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Unused brown soap bar with scratches imprinted RIF 0367

Object | Accession Number: 1989.264.1

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    Unused brown soap bar with scratches imprinted RIF 0367


    Brief Narrative
    Bar of soap issued for sale to the grandfather of Frank Skopec by the German Authority for Civilian Supplies in 1945. He had a shop in the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia which was annexed by Germany in fall 1938. It was rumored that it was made from human fat. However, this was not the case. This bar was sent for laboratory analysis. The tests indicated that the soap contained no fatty acids, human or otherwise. It is composed primarily of a substance similar to micah or pumice and also includes traces of barium sulfate. Lab scientists compared it to a "mechanic's soap" and said that it contained no form of human remains.
    received:  approximately 1944-before 1945 May
    distribution: Zabreh (Sumperk, Czech Republic)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ana and Frank Skopec in memory of Karel Zlámal
    Subject: Frank Skopec Sr.
    Frank Skopec was born in 1923 to a Catholic family in the Sudentenland region of Czechoslovakia. His grandfather ran a general store in Zabreh. The Sudetenland bordered on Germany and a large proportion of the population was ethnic German. Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933 and one of his announced aims was to reclaiim regions such as this for the Third Reich. On September 29-30, 1938, France, Great Britian, and Italy met with Hitler in Munich. Czechoslovakia was not invited to the conference. The three countries agreed to Hitler's seizure of the region in exchange for a promise of peace. When the region was annexed, Frank and his family were arrested. They were later released, but had to report to the police twice a day for the next two years and were not permitted to leave the city without a special permit. Frank immigrated to the United States in 1953. He and his wife Ana settled in Rockville, Maryland, and raised two children. Frank passed away on December 5, 2005.

    Physical Details

    Object Type
    Soap (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Unused, rectangular, smooth, dense, mottled light brown soap bar with sharp corners and flat sides. The top edge and front are rough and jagged with residue and paper remnants on the corners and white marks, a pinhole, and scratches on the left side. Letters and numbers are etched on the front.
    overall: Height: 0.625 inches (1.588 cm) | Width: 2.375 inches (6.033 cm) | Depth: 1.625 inches (4.128 cm)
    overall : soap
    front, center, impressed : 030[6] / RIF 036[7] / RI [RIF: Reichsstelle für Industrielle Fettversorgung /Reich Center for Industrial Fat Provisioning]

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The soap was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1988 by Frank and Ana Skopec.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:21:09
    This page:

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