1.html
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
DATE: September 28, 1973
REPLY TO ATTN. OF: NNDW National Archives and Records Service Washington
National Records Center Washington, DC 20409
Family Chronicles (Photo Albums) of Ilse Koch To: Director, General Archives Division &; NNG In the process of reviewing the records of the United States Army Judge Advocate General for the years 1939-1948 (RG 153, Entry 321-B), we have found the record of trial of Frau Ilse Koch who became infamous in World War II crime trials as the "Bitch of Buchenwald." One of the charges against Frau Koch was that of using the skin of concentration camp inmates, after suitable treatment and tanning, for various household decorative items.
Among these were lamp shades, hand gloves, and photo albums. We have found two photo albums which apparently figured in the prosecution's case against Frau Koch in FRG Box 1089 in this record group. Whether or not one of them is actually bound in human skin turned into a fine grade of suede leather may be open to conjecture, but the content of both albums are of considerable historical interest so far as they relate to the personal and family life of one of the most notorious of all of the concentration camp figures in the war crimes trials.
Album No. 1 deals with the Koch "Family Chronicle" up until 1937 -- prior to Colonel Koch becoming commandant of Buchenwald; Album No. 2 commences with the Buchenwald years in 1938. As a side note to history, Colonel Koch was even too inhuman for the Nazis. He was tried by a Nazi military court in 1944 for a number of irregularities (most of which were financial) concerning his management of Buchenwald and executed.
In view of the historical value of these two items, we recommend that they be transferred from their present file location in the WNRC and located in the NARS Audio Visual collection concerned with captured enemy records.
WILLIAM B. FRALEY
Chief WNRC Review Branch
ORDER NUMBER DOCUMENT RESTORATION _______________
SERVICE ORDER REQUESTED BY NNSP/82-19 DATE May 12 1982
RGGP NUMBER RECORD GROUP NUMBER 153
AGSmith 18 N X33055 ADDRESS (If other than Archives Building)
KIND OF SERVICE REQUIRED EXAMINATION NNSP REPAIR OF BOUND VOLUMES APPROVAL (Head of Unit): -- Acting Chief
FLATTEN ONLY NATP XX OTHER (See description of of materials)
TO BE FILLED IN BY NA TP Lv -- Test album cover for content composition Album-.RG 153 -- IK Ilse Koch/ album 2 Attn: Shahani
Call Betty Hill (on ext. above) if you have questions.
REPRODUCED AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES
University of Cincinnati Department of Basic Science in Tanning Research Tanners' Council Laboratory (#14)
Cincinnati Ohio 45221
Phone (513) 281-8501
August 19, 1982 Mr. Chandru J. Shahani, Chief Technology Assistance Staff National Archives and Records General Services Administration Washington, DC 20408
Dear Mr. Shahani: I attach our Report No. 9580 concerned with the small sample of book binding leather which you submitted with your letter of August 11. We regret that since the sample was sueded, ***we could only conclude that it originated from some large animal***, but that a specific species identification was impossible.
Sincerely yours, Robert M. Lollar
Technical Director| Tanners' Council of America
RML: j e c Enclosure