Both AFP (yuck!) and Deutsche Presse-Agentur are reporting that Poland’s Institute for National Remembrance (IPN), a Polish government-funded organization has studied a bar of soap from the war and has found that it contains human fat. Soaps are often made using fat.
Officials with Poland’s Institute for National Remembrance (IPN) based their findings on a laboratory analysis of a piece of soap found in 1945 in the medical academy which was run by German Professor Rudolf Spanner.
A new laboratory analysis of the soap revealed human fat was one of its components, spokesperson for IPN Paulina Szumera told Deutsche Presse-Agentur in a telephone interview.
Human remains used to make the soap were believed to have been brought from Kaliningrad, Bydgoszcz and the Stutthof Nazi German concentration camp located about 30 km from Gdansk.
The IPN investigation found that the soap in question was used to clean operating and autopsy rooms.
“We have determined that, without the shadow of a doubt, soap was produced using substances obtained from human bodies at the anatomical insitute of the Medical Academy of Danzig, led by Professor Rudolf Spanner,” Paulina Szumera of the IPN told AFP.
Danzig is the German name for the Polish city of Gdansk.
“We launched our investigation to still the voices denying that this ever happened,” she said.
For the IPN probe, Polish scientists studied a bar of soap that was presented as evidence during the Nuremberg Nazi war crime trials after World War II, that was in the archives of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Szumera said.
Polish television station TVN24 cited IPN investigators as saying the bodies of prisoners at the Nazi concentration camp of Stutthof, in northern Poland, and at Gdansk municipal jail were used to make the soap.
The bodies of patients at a psychiatric hospital in Gdansk were also used, the investigators told TVN24.