The Danzig Soap Case: Facts and Legends around "Professor

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The Danzig Soap Case: Facts and Legends around "Professor
in: German Studies Review 29:1(Feb. 2006),
pp. 63-86
Soap Case:
Danzig
Facts and Legends
around
The
"Professor
Spanner" and the
Anatomic
Institute 1944-1945
Danzig
Joachim Neander
Krakow (Poland)
The story of "Professor
semi-industrial
Spanner's
Soap
alleged
Factory"?the
from the bodies
inmates
at the Danzig
of soap
of concentration
camp
manufacturing
to the cycle of myths
Anatomic
and legends
that have grown up around
Institute?belongs
the Holocaust.
Its "core of truth" lies in the fact that, in the process
of making
anatomic
Abstract:
a soapy
as an inevitable
and that this grease
grease
preparations,
originates
by-product,
was
used for cleaning
within
the last months
the institute during
of the war. The
purposes
crime against
turns outto have been nothing but a tasteless
misdemeanor.
alleged
humanity
no Jewish
were
the Danzig
involved.
inflated
case,
Moreover,
corpses
Soap
Reducing
to a "prime example
to its real dimen
of Nazi German
crimes,"
by postwar
propaganda
not make
does
sions,
the
list of the Nazi
crimes
significantly
Did the Germans
Soap from Human
Really Make
Since f942 it has often been told that the Germans
extermination
to soap
camps
stamped
with
the
letters
but more
shorter,
Fat?
boiled
"RTF,"
trustworthy.
the victims
supposedly
of the
meaning
Reines Judenfett (pure Jewish fat). RIF, however, was nothing but an abbreviation
use in
for the agency that coordinated the distribution of fat for non-alimentary
wartime Germany
rumored
dur
(Reichsstellef?r Industriefette). Although widely
as
a
numerous
War
in
"fact"
books
and
World
II?and
thereafter
ing
published
was
the
historical
refuted
articles?the
newspaper
"RIF-Soap Legend"
by
long ago
historian Deborah Lipstadt stated 25 years ago:
profession. As Holocaust
Fact
one
else,
for
the
production
the war
after
investigated
Nevertheless,
never
the Nazis
is that
a world-wide
used
of
and
the
bodies
soap
proved
of "true
community
of Jews,
[...] The
soap
to be untrue.1
or
that matter
for
rumor
believers"
was
in the
any
thoroughly
"Soap
Legend"
from
sites show, from Patagonia toManitoba,
does exist, as hundreds ofWeb
California to Siberia.2
those "true believers" play the role of "useful cretins" for the
Unwittingly,
likewise
worldwide
net
of Holocaust
deniers,
allowing
them
to
speak,
not without
at the
good reason, of the ubiquity and topicality of the Soap Legend. Operating
Revisionists"
of
those
"Historical
exploit the
fringes
scholarship,
self-appointed
on
to
cast
the
existence
of the
RIF"
doubt
of
the
very
easy debunking
Soap legend
Llolocaust itself. Their preferred target is the trial of the major war criminals at
Nuremberg,
where
in the judgment,
soap
though
allegations
cautiously
were
presented
and most
at court
and
probably without
also mentioned
considerable
64
German
Studies Review
29/1 (2006)
site of the "Institute for Historical
effect on its tenor. On theWeb
a leading "Revisionist," gets to the point:
Mark Weber,
Research,"
falsehoods
like the soap story [...] raise doubts about
Easily demonstrable
the entire Holocaust
legend [...] and [...] the credibility of the [Nuremberg]
Tribunal and other supposedly trustworthy authorities in establishing other,
more
fundamental
of
aspects
the Holocaust
story.3
The illogic of this reasoning is obvious: awell-documented
historical event such
as the Holocaust
cannot be discredited by disproving amarginal topic like the
of soap from the victims' bodies.
alleged manufacture
At Nuremberg
documents were presented by the Soviets that seemed to
School (Medizinische
prove that at the Anatomic Institute of the Danzig Medical
Akademie Danzig, today Akademia Medyczna Gdansk) the Germans had not only
produced dozens of kilograms of soap from human body fat, but were even about
to do
so on
a mass
scale.
from February
semi-industrial
were
[...] The
[...]Only
crime
of
19,
February
that
Spanner:
of soap from human bodies
I now
which
samples
stated
1946,
submit
prove
that
[...]
the process
soap was already completely worked out in the Institute of
the victorious advance of the Red Army put an end to this
of manufacturing
new
on
Rudenko,
1945 under professor Rudolf
in the production
experiments
out
carried
Danzig
Prosecutor
1944 until January
the Nazis.4
Tribunal as a source of
high international reputation of the Nuremberg
even
meant
has
that
RIF
scholars
who
the
justice
reject
Soap allegations are
The
at least would
convinced?or
not
a
priori
at
preclude?that
the Germans
Danzig
trial runs in producing soap from human corpses, though only on a
scale.5 Certainly many will agree with Holocaust
historian
small, experimental
Yehuda Bauer, who in 1990 stated: "It is also clear that had the war continued,
did make
were
the Nazis
certainly
of
capable
this
turning
into
another
mass
horror."6
The Danzig soap issue is firmly established inHolocaust
remembrance. For
Israel, presents
example, Beit Lohamei Haghetaot (The Ghetto Fighters' House),
at itsWeb site 26 pictures, "photographed
in 1945" at the premises of the former
Institute, as is asserted in the captions. Every picture bears
Danzig Anatomic
the
remark:
"Note:
This
institute
out
carried
to
experiments
produce
soap
from
human fat. The bodies of inmates were supplied by the Stutthof camp."7
A popular Jewish-American Web
site appears to give more detailed informa
case
but
mixes
the
with
the RIF soap issue:
tion,
Danzig
One
of the worst
Professor
Rudolf
crimes committed
Spanner,
an SS
by the Nazies
officer
and
[sic] has been in Stutthof.
'scientist',
was
owner
of
a small
In 1940, he invented a process to produce
soap factory located in Danzig.
from
human
fat.
This
soap
Judische [sic]
'product' was called R.J.S.?'Reines
Fett'?which
means
'Pure
Jewish
Fat'.
Hundreds
of
inmates
were
executed
65
Neander
Joachim
for the 'production'
Following
Spanner was very proud of his invention.
of soap. Rudolf
testimonies
of
some
he
survivors,
to
used
hours
spend
and
hours
to admire his 'invention'. At the liberation, the Allies discovered chambers
full of corpses used for the production of soap. After the war, Rudolf Spanner
was
not
and
his
continued
'researchs'...
.8
of students all over the world have been told something
Millions
caust
arrested
education
or
inWorld-War-II
are
and
classes,
history
similar inHolo
still
learning
it.
discourse, "Professor Spanner's
Independent of its position in the Holocaust
Soap Factory" is deeply rooted in the collective memory of the Polish people.
Since 1946/47, nearly every school child in Poland has read Profesor Spanner by
Zofia Nafkowska
and the references to soap-making from human bodies at Stutt
hof
inTadeusz
Borowski's
short
Until
stories.9
recently,
museums
and memorial
sites all over Poland exhibited cakes of soap allegedly made by the Germans from
their Polish victims.10 The Danzig soap and Professor Spanner are still used in
anti-German
polemics,
as
in the
heated
debate
over
a "Center
against
Expul
sions" and its promoter, Erika Steinbach, president of the German Association
of Expellees
Polish
(Bund der Vertriebenen).11 Stefan Bratkowski, a well-known
in Rzeczpospolita, one of Poland's leading dailies, whether
journalist, wondered
Erika Steinbach's daddy might have guarded transports of Stutthof prisoners
on their way to Danzig to be boiled to soap
by Professor Spanner, and whether
little Erika herself was washed with this soap.12
What
really happened at the Danzig Anatomic Institute during the last year
of the war? Did the Germans
there in fact make soap from human corpses? Was
there already a "small soap factory?" Did the Stutthof concentration
camp sup
ply the institute with corpses? Last but not least: what role did the head of the
institute, Professor Spanner, play in this affair?
in the Spring of 1945
Discoveries
Horrible
To trace the origins of the Danzig soap case it is necessary to go back to the last
days ofWorld War II. Immediately after the capture of Danzig by the Red Army
at the end ofMarch
1945, the newly installed Polish authorities took stock of the
amedical doctor, and
Germans' estate. Inmid-April
Natkanski,
1945,Wincenty
about two weeks later, Stanisiaw Byczkowski, a toxicologist, inspected the premises
of the Anatomic Institute, which had been abandoned by the German scientists at
the end of January 1945. In the morgue and in the "maceratorium,"13 hundreds of
corpses and body parts in various stages of decomposition were rotting away in
tanks and vats. The whole premises were badly vandalized. Everywhere
laboratory
equipment,
around,
of human
skeletons,
parts
as both
scientists
remembered
eryNatka?ski
former
books,
chemicals,
later.14
years
But
scattered
and papers
lay
discov
the most
shocking
and Byczkowski made were pieces of awhitish
told
employees
informed
the authorities,
them
was
probably
"soap"
made
orally;
from
no written
human
report
or grayish mass, which
fat. Both
has
scientists
come
down
then
to us.
66
German
Studies Review
29/1 (2006)
On May 4,1945, a first investigation commission, headed by the Soviet Deputy
and the Polish Mayor of Gdansk, inspected the premises.15
Military Governor
Polish participants included amedical doctor, members of the Security Service
UBP16 and the police, politicians, and the journalist ("propagandist") Stanislaw
Strabski. In the commission's
report "a table with two kilograms of soap" is
a former employee of the
mentioned. Without
being asked, Aleksy Opi?ski,
a
in
who
lived
wooden
hut on the premises,
Institute,
neighboring Hygienic
commission
the
approached
one white, which
commission
the
and
two
presented
he said had been produced
about
a former
assistant,
laboratory
of
pieces
one
soap,
in the Anatomic
and
yellow
Institute. He
Mazur,
Zygmunt
told
was
who
said to have participated in the manufacture
of this soap. The same day the UBP
arrested Mazur and committed him to the Gdansk prison.17
A Polish commission, headed by anUBP officer, took a series of photographs
on
the
on
premises,
8,
May
1945,
in the morgue
mostly
and
the maceratorium.
Among the members of the commission was again Stanislaw Strabski, who the
same day drafted an article to be published in the first issue of the newspaper
to Strabski, the discoveries at the Danzig
Dziennik Bahycki onMay 19.According
Anatomic Institute had finally and irrefutably proven that the Germans had boiled
their victims to soap, as had been rumored all over Europe during the war, but
due to lack of evidence, could not be verified directly at the extermination
sites.18
On May 11, the Presidium of the (Polish) Main Commission
for the Investiga
tion of German Crimes in Poland (Prezydium Gl?wnej Komisji do Badania Zbrodni
Niemieckich w Polsce), headed by Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Janusz, visited
the
institute,
first
and
foremost
the morgue
and
the maceratorium.
Stanislaw
Strabski was again present. The next day they interrogated the witnesses Aleksy
Opi?ski and Zygmunt Mazur. A "recipe" for the making of soap from fat remain
ders, dated February 15,1944, was found. Mazur confessed to having made soap
out of human fat according to this recipe and told details of the
soap-making
on May
the vice-chairperson
of
process. Back inWarsaw
13, Zofia Nalkowska,
the
a well-known
commission,
and
writer,
left-wing
member
of
the Provisional
began to write the short story Profesor Spanner, based on her Dan
in the Anatomic
zig experience.19 The findings of theMain Commission?that
Institute, under the direction of Professor Rudolf Spanner, soap was made from
Parliament,
human
fat for
55 years. They
way
into
use?were
commercial
guided
literature,
never
questioned
in Poland
all further action from the Polish
encyclopedias,
and
school
for more
side and found
than
their
textbooks.
On May 16 and 17,1945, an expert commission?the
first one?headed
by the
Forensic
Chief
of
the
Second
Front
Belorussian
and
consist
(Soviet)
Physician
ing of two other medical doctors, an engineer, and an UBP agent, investigated
the
premises
and
examined
the
corpses
in
the morgue
and
the maceratorium.
A smaller Polish medical commission
followed on May 18 and 19.The "soap"
does not seem to have been an issue for either commission
since they did not
mention
it in their reports. In the next days, all corpses were dissected to deter
Joachim
67
Neander
mine the reasons for their deaths. Shortly thereafter, in June 1945, all human
remains were buried at the Holy Trinity Cemetery
in the immediate vicinity of
Institute. This cemetery, situated in the triangle of today's Aleja
the Anatomic
andMariana Smoluchowskiego
streets,
Zwyci?stwa, Marii SModowskiej-Curie,
was destroyed in 1946 and transformed into a public park.20
On May 28 a Soviet investigation commission, headed by theWar Prosecu
tor of the Second Belorussian Front, interrogated Zygmunt Mazur. He repeated
as the records of
his statements ofMay 12 before the Polish Main Commission,
theMay 28 interrogation show. Two weeks later, on June 11 and 12,Mazur was
again interrogated by the same commission. He stated that he had obtained the
from Professor Spanner on February 15, 1944, and
"recipe" for soap-making
that he himself had made soap from human fat according to this "recipe," that
he had washed himself with this soap, and that his mother had used this soap
for laundry. In the beginning of July 1945, the UBP presented Zygmunt Mazur
to a group of foreign journalists. He repeated his statements about making soap
from human fat. His confessions were quoted in the article "The Human Soap
Factory of Gdansk" by A. Zaslavsky, which appeared in the English-language
newspaper The Soviet News on Friday, July 13, 1945. The next day Zygmunt
Mazur was already dead.21 The cause of death most probably was typhoid fever,
which ravaged at the Gdansk prison at that time.
Sources
The
the most
Undoubtedly
important
primary
sources
for
this
analysis
are
the
re
from May and June 1945, and Spanner's
ports of the investigation commissions
testimonies
before
the
Denazification
Court and to the Hamburg
and
postwar
are
at
Main
archives
the
The
Polish
commissions'
the
of
reports
Flensburg police.
successor institution, Instytut Pami?ci Narodowej
Commission's
(IPN=Institute
in
ofNational Remembrance)
Warsaw. The major findings are summarized in the
appendix of Stanislaw StrajDski's booklet Mydlo z ludzkiego tluszczu (Soap from Hu
man Fat), together with the names and ranks/professions
of the participants.22
The
records of the examinations of Zygmunt Mazur by the Soviets (May 28,
11, and 12, 1945) were presented at the trial of the major war criminals as
Document USSR-197. They are inRussian and were not included in
Nuremberg
June
the
"Blue
Series.
"23
The
"recipe"
for
soap-making
was
presented
at
Nuremberg
as
Document USSR-196,
reprinted inEnglish translation in the "Blue Series, "vol. 39,
46
3-64
from theAnatomic Institute in
under
the
pp.
heading "Official Note-Paper
with
the
of
for
Manufacture
Prescription
Danzig
Soap from (Human) 'FatRemain
ders' Dated 15 February 1944."The word "human" isnot in the German original.
In 1945/46, the British undertook
investigations "In theMatter of German
War Crimes and in theMatter of the Anatomy Institute Danzig." They examined
five former prisoners of war who, for a certain time, had worked at the Anatomic
Institute: Lance Bombardier John Graham, Corporal William Anderson Neely,
Sergeant Andrew Neil, Regular Bombardier Jack Sherriff, and Private John
68
German
Studies Review
29/1 (2006)
Henry Witton. Their affidavits are kept at the Public Record Office, Kew, under
as
fileWO
311/275. Those ofWitton
and Neely were presented atNuremberg
"
Documents USSR-2 64 and USSR-2 72, but are not included in the "Blue Series.
In 1947/48, Rudolf Spanner was interrogated by the German criminal police
in the matter of the Danzig Anatomic Institute. He also testified in 1946 before
the Denazification
Court. Records of his statements and of testimonies given by
and
colleagues
former
students
are at the
Landesarchiv
Schleswig-Holsteinisches
inKiel, with copies at the archives of the Zentrale Stelle, Ludwigsburg,
and the
Institut f?r Zeitgeschichte
inMunich. The personal files of Spanner andMazur
from the Danzig Medical
in Gdansk,
School are at the Archiwum Pa?stwowe
Poland.
Some
documents
important
from
Spanner's
file
are
in fac
reproduced
simile in the book Zbrodnia na Via Mercatorum.M
of the premises of the Anatomic
Institute taken inMay and
Photographs
June 1945 by the Polish and Soviet investigation commissions have been widely
published, often under titles such as "The Danzig Soap Factory," or as alleg
camp. Several are included inMydlo z
edly taken at the Stutthof concentration
dates, and locations
ludzkiego tluszczu, with a list of photographers, witnesses,
are also posted on theWeb
in the appendix. Photographs
site of Beit Lohamei
but without
certifications
of authenticity or identifying names of
Hagethaot,
dates,
photographers,
Far more
important
sources,
primary
and
places.25
for the public
however,
have
been
two
and scholarly
secondary
discussions
ones:
the
than these
statement
of
the
on February 19,1946,26
Soviet prosecutor General R. A. Rudenko atNuremberg
and the short story Profesor Spanner by Zofia Nalkowska,
first published in 1945
and reissued in 1946 together with seven other short stories about German war
crimes in Poland in the small booklet Medaliony. Rudenko based his argument
the
(USSR-197),
solely on the records of the examinations of Zygmunt Mazur
therein (USSR-196), and the statements of the former British
"recipe" mentioned
POWs Witton
and Neely
In addition, he presented
(USSR-264)
(USSR-272).
Institute (USSR-393).
pieces of "soap" found at the Danzig Anatomic
Medaliony
has
seen
numerous
reprints
and was
translated
into
all
languages
of the former Eastern Bloc, including German. A complete English translation,
however, did not appear until 2000.27 Profesor Spanner recounts the investigations
of the Main Commission
in the matter of the "Danzig Soap," focusing on the
examination of Zygmunt Mazur, the main witness, on May 12, 1945. The story
corresponds
largely to that of StrajDski'sMydlo z ludzkiego tluszczu2* and with
the records of the later examinations ofMazur by the Soviet commission. Zofia
Nalkowska's
high reputation as awriter, which she had already achieved in the
prewar
years,
her
long-standing
political
commitment
to socialism,
and
the
fact
that she personally participated as the deputy chair of theMain Commission
in
its investigations at the Danzig Anatomic Institute, raised Profesor Spanner in the
to the level of a first-rate historical source.29
public perception
69
Neander
Joachim
at the Sources
First Critical Glances
critical examination of sources
little
criticism
substantiated
with
and
primary
noted
inconsistencies,
Stra^bski
Already
statements
before
the Main
Commission.
Mazur's
ever,
above
that
was
soap
the aim of developing
Mazur's
odd
The
in Professor
produced
as an
behavior
for mass production,
a far more
to hide
attempt
has
been
of Zygmunt
in
contradictions
how
convinced,
firmly
Being
institute
from human
Spanner's
amethod
and
omissions,
research,
sources
secondary
critics have focused on the records of the examination
published. Most
Mazur.
of the
to historical
is fundamental
Although
bodies
Stra^bski interpreted
terrible
secret.30
"Revisionists"
Richard Harwood
and Dietlieb
Felderer attacked the
not
instruc
but
did
realize
that
the
USSR-196,31
"recipe"
they
soap-making
tions they cited from a popular chemistry book in order to prove the USSR-196
document wrong, refers to a different kind of process. The scathing critique
of the retired chemical engineer Robert Frenz, who posted his analysis of the
on
statements
and Mazur's
"recipe"
a "revisionist"
Web
site,32
does
stand
to
up
scrutiny, but generally "revisionist" critics do not bother about details.
refusal, mostly combined with a
They usually limit themselves to a wholesale
the
blow
all
evidence
for
Holocaust.33
sweeping
against
They only ridicule the
scientific
Neither
evidence.34
Nuremberg
can
approach
be
taken
seriously.
Spanner's statements in his interrogations by the German Criminal Police or
Court in 1946-48 must be regarded with skepticism.
before the Denazification
It can be assumed that, as the accused, he tried to present himself in a favorable
incriminate him. On the other hand,
light and avoid saying things that might
those
of
that were
statements
Spanner's
neutral
or
might
even
have
been
used
against him should be taken seriously, especially if they are corroborated by the
a Czech anatomist and victim of Nazi persecution.
testimony of Hans Havlicek,
The first widely known non-"revisionist"
critique of the documents presented
at Nuremberg
in the "Danzig Soap" issue came in the 1990s from the newly
In a
inWashington.
States Holocaust Memorial Museum
established United
can
the
scholars
that
interested
USHMM
request,
point
parties
position paper
to the fact that the "recipe" USSR-196
does not refer to human fat.With
regard
to USSR-264
and 272, they further note that "the reported testimony of two
Institute while
British prisoners of war who worked at the Danzig Anatomical
imprisoned
cautious
The
is
stance
best
contradictory
on the
Danzig
substantiated
and
inconclusive."
In
general,
however,
they
take
a
issue.35
Soap
non-"revisionist"
critical
approach
to
the
"Danzig
Soap Case" hitherto known is a series of articles by the Polish journalist Tadeusz
Skutnik, based on archival research in Gdansk and published in the beginning
of 2000 in the regional daily newspaper Dziennik Bahycki under the heading
Professor Spanner."36 Skutnik reproaches the investiga
"Accusing/Defending
1945 for an anti-German bias, which led them
tion commissions
of May/June
to
misinterpret
Mazur,
their
findings.
He
suspects?with
the main witness, was prepared
good
for "confession"
reason?that
Zygmunt
by the Polish UBP
and
70
Studies Review
German
29/1 (2006)
oeuvre is a work of
the Soviet NKVD. He further reminds us that Nalkowska's
source
as
a
must
not
historic
treated
be
which
beyond any suspi
literary fiction,
cion. His view is shared by three professors of the Akademia Medyczna Gdansk,
Boleslaw Rutkowski (Nephrology andTransplan ta tion)JanuszMorys
(Anatomy
and Marek Grzybiak
and Neurobiology),
(Clinical Anatomy), who agree that
course of
Spanner only prepared skeletons for educational purposes,37 in the
never
was
the objective of Spanner's
which a soap-like by-product appeared that
not least
efforts. Six decades after the end ofWorld War II,Gda?sk/Danzig?and
to
the
of
in
rid
itself
of
itsMedical
tradition?wants
School rich
having
stigma
been the scene of "one of the worst crimes committed by the Nazis."
Triggered by Skutnik's articles and the ensuing discussion in the local press,
in Gdansk on December
the Union of the German Minority
3, 2001 asked the
was
made
from Nazi
IPN to settle the question once and for all whether
soap
victims in Professor Spanner's institute. IPN's interim report of September 2005
dismissed the (exonerating) German evidence as "storytelling." It held that the
(incriminating) evidence presented by the British POWs "can be trusted." IPN
concluded that soap for cleaning purposes was intentionally produced at the insti
tute from human corpse fat. Contrary towidely held opinion in Poland, however,
IPN clearly stated that the institute was not involved in genocide and that there
was
But
no mass
production:
it was not
certainly
A New
Critical
Source
criticism,
"It was
kind
a matter
of
of an
genocide
experiment?disgusting,
with
the aim of
immoral
producing
[...]
soap."38
Approach
until
now,
has
not
taken
yet
into
consideration
that
none
of
the
and not a single
witnesses who were examined by the Polish Main Commission
member ofthat Commission was an expert in the fields of anatomy or chemistry,
and the
let alone in soap-making.39 The same holds for the British witnesses
members of the Soviet commission that interrogated Zygmunt Mazur. Moreover,
none of these commissions
that
took notice of the findings of other commissions
did forensic investigations as of May
16, 1945. The whole discussion about the
case has revolved around statements given and papers written by individuals with
no expertise in the field of the issue about which they expressed their views.
in the discussion thus far, is the political,
A second aspect, also neglected
within which Spanner and the Danzig
and
framework
economic,
technological
Anatomic Institute operated during the last year of the war. Academia long ago has
abandoned the Soviet-Marxist view that sawNational Socialism as the culmination
of capitalist imperialism, a perspective that guided the investigation commissions
at Nuremberg.
Scholars today look at the
of 1945 and the Soviet prosecution
German
war
economy,
its structure,
its priorities
and
in a differentiated,
more
realistic way. Should the Germans not have preferred making glycerin for explo
sives or lubricants for combat vehicles from human fat, as British World-War-I
propaganda
soap. Did
had
once
claimed?
Wars
they need to develop
are won
a process
with
tanks
and
for soap-making
ammunition,
not with
from human fat at all?
71
Neander
Joachim
The remainder of this analysis will therefore analyze the key statements, claims,
and allegations in the primary and secondary sources. In fact, wishful thinking and
tomisinterpret
their discoveries, which
lack of expertise led the key commissions
in itself gave rise to further distortions of the facts and events in the literature
for the
that followed. It should also be kept inmind that theMain Commission
was
was
a
to
Its
in
Crimes
Poland
of
German
political body.
duty
Investigation
the
Polish
document the crimes perpetrated by the Germans
people. It
against
was in the interest of theMain Commission
and, indeed, of the fledgling Polish
government,
provisional
to portray
the Germans
in as
a
negative
as
light
possible.
saw what
of the Commission
At the Danzig Anatomic
Institute the members
they wanted to see, and they heard from the witnesses what they wanted to hear.
Their view of Professor Spanner and his institute, exemplified by Commission
inMedaliony, "made history."40
member Zofia Nalkowska
Soap, Fat, and Chemical Maceration
Soap was a scarce commodity
(Mangelware) inGermany and German-occupied
countries during World War II. It was the main washing agent at that time and
the only agent that was used for personal hygiene. Rationing,
together with
to non-Germans,
of minor
and only
smaller
soap
quotas
quality
never
were
to conserve,
short
forced
that Germans,
really
though
guaranteed
or since
to support
at the time
is no evidence
either
of soap. There
presented
were
short
of soap or the raw materi
that the Germans
the notion
sufficiently
cause
to
to
for
human
fat as a raw material
had
consider
have
als to make
it,
far
allotting
this fact was not known to the members of theMain
Obviously
who
remembered
the marked shortage of soap in occupied Poland
Commission,
and most probably generalized from their experience.41
its production.
Soap
can
be produced
from
every
or animal,
fat, vegetable
and
of
course
also
does not differ principally from the
from human fat, which in its composition
fat of land mammals and would not pose additional difficulties to any process of
a
soap-making.42 "Fat" is mixture of chemical compounds of glycerin and fatty
and
acids,
"soap" mainly consists of sodium or potassium salts of those fatty
acids.43 In the classical process of soap-making, known in principle in Europe
since the late Roman period and used still today by hobby soap-makers and
small-scale
soap-boilers,
the
fat
is mixed
with
a 25-35
percent
aqueous
solu
tion of sodium hydroxide to obtain "hard" soap, or potassium hydroxide, which
yielding
yields "soft" soap. The alkali hydroxide reacts with the fat molecules
alkali
of
salts
separating,
of
fatty
acids,
cleaning,
the
and
essential
conditioning
components
are still
of
every
necessary
soap.
until
Several
a
soap
stages
ready
for use is obtained.44 The method of soap-making as described in the "recipe"
is a primitive version of this classical process.
USSR-196
In the early 193 Os, however, German chemical plants had already gone over to
in principle known since the middle of the nineteenth
another method,
century,
which allowed mass production on a high quality level and was better suited for
29/1 (2006)
Studies Review
German
72
an industry with a broad product spectrum.45 In a first step, under high pressure
are hydrolytically
and with the aid of metal oxide catalysts, the fatmolecules
split
into glycerin and fatty acids. Both are the source material for a broad variety of
in this production line is obtained
others soap?which
synthetic products?among
with
alkali
of
acids
hydroxides or carbonates.46
fatty
by saponification
At
time,
Spanner's
the German
chemical
industry
and
its
were
engineers
among
the leaders in the field. They had long ago acquired the know-how necessary to
make soap on an industrial scale. They did not need a "layperson," a professor
of anatomy, to "invent the wheel," especially if this "invention" was generally
known since the times of Galenus (ca. 130-200 A. D.). Had the Russian and Polish
taken
and all those who followed their conclusions
investigation commissions
account
into
a
institute
soap"?as
these
basic
[...]
at
"process
was
stated
never
would
they
[...] worked
facts,
was
out"
have
for
it from
Nuremberg47?be
at
Spanner's
of
fabrication
that
presumed
"the
industrial
or
human
fat.
other
any
But there was this "half-finished and [...] finished soap" that General Rudenko
as Exhibit USSR-393,48
If it really was found at the
had presented atNuremberg
we should accept this as a fact?where
had it
Institute?and
Anatomic
Danzig
come from? All witnesses
testified that they saw the "soap" in the "suspicious"
small brick building that was built in 1942 on the premises of the institute and
no longer
that still today is called "theMaceratorium,"
although for decades it has
been used for this purpose. From the beginning of 1944, parts of human corpses,
especially whole limbs, were "macerated" here, that is, boiled down in heated tanks
with alkali hydroxides for obtaining skeleton preparations, as Spanner had testified
taken by the first commission, which
in all postwar interrogations.49 Evidence
on
the maceratorium
inspected
commission
this. The
corroborates
4,1945,
May
noticed, "In the one-story building [...] two autoclaves for the boiling down of
human bones."50 In one of them there were still human body parts. It should be
noted
that
the
too
tanks?were
autoclaves?heated
small
a
for housing
complete
human body, a fact that can easily be seen from the pictures of the interior of the
maceratorium, which were taken onMay 8,1945, and which have been widely pub
lished, often under the misleading heading "Professor Spanner's Soap Factory."51
About "chemical" maceration with alkali hydroxides we read in a paper pre
at a scientific
in 2002
sented
on
congress
sea mammals:
at ap
hydroxide [...] should be used at 0.5-1 % by weight and kept
the
the
heat
110?F
With
source,
proper
[about 45?C].
specimen
proximately
can be left tomacerate. A well-flensed
specimen can be degreased and void of
flesh in three to five days [...]Potassium hydroxide slowly decomposes cartilage,
Potassium
therefore
after
The
step cleaning,
investment.
initial
same method
of potassium
intervertebral
sternebrae,
[...] Pros: One
was
used
hydroxide,
Cons:
ago
and flipper
ends
and bleaching,
chemical-resistant
Requires
60 years
often
disks,
degreasing
at the
Danzig
the cheaper
Anatomic
sodium hydroxide
are
preserved
easily
quick,
inexpensive
heat
source.52
Institute.
Instead
tank,
was used, which
73
Neander
Joachim
works principally in the same way. In addition to skeletons, Spanner prepared
a vinyl
various internal organs which had been treated before with Plastoid?,
were
They
their vessel
ester.
of
also
in the
macerated
chemically
a
to obtain
autoclaves
casting
system.53
The
good preservation of cartilage makes chemical maceration with alkali
of movable
joint prepara
hydroxides the method of choice for the manufacture
a
a
in
field
which
did
lot
of
research
tions,
Spanner
quite
during the war. These
joint preparations were to be used as visual aids in the operating room by the
surgeon during difficult operations.54 Taking into account that the number of
soldiers at the fronts and civilians in the bombed cities who
heavily wounded
needed
geons,
may
immediate
increased
surgery
the development
the
explain
funding
of such
faster
visual
than
aids was,
of
amatter
sur
experienced
of
and
importance
as the interest
as well
in wartime
the maceratorium
of
the number
in fact,
shown in Spanner's work by high-ranking Reich dignitaries. Wishful
thinking,
however, let the Soviets interpret this as interest in "the work for the production
of soap from human bodies" shown by "Hitler's Government."55
In the process of maceration,
the fat contained in the body parts, especially
in the long bones of the limbs, reacts with the alkali hydroxides yielding alkali
salts
of
acids,
fatty
"soap." When
vulgo
maceration
is
the
complete,
source
heat
is switched off. A layer of a greasy mass, about three to four inches thick, which
later becomes hard (if sodium hydroxide was used for maceration)
appears at
the surface of the liquid in the tanks after cooling down.56 Here we have the
"half-finished soap," which the Soviet prosecutor presented at the Nuremberg
trial.
some
Dependent
witnesses
on
explain the various
The
soap
content
the
testified,
raw material,
this mass
may
or not,
as others
asserted.
colors
made
(yellow, white,
this
"maceration
"inputs"
as
smell,"
may
also
by different witnesses.
gray) reported
suitable
grease"
a "bad
had
have
Various
for
simple
cleaning
purposes?a
detergent certainly of low quality, but probably not much worse
than the Einheitsseife distributed toward the end of the war. By further process
ing, a refined product, "finished soap," could in principle be obtained from it.
The Testimonies
There
whose
are
three
testimonies
of the Eyewitnesses:
witnesses
are
were
who
accessible
generally
Neely, Witton,
at
employed
as
Nuremberg
Mazur
the Anatomic
Institute
two
Documents:
and
former
andWilliam Anderson Neely,58
British prisoners of war, John Henry Witton,57
and the former laboratory assistant, Zygmunt Mazur.59 Other individuals who
in the sources or in the literature either had knowledge only
appear aswitnesses
from hearsay, like Aleksy Opi?ski, John Graham, Andrew Neil, and Nalkowka's
two
anonymous
old German
gentlemen
in black
coats,60
or
they
arrived
weeks
scientists had left the building, such asWincenty
after the German
Natka?ski,
Stanislaw Byczkowski, or the recently discovered Waciaw
Bernard.61
testified at the beginning of January 1946, about
Both Witton
and Neely
one-and-a-half
years
after
they
were
transferred
from
Danzig.
They
had
been
74
German
as unskilled workers with maintenance
employed
of
transport
within
corpses
but did not participate
understood
Neely,
It
in "a crude
acid"
seems,
however,
of them had
there. Neither
this
heated
observation
process
not
fully
of "the
to his statement, were treated with
according
tank
enamel
that
They
the
to the maceratorium,
describe
the maceration
roughly
a
someone
but
strange,
remembering
a
treatment
in addition,
of
separate
spoke
fatty portions of the corpses," which
"some
access
Both
chemistry.
from
expected
experience.
and repair jobs and with
had
that was done
in the work
or
in anatomy
that can be
training
in a way
institute.
the
29/1 (2006)
Studies Review
a
by
rather
of Bunsen
couple
referred
to
burners."62
the maceration
of
internal organs previously injected with "Plastoid." Both witnesses
agreed that
from the "tanks" a certain substance ("soap") finally was obtained, which after
cooling was cut into blocks and used for cleaning purposes in the institute.
A glance at the testimonies of the five British witnesses
in chronological order
a "cumulative
reveals
more
he
told
about
with
enrichment
"soap-making."This
later
the
soap":
rise
gives
the witness
to the
testified,
that
suspicion
the
the context
of the interrogations influenced the memory of the witnesses.63 Undoubtedly
the
British and the Soviet investigators closely cooperated in the Danzig soap case,
and it is certainly no accident that the two "most enriched" British testimonies
as Soviet
appeared
at
evidence
Nuremberg.
The testimony of Zygmunt Mazur, the principal witness for the Soviet and
Polish commissions that investigated the "Danzig Soap Case," is themost detailed.
Mazur was born on December
25, 1920, into a family active among the Polish
He
of
the Polish Gymnasium with the mala matura
finished
minority
Danzig.64
exam
under
shortly
German
before
rule.
the war,
but?as
was
He
a Pole?could
at
employed
not
the
continue
as a
institute
his
laboratory
education
worker
(Laborarbeiter) from January 17, 1941, and received on-the-job
training in the
to laboratory
preparation of corpses. On February 1, 1944, he was promoted
assistant (Laborant) and became Angestellter im ?ffentlichen Dienst (German civil
the German
scientists left the institute at the end of January
servant).65 When
1945 for the Reich's interior, he stayed in Danzig.66
Mazur's
testimony
contains
various
even
and
inconsistencies,
contradictions?a
fact that already irritated StraJ)ski, who rightfully accused Mazur of "lying,"67
but who was unable to find out in which regard, and why. A critical analysis of
Mazur's
description
It is possible
that were
Mazur's
according
that Mazur
of the
to discern
combined
into
report
begins
one
with
to the prescription
produced
soap
in USSR-197
given
"soap-making"
in it two completely
different
an answer.
provides
processes
of soap-making
story.
the master
narrative:
a
primitive
in the "recipe" USSR-196.
in this way,
contrary
to his
own
soap-boiling
It is highly
"confession"
doubtful
that
he
did so. First, we are led to believe that "fat" from a corpse can simply be tossed
into the boiling pot. But from a corpse no "fat" can be excised, only fatty tissue,
which first must be chopped into small pieces to increase its surface area. After
that the fat can be extracted, either by melting
(as is done inmaking lard from
75
Neander
Joachim
bacon fat), or by a fat solvent
able
are
steps
on
expertise
from noticing
not
the
in any
of
part
this
of Mazur's
their members
two indispens
in industry). These
(as is preferred
mentioned
testimonies.
the
prevented
lack
Obviously,
commissions
investigation
of
lacuna.
the recipe itself has several flaws. It should have worked
in prin
ciple, although a chemical calculation shows that the soap produced in this way
would have had a surplus of non-neutralized
sodium hydroxide, which would
have made it unsuitable for human use (and which raises doubts about Mazur's
statement that he had used it for washing himself). Another calculation shows
that the amount of table salt ("a handful") to be added after boiling is far too
Second,
to make
low
of
the
expertise
soap
from
separate
phase
the commissions
prevented
the
from
Here
phase.
these
flaws.
aqueous
noticing
lack
again,
In addition, the wording of the "recipe" raises questions whether itwas indeed
written by the medical technician Gertrud Koytek, who had attended a two-year
vocational
school and therefore had at least a basic knowledge of chemistry.68
of the "discovery" of the "recipe" are equally suspect: Ma
The circumstances
zur
it out
pulled
one
from
of
the
in the maceratorium
autoclaves
he was
when
for the Investigation of German Crimes
interrogated by theMain Commission
in Poland.69 There
is good reason to suspect that this recipe was forged by the
or its Polish counterpart, the UBP,70 and that the forgers were
Soviet NKVD
not
likewise
in
experts
chemistry.
At the end of his description
Mazur
to another
switches
of the soap-making
narrative:
the
origin
to the "recipe,"
according
in the maceration
of "soap"
pro
cess: "One productive boiling took several days, from three to seven days."71This
in the paper of the sea mammal
period of time matches the amount mentioned
experts ("three to five days"). It contradicts what Mazur said a few lines earlier,
and which
time
is part
for
cooling,
the
of
altogether
"recipe"
not
narrative:
more
two
twice
than
to
five
to
three
seven
some
and
hours,
hours.
further stated that from 70-80 kilograms of "human fat" that were
collected from about 40 corpses, about 25 kilograms of soap were obtained.72
A simple calculation shows that the output, according to the "recipe," should
have been at least 100 kilograms of soap ready for use.73 A laboratory assistant
in the soap-boiling
who allegedly participated
only four months prior should
Mazur
not
make
in a
mistakes
however,
pears,
if we
of
magnitude
see the
reported
a factor
output
of
four. The
as
contradiction
belonging
to
the
second,
disap
the
"maceration" narrative. The limbs of a "well-fed" (not obese) human being74
contain about 400 grams of fat.This would yield 600 grams of "soap" when the
limbs are macerated. Multiplied
by the number of corpses, 40, we arrive at the
25
of
"about
reported output
kilograms."
Finally, inMazur's description of the soap-making according to the "recipe,"
an error
boiling
cool,
of fact
already
points
to the maceration
the "human fat" with water
"the
soap
floats
to
the
process.
Mazur
stated
that
and caustic soda and leaving the mixture
surface."75
This,
however,
will
not
occur
for
after
to
two
76
German
reasons. First, at this stage of the process,
water.
Second,
a
has
soap
specific
weight
29/1 (2006)
Studies Review
the soap is still dispersed within
greater
than water.
the
of ordinary
(A piece
in a
household
soap sinks to the bottom of a bathtub.) Therefore,
soap-boilers
second step add plenty of common salt, which drives the soap out of the solution
and, in addition, yields a brine the specific weight of which is greater than that
of
at
soap.
Only
the maceration
that
of
stage
the
however,
process,
there
of
the
soap
fat and
to
float
soap
the
In
surface.
that
originates
a
has
so that itwill indeed float to the surface.
could not have boiled soap according to the
less than water,
specific weight
shown
that Mazur
Having
USSR-196,
"recipe"
the three
eyewitnesses:
was
but the
nothing
can
process
a mixture
remains
the
"soap"
"maceration
one
only
that they
conclusion
saw
the
from
testimonies
at the
"manufactured"
of
institute
grease."
An open question still remains. Why did Zygmunt Mazur not tell the truth
did he accuse himself of having perpetrated a
about the "soap-making?" Why
crime in the eyes of his persecutors? We do not know and most
horrendous
probably we will never know. But we know that he was accused of having col
in perpetrating a grave crime against his
laborated with the enemy, the Germans,
in
the eyes of the Poles he had betrayed
the
Polish
is
What
more,
own,
people.
his nation. He had enrolled in the Deutsche Volksliste (German People's List)76
to obtain
German
citizenship,
a
condition
necessary
a civil
to become
servant.
In postwar Poland, having enrolled in the German People's List, however, was
considered a severe crime, punishable by "committal to a place of isolation (camp)
for unlimited time, subjection to forced labor, forfeiture of civil rights forever, as
well as complete confiscation of property."77 Zygmunt Mazur was in a difficult
and UBP, he would have
position. Interrogated by the security forces, NKVD
been
neither
mitted. His
the
first
nor
the
last
early death prevented
in those
years
to "confess"
crimes
never
com
further inquiries. It came just at the right time.
at the Institute
Human
Indeed Made
Soap Was
Spanner's Confession:
was
in
the
November
confronted
with
1945, Spanner
"Danzig Soap Al
Already
an
at
In
of
November
Kiel
affidavit
9, 1945, he admitted
University.
legations"
that he had used menschliche Fettseife (human fatty soap) for treating the ligaments
of the movable
joint preparations for conservation and to make them supple.78
1947 and in February 1948, Spanner was reported to the
At least twice, inMay
criminal police
he was summoned to the Hamburg
On
13,
1947,
police.
May
and taken into custody, being suspected of "having committed a crime against
humanity
and
of
acting
as an
accessory
to
repeated
murder."
He
was
twice
in
the accusations turned out to
13 and 14, 1947. Obviously
terrogated,
be unfounded, because already on May
17, 1947 the Hamburg District Court
ordered Spanner's release.79 On February 12, 1948, Spanner was interrogated
criminal police on the same matter. On July 21, 1948, the
by the Flensburg
were
abandoned and the file closed because the authorities could
investigations
not find a punishable offence.
on May
77
Neander
Joachim
In all these interrogations, Spanner admitted that he had used "human fatty
soap" for impregnating the ligaments of the movable
joint preparations. He gave
his most precise statement on May 14, 1947, at the Hamburg District Court:
I repeat my statement given at the police and add: At the Danzig Anatomic
to a limited extent from human fat. This
Institute soap was manufactured
soap
was
used
only
confession
Spanner's
for
the
leaves
no
of
manufacturing
room
for
joint
preparations.80
at the
doubts:
institute
soap
was
made
analysis, no gas chroma tography of suspected probes?as
from human fat.No DNA
sometimes
is
proposed81?will
did not
tell?and
Spanner
human
fat" was manufactured.
be
necessary.82
was
not
asked?how
this "soap
from
obviously
was
to refine
easiest
The
the maceration
way
no witness
Soviet
Rudenko's
"unfinished
mentions
grease,
prosecutor
soap." As
we
assume
a small
in
the
his
that,
indeed,
process
may
testimony,
refining
only
quantity of "finished soap" was produced, unnoticed by the witnesses. Whether
it was exclusively used for joint preparations, as Spanner stated, may rightfully
be questioned. Some of this "finished soap" obviously was presented atNurem
berg. Samples were also analyzed at the Cracow Institute of Forensic Medicine
and the Lodz State Hygiene
Institute, where they were proven to be "soap" as
in
understood
chemistry.83
to the Anatomic
The Delivering
of Corpses
Institute
The Main Commission held that Spanner had more corpses delivered to and stored
in his institute than were necessary for scientific and educational purposes.84 In
public
is taken
this
perception
making.85 Commission
that were
on
found
as
member
the
The
premises.
16 and 17, 1945, however,
that
proof
these
were
corpses
wrote
Zofia Nalkowska
commission
of
forensic
148 corpses (18 women, 4 children, 126 men
without
heads (two female ones) [...] Aside
corpses
human
heads
for
soap
experts
of May
reported precise figures:
and 1 ape corpse),
from the corpses,
Found
severed
meant
of "about 350 corpses"
82
89
found.86
This concurs with Spanner's testimony from February 12, 1948 ("maybe a little
more than 150")87 and with the capacity of the morgue, which can be calculated
from the figures given in the records of the commissions
of May 4 and 8, 1945
(about 150 corpses).88 Nalkowska most probably had added all figures given for
heads and bodies, which yields 320. Comparison
with other medical
schools
shows that for 450 students of general medicine
and 100 students of a course
in surgery,
were
who
expected
not at all exaggerated.89 Again
by
a
error,
calculating
Spanner
(Kocborowo),
had
led
two main
every
year
at
Danzig,
lack of expertise
the Main
sources
to a wrong
Commission
of
corpses:
and the prisons of Elbing
the number
of
corpses
was
in anatomy, this time aggravated
the
insane
conclusion.
asylum
(Elbla^g),K?nigsberg
of Conradstein
(Kaliningrad),
and
78
German
29/1 (2006)
Studies Review
delivered complete corpses, while the prisons delivered
Danzig. Conradstein
In the beginning, Spanner
beheaded corpses from execution by guillotining.90
received
He
also
of homeless
corpses
once
also
obtained
from
persons
several
Poles
executed
the Danzig-West
by
Prussian
but
shooting,
region.91
to
accept
refused
such corpses in the future, because they could not be properly preserved due to
the shot wounds. It also seems plausible that Spanner did not get the permis
sion
of
the
to
authorities
Ostarbeiter or POW
the Germans
Once
he
two
received
were
in contagious
camps, for fear of bringing
dreaded.
as a rule
who
"Russians,"92
accept
or four94
in
quartered
diseases,93 which
"Russian"
from
corpses
the
Stutthof concentration camp. But, as he stated unchallenged, he refused to further
accept corpses from Stutthof prisoners, because "the material could not be used
by
the
us
to the
due
complete
atrophy
the many
claims
that Jews,
at the nationalities
look
of
students
of
Because
a closer
take
of
fatty
tissue
specifically,
the individuals
and muscles."95
were
let
soap,
were
corpses
used
for
whose
delivered to the institute during the period in question, that is, from February
1944 on. As the morgue diary was lost, we can only guess the nationalities
from
the places
where
came
the corpses
from.
At Conradstein,
there
no more
were
Jews,
as all Jews who had been living in insane asylums in occupied Poland had been
killed long ago. The inmates were Poles and ethnic Germans
(Volksdeutsche).96
Determination
of their nationality is difficult even if official documents are pre
in the
Danzig-West
because
served,
Prussian
region
a considerable
part
the
of
population was of mixed Polish-German
origin. The boundaries of nationality
were blurred, and the classification of an individual according to nationality often
changed with the political situation.
The beheaded were victims of Nazi justice who had been sentenced to death
by
a court.
In
vast
their
majority,
they
must
have
been
German
nationals,
be
cause long since, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Jewish, and Gypsy suspects were
directly handed over to the Gestapo,97 which used to kill by beating, shooting,
or
orWaffen-S
there were alsoWehrmacht
S
hanging. Among the guillotined
soldiers.98 Among the latter there could have been also foreign nationals who,
however, had automatically obtained German citizenship upon enlisting.
We can therefore exclude that in 1944/45 Jewish corpses were delivered to the
institute.
Danzig
This
concurs
Anatomic
conclude
German
that,
corpses
apart
were
and that the majority
Spanner's
of course,
statement:
there
with
Yehuda
Institute:
were
"Russian"
to the
delivered
"The
could
a few
from
Bauer's
remark
about
the
Stutthof
institute,100
material
been
consisted
also
Poles
mainly
who
at the
can further
Polish
and
prisoners,
only
none
from
of them
Stutthof,
from (ethnic or Reich) Germans.
have
"laboratory"
"It did not involve Jewish bodies."99 We
This
tallies with
of Germans,
among
were
Germanized."101
whom,
The
in Poland and among Jewish organizations,
widely held opinion, particularly
that Stutthof was the main (or even the sole) supplier of corpses for Spanner's
institute and that the "soap" was made from the corpses of Polish or Jewish102
Stutthof prisoners, is not supported by the facts.
79
Neander
Joachim
or "A Looter of Corpses?"
Spanner: An "Arch-Criminal"
amember of the SS103 nor
was
neither
held
belief, Spanner
Against commonly
of the SA. Proof is his party membership
file.104 The widely known picture that
allegedly shows him in SA uniform105 actually shows him in the uniform of the
National
Socialist Physicians' Union
(NS-Arztebund), which can easily be seen
Rudolf Maria
from
the
staff
National
on
of Aesculapius
ist Automobilists'
was
Spanner
of
in an official
certified
was
He
patch.
a member
also
the NSDAP:
assessment
of
the
and two mass
(NS-Dozentenbund)
and the National
(NSKK)
Corps
(NSV).
Organization
collar
to non-members
also
open
organizations
the
Lecturers' Union
Socialist University
the National
Social
Socialist People's Welfare
to be
"a party
comrade
ex
of
state."106This
traordinary activity in realizing the aims of the National-Socialist
should not be misinterpreted.
Similar phrases were common at that time in all
assessments
written
Far more
for promotion.
is the
significant
of
date
Spanner's
application for party membership: May 1933. It reveals him as a typical "Violet
ofMay" (Maiveilchen), as the "Old Fighters" of the party contemptuously
called
those individuals who rushed into the party for career reasons after the Nazi
seizure of power. He was not admitted until August 1936 and never held a posi
tion
in
and
classified
party.
as entlastet
him
was
not
used
in his postwar
than
other
for purposes
the
witnesses,
traveler
consequently
impregnating
"maceration
soapy
that "human soap"
interrogations
of
ligaments
there is little reason to doubt the testimonies,
that
Court
(exonerated).107
Spanner claimed
Although
a fellow
he was
file
that
suggests
Spanner's
personal
than an ardent Nazi.
The
Denazification
rather
the
careerist
joint
preparations,
by numerous
given independently
even
maybe
grease,"
the
"finished
was
soap,"
used for cleaning the dissection tables and the floors within the institute in the
last period of the war, and it is difficult to believe that Spanner should not have
known about it. In any case, as head of the institute he bore the full responsibility
for everything that happened there.W. A. Neely, one of the British witnesses,
related
that,
as far
as he
knew,
"none
of
soap was
the
One cannot exclude, however, the possibility
took some of this "soap" and even exchanged
other
goods,
as
reported
some
by
used
outside
the
institute."
that personnel from the institute
it on the black market for food or
witnesses.108
Spanner never was put on trial in the Danzig Soap Case. The British, who
investigated the matter in 1945/46, though convinced of Spanner's participation
of
in the manufacture
not
committed
soap
a crime,
bodies.109 German
authorities
even
a
material
to open
Zentrale
Stelle, Ludwigsburg,
human
from
since
pre-trial
he
had
fat,
came
conducted
to the
"only"
in the years
Posthumous
1967-2002
the suspicion and the charges that in the Anatomic
Medical
School during World War II experiments
with
experiments
in 1947/48 also did not find enough
investigation.
that
conclusion
he
had
dead
incriminating
investigations
by
the
came to the result that:
Institute of the Danzig
were conducted
in the
80
German
industrial
soap from
statements
Incriminating
and British witnesses
Polish
institute
in war-time,
were
proceedings
who
not
could
side never made
The Polish
nary
of
production
roborated.
the
Studies Review
fat of human
to
that
corpses
as have
effect,
actually or allegedly were
29/1 (2006)
were
not
been
made
by
at this
employed
be verified.110
an attempt to have Spanner put to trial. No
no
instituted,
cor
was
action
brought
prelimi
no
him,
against
request
was made for extradition. The same holds for his close collaborators: his deputy
van Bargen, and Technical Assistant Koytek. It
Dr. Wollmann,
Oberpr?parator
is also peculiar that Zygmunt Mazur's mother, who had been living all the time
together with her son and allegedly had washed the laundry with soap from the
was
institute,
never
interrogated.
Under German law, Spanner could be found guilty only of amisdemeanor:
the
rest
of
the
dead's
Criminal
This
would
with
the
(?168
Code).111
disruption
tally
the first postwar
opinion expressed by the late professor Stanislaw Byczkowski,
rector of the Akademia Medyczna Gdansk. Asked by his son Janusz, who had read
about
at school,
if
Spanner"
Spanner
a looter
Rather
of corpses
(hiena
"Professor
criminal?no.
a criminal,
was
he
"A
answered:
cmentarna)"112
Conclusions
is left
now,
What,
quoted
of
the
of
"owner"
alleged
human
soap from
at Stutthof
existed
conducted
there
was
Nobody
assertions
the
at the beginning
the
"soap
never
fat," was
or at the
to
about
"Professor
of this paper? The
that
effect,
"executed
for
Soap
Rudolf
and
factory"
a member
inventor
of
the
Anatomic
Danzig
no
the
Spanner's
answer is: nothing.
"soap"
SS. No
made
of
'production'
there
produce
ever
"soap
factory"
no "researches"
from
Jewish
none
of
and
soap,"
Spanner,
to
"a process
of
Institute,
was
Factory"
were
corpses.
the
corpses
found at the liberation of Stutthof had been "used" for that purpose. The majority
of corpses delivered to the institute came from (ethnic or Reich) Germans,
the
rest,
from
apart
no
Russians,
we
production
Zygmunt
very
few
of
corpses
of soap from human
the main
Poles.
With
were
prisoners
the
that
no
never
and by theMain
"semi-industrial
bodies" were
witness,
of
exception
to the institute.
delivered
raised atNuremberg
ascertain
can, moreover,
Mazur,
from
Russians,
Stutthof
regard to the accusations
With
mission,
a
those
Com
in the
experiments
carried out at the institute,
made
soap
to
according
the
that
"recipe"
and that the number of corpses taken in and stored in the morgue
USSR-196,
of the institute did not exceed the needs of teaching and medical research. The
equipment in the "suspicious" one-story brick building on the premises of the
institute
was
cal maceration
planned
of
and used
body
parts.
not
In
for
this
the manufacture
a
process,
soapy
of soap,
grease
but
for
(Soviet
the chemi
prosecutor
Rudenko's "unfinished soap") originates as an inevitable by-product. This
core of truth inherent in the Soap
Factory legend.
For
scientific
purposes,
small
amounts
of
"human
fatty
soap"
is the
(Rudenko's
81
Neander
Joachim
"finished soap") were also produced, most probably by refining maceration grease.
This grease, maybe even the "finished soap," was used within the institute for
Spanner knew
simple cleaning purposes toward the end of the war. Whether
about this or even approved of it, is irrelevant?as
the head of the institute, he
bore full responsibility. Juridically, the manufacture
of "human fatty soap" from
"maceration grease" and their use for cleaning purposes within the institute
were
misdemeanors.
against
do not
They
as criminal
qualify
let alone
offences,
as crimes
humanity.
Institute under Professor Spanner was not involved
The Danzig Anatomic
in the Nazis' genocidal crimes, a fact that is now officially acknowledged
in Po
land. The time therefore has come to reduce the "Danzig Soap Case," inflated
by postwar
dimensions.
propaganda
"Revisionists"
to
efforts
"Profesor
discredit
Spanner"
to a
prime
would
serious
would
example
lose one
Holocaust
dismantle
of Nazi
of
their
German
favorite
popular
Polish
to
its real
in their
"arguments"
Moreover,
scholarship.
a
crimes,
de-demonizing
anti-German
stereotype
and would contribute to a better mutual understanding. The list of the Nazi
in Poland and during the Holocaust
crimes perpetrated
is long enough. It will
not become significantly shorter, if an alleged crime is deleted from it, but itwill
more
become
trustworthy.
to Diethelm
author
feels
indebted
Prowe,
greatly
comments.
GSR
for their very helpful
readers
anonymous
1
to the Los
Letter
16, 1981; quoted
Times,
May
Angeles
The
features/techniques-of-denial/appendix-5-02.html.
2
For an in-depth
of the "soap
analysis
Jonathan
Huener,
and
the
fromhttp://www.nizkor.org/
see
its reception
history
no.
Folktale
3/4
Studies,
Neander,
Joachim
FABULA?Journal
of
at the annual
of the German
Studies
(2005):241-56.A
paper, presented
meeting
preliminary
October
is at the UCSB
site: http://www.history.ucsb.
8, 2004,
Association,
History Web
"Seife
legend,"
its origin,
and
aus Judenfett,"
edu/faculty/marcuse/dachau/legends/NeanderSoap049.html
3
1/vl lp217_Weber.html.
http://64.143.9.197/jhr/vl
4
International
Trial of theMajor War Criminals
Tribunal,
before the International
Military
14November
1945-1
October 1946 (Nuremberg,
Tribunal, Nuremberg,
[s.
Germany:
Military
In his
42 volumes
IMT); here: vol. 7, 597-600.
n.], 1947-1950);
("Blue Series," hereafter
fell back on this issue; IMT vol. 19, 506. The
the Chief
British Prosecutor
address,
closing
for an alleged
from Auschwitz
evidence
victims;
soap production
presented
as
a
The
is
written
"Blue
Series"
173-74.
accessible
7,
copy at: http://www.yale.
edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/imt.htm.
5
is convinced:
"The Soap Allegations,"
parts 1 to 6: http://www.nizkor.
E.g. John Drobnicki
1 .html to... ./soap06.html;
Alex Grobman/Michael
org/features/techniques-of-denial/soapO
and
Who
Never Happened,
Shermer
do not preclude
it: Denying History.
Says the Holocaust
Do
115-17.
California
It?
of
Press,
2000),
Why
They Say
(Berkeley: University
6
from http://www.nizkor.
Yehuda
letter to the Jerusalem
Bauer,
Post, May
29,1990;
quoted
.html.
org/features/techniques-of-denial/appendix-7-01
7
and following Web
pages.
http://www.gfh.org.il/gfhview/dbsearch.asp?start=l
8
It is identical with
http://www.jewishgen.org/ForgottenCamps/Camps/SmtthofEng.html.
Soviets
IMT
also
vol.
82German
29/1 (2006)
Feb. 22, 2005.
Last visited
that
KAMA,
1994). The
(Warszawa:
quotes
Tadeusz
Borowski,
[Selected
Wyb?r
opowiadan
http://Avww.us-israel.org/jsource/Holocaust/stutthof.html.
9
Zofia Nalkowska,
[Medallions]
Medaliony
are from
Studies Review
16-26.
edition,
on pages
to "human
56 and 97.
KAMA,
Stories]
(Warszawa:
1994); references
soap"
at the
at
A semi-official
for Polish
literature
(liceum), published
high schools
teaching-aid
as
a
for
"the
"Professor
the
of
school
year 2004/05,
presents
Spanner"
paradigm
beginning
in the service of a criminal
of intelligentsia
(Plan pracy nauczycieh,
ideology"
degradation
follow
this recent
Short
Dozens of sci^gi
http://62.29.253.165/Link?refld=6R5861056364JKUW7LV55Q18,31.)
a "monster,"
as the
and an "arch-crimi
(cribs) for students
depict Spanner
"Ugly German,"
can be found on theWeb
in Polish. Translation
under
nal." The
"Profesor Spanner"
sciqgi
or German
titles and quotations
from Polish
of this and all following
by the author.
10
showcase
from the museums'
At Stutthof,
the soap exhibit
early in 2002.
disappeared
11
An Unexpected
"The Debate
about aCenter
See e.g. Pawel Lutomski,
against Expulsions:
German
Studies Review XXVII/3
in German-Polish
Relations?"
Crisis
(2004): 449-68.
12
and "Kim chc^byc
"Znowu?..."
Stefan Bratkowski
[Who do
[Once again?]
Niemcy?"
was born
want
to be?],
in oc
23
Erika
and
2003.
the Germans
28,
Rzeczpospolita,
August
a soldier
forces
in
in 1943. Her
father was
of the German
Poland
occupational
cupied
West
13
A
Prussia.
in the courtyard
small
brick building
tions were made.
14
Piotr Piotrowski/Dorota
Gazeta
Fall Asleep],
15
The
chronology
of the Medical
School
where
skeleton
prepara
nie zasna^ juz nigdy"
Miklaszewicz,
[Monsters Never
"Upiory
21, 2002.
Gdansk,
January
Tr?jmiasto,
Wyborcza
in this and the following
is based on Stanislaw
Str^bski,
paragraphs
i omega niemieckich
tluszczu. Alfa
zbrodni w Polsce
Fat.
[Soap from Human
z
Mydlo
ludzkiego
The Alpha
and Omega
of German
in Poland]
Crimes
(Poznan: Wydawnictwo
Zachodniej
1946).
Prasowej,
Agencji
16
to the Soviet
Urzqxl Bezpiecze?stwa
[Bureau of Public
Security],
comparable
Publicznego
was later shortened
to "UB."
NKVD.
The
abbreviation
17
Prosecutor
Schulz
of the Instytut
which
since 2002
inves
Pami?ci Narodowej,
Maciej
the case of Professor
version:
anew, gives a slightly
Spanner
divergent
Zygmunt
tigated
on his initiative
Mazur
had already approached
the Soviet komandantura
of Danzig
in April
to repeat
of soap from human
the manufacture
fat, but was not taken
1945, and "offered
seriously
being
which
and
charged
found
dolfa Marii
przeciwko
the Light
wieku.
the
That
a crime?
with
is hard
According
to believe.
to
should Mazur
himself
expose
Why
was also arrested
to Schulz,
Opi?ski
by the UBP,
his home. Maciej
"Dzialalnosc
Schulz,
prof. Ru
sledztwa Oddzialowej
Zbrodni
Komisji
Scigania
soap when
searching
w swietle
wynik?w
w Gda?sku"
Polskiemu
Spannera
Narodowi
of the Results
tion of Crimes
XX
sent home."
Against
of the Investigations
the Polish
People].
Zaprzeczanie?Wyjasnianie?Nauczanie
Warsaw,
Denial?Information?Lessons],"
gov.pl/a_210504_konf_wawa_schulz.html.
18
z
tluszczu,
Str^bski, Mydlo
ludzkiego
19See
"Pami?tniki Zofii Nalkowskiej"
to Gazeta
Paper
May
in
w
at the congress
"Zbrodnie
medycyny
in
Crimes
the
20th
[Medical
century.
2004. Text
from http://www.ipn.
21-22,
15.
[The Diary of Zofia Nalkowska],
November
in: Supplement
16, 2001.
Wyborcza,
"Sladami
nekropolii
gda?skich
Szlaki 4/1997:
4.
Part 2], Jantarowe
to the death certificate
issued by the Gdansk
"Wysokie
obcasy"
20
Aleksandra
Biernacka
Necropolises,
21
According
Activities
[Prof. Rudolf Maria
Spanner's
on the Persecu
of the Gdansk
Subcommittee
(II)"
registry
[On
the Traces
office
on
of Danzig's
January
12,2 004
83
Joachim Neander
(in possession
prof. Rudolf
22
See note
documents,
23
See note
24
Krystyna
to Schulz, Dzialalnosc
he died on July 14, 1945. According
he already died on July 10, 1945.
Spannera,
Polish
15.When
this research was done, there was still no access to the original
the summaries
turned out to be sufficient.
of this paper
but for the purpose
of the author),
aMarii
4.
Zbrodnia
Szwentnerowa,
(Gdynia: Wydawnictwo
and severely
ill inpatients
na Via Mercatorum
book
Morskie,
1968). The
of the Conradstein/Kocborowo
in Via Mercatorum]
[The Crime
of handicapped
deals with
the murder
occupation.
asylum under German
sources
to
was one of the
institute.
for corpses
delivered
Conradstein
Spanner's
major
25
http://www.gfh.org.il.
26
IMT vol. 7, 597-600.
27
and with an introduction
from the Polish
Translated
Zo?aNaikowsk^Medallions.
by Diana
in
2
Northwestern
Press,
000).
(Evanston:
University
Profesor Spanner already appeared
Kuprel
to
in:Adam Gillon/LudwikKrzyzanowski,
Mod
translation
1964 in English
eds., Introduction
ern Polish Literature. An
1964).
ofFiction and Poetry (New York: Twayne Publishers,
Anthology
28
a
it gives
anti-German
the
booklet
is
brochure,
propaganda
primarily
fiercely
Although
short story.
far more
detailed
factual
information
than Nalkowska's
29
all over Poland.
The Soap Allegations,
Treated
thus e. g. by Nizkor,
part 5, and nearly
30
z
tluszczu, 21-23.
StraJ)ski, Mydlo
ludzkiego
31
l_Harwood.html.
http://64.143-9.197/jhr/v01/v01pl3
32
http://www.corax.org/revisionism/misc/frenzsoap.html.
33
at the
here that the 'evidence'
"It is worth
So, eg., Mark Weber:
presented
emphasizing
than the 'evidence'
Tribunal
for the bogus
soap story was no less substantial
in 'gas chambers'."
of mass
extermination
for the claims
http://64.143.9.197/
presented
jhr/vl 1/vl lp217_Weber.html.
34
on the
serve a commentary
these scans
site: "Putting
As an example may
revforum Web
for
and
Documents
the
USSR-196,
197, 264,
[...] allows
272] up
[of
viewing
Nuremberg
Nuremberg
people
to
actually
was
see the
junk that
submitted
as evidence."
http://revforum.yourforum.
org/viewtopic.php?t=676.
35
Web
site: http://www.ushmm.org.
via the museum's
Soap.doc. Contact
36
"Ob
Professor
"Oskarzenie
Tadeusz
Skutnik,
Spanner],
Spannera"
[Accusing
profesora
rona
Professor
"Obrona
(2),
Spannera
profesora
Spannera
Spanner]
[Defending
profesora
(3);Dziennik Bahycki,May
37
Piotrowski/Miklaszewicz,
38
This
and preceding
12, 19, and 26, 2000.
Upiory nie zasnqjuz
nigdy.
z ludzi
from: Roman
quotes
Wojcik
?Mydlo
Daszczynski/Krzysztof
to nie
Gazeta Wyborcza
Isn't Genocide],
Kraj,
Beings
[Soap from Human
ludob?jstwo"
un
in genocide
statement
that Spanner was not involved
IPN's
2, 2005. The
September
ofWeb
In hundreds
in Poland.
leashed a storm of indignation
posts and letters to newspaper
It shows
the Germans."
treason"
and "toadying
of "national
the IPN was accused
editors,
is in Polish
collective
rooted
the Danzig
how deeply
memory.
soap legend
the obvious conclusion):
1946 remarked
?NaszaKomisja
(withoutcomingto
39StraJbskialreadyin
"
didnot
commission
fachowc?wnie
tluszczu, 3 0.
[Our
dispatch experts] ;Mydlozludzkiego
przyslala
40
Cam
Eric J. Hobsbawm/Terence
eds., The Invention
(Cambridge:
of Tradition.
Ranger,
Press,
1980).
University
was "one
in the General
Government
ration for adult Poles
piece of soap
monthly
Krakowa
Kronika
Tadeusz
and 250g of washing-powder
Wro?ski,
per capita."
okupanowego
325.
of
Literackie,
186,
1974),
Cracow]
(Krakow:
[Chronicle
Wydawnictwo
Occupied
42
"Selective
and others
in:T. Raclot
fat is given
of human
The
fatty
fatty acid composition
bridge
41
The
84 German
Studies Review
29/1 (2006)
911?15
.The composition
fat cells," Biochemical Journal
acid release from human
324(1997):
can be found
in every general
and
animal
fats
of common
encyclopedia.
vegetable
43
on
for
in every textbook
of fats and soap can be found
The
organic
chemistry
chemistry
are also numerous Web
with
sites from universities
There
students.
dealing
undergraduate
this subject, e.g.http://www.organik.uni-erlangen.de/vostrowsky/natstoff/lnafettsr.pdf
(in
The
alkali salts of fatty acids make
soap contains
soap a detergent.
German).
Customary
to make
also microscopically
and colors,
sometimes
small air bubbles
also water,
perfumes
were
In wartime,
added
often
the soap abrasive.
it swim. Sand or clay minerals
make
they
for adulteration.
primarily
44
can carry out
that everybody
An experiment
an overview
over
the history
of soap-making,
even
on
at home
with
is described,
together
site http://www.
Web
the university
experimentalchemie.de/versuch-024.htm.
45
wurde
?Die hydrolytische
Spaltung
unter Druck
versucht
[...]. Als Erfinder
und A. Mortard
1833 von A. de Milly
[...] erstmalig
im industriellen
Sinne gilt E.Twitchell
der Spaltung
entwickeltes
arbeitete.
[...] Sein in den USA
Katalysatoren
der drucklos mit
(1862-1926),
wurde
auch in Europa
Verfahren
die Druckspaltung
Industrie
schen]
eingesetzt.
und mehr
vielf?ltig
mehr
f?r Fettwissenschaft,
ca. 1900
setzte
lieferte
Date
given
Zeitgeschichte,
in der
[deut
Glycerin
dann, ab ca.
sp?ter
durchgef?hrt,
Deutsche
from Dr. Alfred Westfechtel,
am Main,
to the author,
15, 2004.
April
Letter
Frankfurt
46http://www.uni-essen.de/chemiedidaktik/S+WM/Gewinnung/Seifenherstellung4.htm.
47IMT
vol. 7, 600.
48
on
cannot
be found; good-quality
Ibid. The
photographs
originals
Nizkor
Project,
http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/camps/ftp.py?camps/stutthof/soap-pho
tosAissr-393.jpg.
49
Corroborated
sich
bessere
sie batchweise
Zun?chst
wurde
und Fetts?urequalit?ten.
Herstellweise."
1935, auch in kontinuierlicher
Gesellschaft
Ab
durch?sie
at
of Dr. med. Hans Havlicek
Friedberg
by the testimony
on
in Spanner's
13, 1947, p. 3. Archives
interrogation
May
record
without
Munich,
group Gf 01.13/1,
Germany,
as IfZ Gf 01.13/1.
See also IMT vol. 1, 600.
quoted
following
50
z
in
30.
tluszczu,
Str^bski, Mydlo
Report
ludzkiego
51
See
e.g. http://www.jewishgen.org/ForgottenCamps/Camps/StutthofEng.html,
Photo Collection,
number
12312 of the Beit Lohamei
picture
Haghetaot
theWeb
site of The
on
July 10,1948.
of the Institut
f?r
pagination.
In the
or
http://www.gfh.
1.
org.il/gfhview/dbsearch.asp?start=
52
http://whale.wheelock.edu/archives/info02/0001.html,
53
Statement
9,1945,
by Spanner, Kiel, November
The maceration
July 10, 1948. IfZ Gf 01.13/1.
6.
paragraph
and testimony
of Dr. med. Hans Havlicek,
a
of plastinated
however,
organs,
requires
the great amount
of sodium hydroxide
found
solution
of alkali hydroxides.
It explains
commissions.
the
investigation
by
54
Statement
9,1945,
by Spanner, Kiel, November
35%
and
interrogation
of Spanner
on Febru
ary 12, 1948. IfZ Gf 01.13/1.
55
IMT
vol.
organized
state was a
perfectly
by the IPN: "The German
If Spanner did make
behavior.
soap from human
Edmund
of the highest Reich
authorities."
Krasowski,
is still shared
7,598.This
opinion
state with no room for unauthorized
corpses, he must have met the approval
of the IPN,
Section
head of the Gdansk
56
13,
4; Havlicek,
1947,
p.
Spanner, May
57
USSR-264.
58USSR-272.
59USSR-197.
on
television
July
channel
10, 1948.
IfZ Gf
TVP3,
September
01.13/1.
2, 2005.
Joachim Neander
85
60
Nalkowska,
Spanner,
Profesor
mention
the "soap" at all.
61
Waclaw
Bernard
from Ostr?w
sensationally
Marek Weiss
presented
"
Swiadek
passim.
The
fifth
British
witness,
Jack
Sherriff,
did not
was
in Gdansk,
in April
1945 amilitiaman
Wielkopolski,
to the Polish
in spring 2005 as "the last surviving
public
eyewitness."
zbrodni"
of the crime], Gazeta Pozna?ska, May
17,2 005.
[The witness
62USSR-272.
63
For a critical
of eyewitnesses
in court see e. g.: Elizabeth
Loftus,
analysis of the behavior
Harvard
Press,
1979).
Eyewitness
Testimony
(Cambridge:
University
64
was arrested
His
after the capture
of
father, a railroader,
by the Germans
immediately
war
a
in
in
1939
and
the
entire
concentration
camp.
spent
Danzig
September
63
to his
on
Pa?stwowe
file, kept at the Archiwum
1,
Gdansk,
According
personal
February
to
from the AOK,
the workers'
Barmer
health
the
1944, he changed
insurance,
Ersatzkasse,
a health
insurance
for Angestellte
only.
66
Data
taken from his personal
file at the Archiwum
Pa?stwowe
Gdansk.
67
z
21-23.
Str^bski, Mydlo
tluszczu,
ludzkiego
68
USSR-197.
CV is kept in her personal
file at the Archiwum
Pa?stwowe
Gdansk.
Koytek's
69
na Via Mercatorum,
Zbrodnia
164.
Szwentnerowa,
70
Obrona profesora Spannera
Skutnik,
(3).
71
USSR-197.
72
Ibid.
73
80
about 65 kg of fat, which,
kg of fatty tissue contain
multiplied
by 1.5 for the sodium
content
amount
and the necessary
100
of water,
about
of
soap ready for use. If
yield
kg
"human
fat" had meant
for use, which
74
The
forensic
"pure" fat, the output
an "error" in a
gives
magnitude
commission
that investigated
should
even
have
been
of a factor
about
120 kg of soap
ready
of five.
on
16 and 17,1945,
the corpses
stressed
May
in its report
that the beheaded
corpses were
[sic!] imocnej
"dobrego
odrzywania
budowy
z
ciala" [well-fed
and of a strong physique].
Stra^bski, Mydlo
tluszcu, 32.
ludzkiego
75
USSR-197.
76
writes
about Mazur:
"He chose Volksdeutschostwo.
He
is a person
of
Str^bski
spitefully
zero
z
like all those who betray
their nation." Mydlo
tluszczu, 20. "Volks
morality
ludzkiego
in the original.
deutschostwo"
77
Law Concerning
the Elimination
of Enemy
Elements
from Polish
of May
6,
Society,
16. Quoted
from: Zygmunt
Izdebski. Niemiecka
lista narodowa na G?rnym
1945, paragraph
in Upper
List
Slqsku
(Katowice-Wroclaw:
[The German
Silesia]
People's
Wydawnictwa
here 212.
1946), 210-15,
Instytutu
Sl^skiego,
78
at Kiel on November
Statement
IfZ Gf 01.13/1.
It is, in principle,
9,1945.
given
possible
to use the "maceration
or a refined
from it for this purpose
(letter from
product
grease"
to the author;
Prof. J?rgen
Chair
of Anatomy,
Koebke,
University,
Germany,
Cologne
not mentioned
this
is
in
the
relevant
literature
10,
2005),
September
though
technique
are known.
statement
and other methods
For this reason,
the IPN dismissed
Spanner's
as
"storytelling."
79
in IfZ Gf 01.13/1.
Records
of the interrogations
and of the release order
80
Ibid.
81
Schulz, Dzialalnosc
prof. Rudolfa Marii
Spannera.
82
so
both proposals
make
little sense. Fat does not contain
Moreover,
protein molecules,
a broad
DNA
will
work.
Gas
will
results
within
analysis
hardly
chromatography
only yield
error
due to the high variability
margin
83
Dzialalnosc
Schulz,
prof. Rudolfa Marii
of the composition
Spannera.
of human
body
fat.
86 German
84
17. Strqbski, Mydlo
Nalkowska,
Profesor Spanner,
85
z
14?15.
tluszczu,
Str^bski, Mydlo
ludzkiego
86
Ibid., 32.
z
29/1 (2006)
Studies Review
ludzkiego
tluszczu,
12-13.
87IfZ Gf 01.13/1.
88
89
z
Str^bski, Mydlo
ludzkiego
11 medical
The
schools
obtain
3,000
place
for 216
Maryland,
and Colorado
together
a year
corpses
Das%20Koerperplastinat.asp
a year for every school. The
"storage
30-31.
tluszczu,
of the states of Texas,
entire
(http://www.koerperwelten.de/de/pages/Gutachten
an average of 250
7), which
paragraph
yields
to 300 corpses
Medical
of
has
Innsbruck,
Austria,
small)
University
(relatively
in the
and ample reserve space for partial preparations"
corpses
of its Anatomic
Institute,
morgue
http://www2.uibk.ac.at/ahe/institut/keller-de.html.
90
in his postwar
also confirmed
USSR-197,
by Spanner
interrogations.
91
on
12, 1948. IfZ Gf 01.13/1.
February
Interrogation
92
The Germans
called
all Soviet
citizens
and inhabitants
"Russians,"
except Ukrainians
of the Baltic Republics.
93
on
of Spanner
13, 1947, p. 3. IfZ Gf 01.13/1.
May
Interrogation
94
on
or two [...] Russian
13, 1947, Spanner
[...]
corpses
spoke of "one
Interrogated
May
from a concentration
the name of which
he allegedly
could not recall.
camp near Danzig,"
IfZ Gf 01.13/1. Mazur
remembered
"four corpses
of Russian
from Stutthof.
people, men,"
USSR-197.
3.IfZGf
95Mayl3,1947,p.
01.13/1.Atleastno"soap"couldhavebeenmadefromthosecorpses.
96
na Via Mercatorum,
See Szwentnerowa,
Zbrodnia
Rie?,
passim. Also Volker
"lebensunwerten
Lebens" in den Reichsgauen
Danzig-Westpreu?en
Vernichtung
am Main:
1939/40
Peter Lang,
(Frankfurt
1995),
97
to an agreement
between
Himmler
According
from
Document
19, 1942. Nuremberg
September
Die Anf?nge
der
und Wartheland
23-53.
and Reich
PS-654,
Minister
paragraph
of Justice
14.
Thierack,
.IfZGf 01.13/1 AccordingtoNalkowska(Pro/^5-orvSp^/z
13,1947
98InterrogationofSpanner,May
at the
"four German
soldiers" guillotined
ner, 21), Zygmunt Mazur mentioned
prison.
Danzig
99
to The
Letter
from http://www.nizkor.org/
9, 1991; quoted
Standard,
Jewish
January
features/techniques-of-denial/appendix-7-02.html.
100Corroborated
by the testimonies ofW. A. Neely
311/275).
(USSR-2 72) and A. Neil
(PRO file
WO
101
on
13, 1947. IfZ Gf 01.13/1.
Interrogation
May
102
on the
of those who
this view.
express
Depending
nationality
103
20.
Nalkowska,
Profesor Spanner,
104
personal
f?le atArchiwum
Pa?stwowe
Facsimile
Gdansk.
reproduction
na Via Mercatorum,
Zbrodnia
between
pp. 160 and 161. Also
Spanner's
May
13, 1947. IfZGf 01.13/1.
in Szwentnerowa,
interrogation
on
105
na Via Mercatorum,
of his profile portrait;
Zbrodnia
before p. 145.
Szwentnerowa,
Caption
106
Dzialalnosc
Marii
Schulz,
Spannera.
prof Rudolfa
107
on
14, 1947. IfZ Gf 01.13/1.
May
Interrogation
ios
to Piotrowski/Miklaszewicz,
^s remembered
Natkanski,
Upiory
byWincenty
according
nie zasnqjuz
nigdy.
109
slad mydla
Gazeta Wyborcza
4,2002.
[British Soap Traces].
Tr?jmiasto,
Brytyjski
February
See also http://www.republika.pl/antinazi/luty4.htm.
110
to the Institut Pamieci
from the Zentrale
Letter
Stelle
Narodowej,
July 11, 2002.
111
to the author, December
from prosecutor
Letter
Dr. Riedel,
Zentrale
3, 2003.
Stelle,
112
nie
Piotrowski/Miklaszewicz,
Upiory
zasnqjuz
nigdy.

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