Montreal, Canada - Holocaust Soap in Store Window Angers Jewish Groups
Montreal, Canada - Jewish groups are denouncing a curiosity shop where a bar of soap allegedly made from Holocaust victims’ fat is for sale.
The beige bar of soap, in a store on Montreal’s Plateau-Mont-Royal, is inscribed with a swastika and displayed in a glass case with a card that says “Poland 1940.”
The store owner – who is Jewish – claims the soap was “made out of people ... the fat of people,” but he wouldn’t grant an interview about his stock, explaining he thought it was important to display and sell such items to remember the Holocaust.
Fake or real, the soap is outrageous, and “this individual, and others like him, are not preserving history in any way,” said Alice Herscovitch, director of Montreal’s Holocaust Centre.
“The sale of objects which glorify Nazism and hatred, to me, do nothing. They certainly don’t help us remember.”
The idea is also disgusting, she said.
“These are items that should not be out there in a promotional, sales kind of way.”
Most Jewish historians and Holocaust experts say stories about mass-produced soap using human remains are untrue, even though there is evidence Nazis experimented with saponification during the Second World War in European concentration camps.
The purchase or sale of items with swastikas is not illegal under Canadian law, but selling soap made with human remains is, explained B’nai Brith Canada’s chief legal counsel, Anita Bromberg.
And claiming it is – if it isn’t – is also illegal because it is fraud, she added.
“It’s just offensive to the core,” said Bromberg, who is based in Toronto. “I can’t imagine that someone would even pretend to say they’re collecting it for historical interest.”
The shop owner also sells a braid of hair labelled as originating from a Nazi “extermination camp.”
He said he wouldn’t sell any of the items to a neo-Nazi.
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