eBay Under Fire After Soap Bars Allegedly Made from Holocaust Victims’ Remains Went on Sale at Site

eBay again becomes the receiving end point of anger and criticism after a Dutch online seller used the online auction site to sell off soap bars that allegedly were made from the fats of Holocaust victims.

Dutch authorities immediately pounced out on the unnamed online seller and stopped the selling of the “grotesque” WWII relics after shocked eBay buyers reported about the items being on sale in the site for a staggering £143 [$215] each.

The seller even bragged about how the soap bars he was selling were not only WWII artifacts, they were made from the fats of Holocaust victims killed in the Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War.

eBay has also removed the selling page of the said items.

Accordingly, the soap bars originated from Westerbork, a Dutch concentration camp built and used by the Nazis during the Second World War. From here, Jews were sent to various extermination camps. Jewish girl Anne Frank stayed in this camp before being moved to Auschwitz.

The soap bars were just some of the items found near the said Dutch camp. Others included dentures, toothbrushes and glasses which, according to Historian Arthur Haraf, were taken from the Jews at the said Nazi prison and transit camp.

“This is a terrible act and against the law. Whatever is found near the concentration camp and belongs to the events of World War II automatically becomes property of the Westerbork Memorial Museum,” says Haraf.

Meanwhile, various Jewish organizations were angered at the news about the Dutch online seller. Ron Eisenman of the CIDI, a Dutch-Jewish organization, expressed his group’s sadness and disgust at individuals who are willing to gain money from one of history’s bleakest points — the Holocaust.

He went on to say that he, along with CIDI, hopes the public, especially the collectors, use their healthy logic and not take part in these kinds of dealings.

Jaap Fransman, the chairman of the Center for Jewish Debate, also voiced out his dismay at the recent sale of the said WWII-era soap bars as well as other Holocaust relics that have gone up online as merchandises.

“The selling of these things is not only distasteful; it’s also crazy,” he stated.

It can be remembered that rumors started circulating way back during the middle of the Second World War about how Nazis were using the remains of Holocaust victims to mass produce soap bars. The stories were said to have been started by the British.

Though these mass produced soap bars from dead remains of the Holocaust victims were considered untrue, there is strong evidence that it did happen but in a smaller scale and during the war’s early stage.

Notoriously, the Nazis were known to plunder the bodies of their victims for products. One such example was using human hair as felt and as insulators. But Himmler himself may have stopped the German scientists who were using human fats to make soap bars during the war when he ordered for an investigation to be made on the claims of such on  November 20, 1942.

On the other hand, the unnamed Dutch online seller of the soap bars handed himself to the Dutch authorities after the auction was cancelled. Aside from answering the authorities’ questions regarding his claims, he handed two of the items over for examination.

The Public Prosecution Service, though, has declined to make any comments regarding the case as they are still waiting for the results of the said examination.

Heziel Pitogo

Heziel Pitogo is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE