It was discovered buried earlier this month in the town of Czeremcha close to the border with Belarus following a tip-off by an student who suggested the items may contain fat from Jewish victims, according to British-born Jonny Daniels, who founded From the Depths.
Many experts insist there is no evidence to support rumours circulating during the war or since that victims’ fat was used for such purposes, but samples have now been taken to Israel for chemical testing to rule this out.
“According to the villagers at the end of the war the Nazis escaping tried to hide the soap and threw it all in this forest,” said Daniels, whose organisation is also undertaking a project to preserve Jewish cemeteries.
“When I found it I was sick to my stomach at the thought of what it could be. I pray that it turns out to be industrial fat.”
A spokesperson for Yad Vashem said the Germans “experimented” with making oils and soaps from the bodies of non-Jewish Polish labourers near Stutthof at the end of the war.
She added: “Despite the rumours, which began even during the Holocaust, there is no evidence that soap was produced from the bodies of Jews.”