June 3, 2010
Montreal police: Soap not made from human remains
A lab analysis of a swastika-stamped bar of soap said to be made from Holocaust victims shows no human remains.
The beige bar, said to have been made during the Nazi era and put for sale at a Montreal curiosity shop, made headlines in March when the owner claimed it was made from the fat of Holocaust victims. The shop owner had said he bought it from a former soldier and that it was from Poland circa 1940.
Montreal police seized the item following complaints from Bnai B’rith Canada and a media frenzy. The incident also triggered debate over whether the Nazis made soap from human remains at all. The item was sent to a laboratory near Toronto, which conducted tests for both human and animal DNA. The soap tested negative for both.
“It’s just a regular bar of soap,” Montreal Police Inspector Paul Chablo told the Canadian Press.
Shop owner Abraham Botines said in a March interview with the Canadian Press that he didn’t know whether the soap was actually made of human remains. Botines, who is Jewish, said he had tried to sell the bar to a Holocaust museum. He was asking about $300 for the item.
Police don’t plan to pursue any charges, and the soap will be returned to the shop.