Soap for sale
JERUSALEM, April 4 (Reuter) — Israelis reacted with revulsion on Tuesday to news that memorabilia of the Nazi Holocaust were on sale in the Jewish state.
The furore erupted after Israeli media reported that a Tel Aviv shop was planning to auction a bar of soap which its owner said was made from the bodies of Jews killed in a death camp during World War Two.
The Zodiac Stamp shop, which originally dealt in philately, planned to offer the soap and other items such as yellow Stars of David the Nazis forced Jews to wear, on April 25 — a day before Israel’s annual memorial day for the six million dead.
Shop owner Menashe Meridack said he was cancelling the entire auction because of the public outrage and the bar of soap was back with its owner, the son of a survivor of Buchenwald death camp.
Meridack said there was a worldwide trade in Holocaust memorabilia and most of his inventory came from Eastern Europe.
Israeli experts said it had become clear that the Nazis never made soap out of Jewish corpses,[…]
Bauer told Israel Radio the bar of soap which had been up for auction and pictured on the front pages of Israeli newspapers contained no human remains.
“It is poor-quality soap issued to German troops,” he said. […]
The word “soap” still evokes strong emotions among many of the 300,000 Israelis who lived through the Holocaust, said Yehuda Landsberger, director of Amcha, a support group for survivors and their families.
Native-born Israelis used the word to mock Jewish refugees who came to the Jewish state after World War Two. Even today, “sabon” or soap in Hebrew is slang for “meek.”
By Jeffrey Heller
Transmitted: 95-04-04 19:23:24 EDT