The Uncanny Soap: Zofia Nalkowska and the economy of the Holocaust
This article is an abridged version of a chapter of a forthcoming book titled 'Object. Proximity and Vestiges'. The authoress focuses on material objects and the human corpse as a trace/testimony which was to be annihilated in the economy of the Holocaust. Objects and corpses were subject to a metamorphosis whose first stage was to render them ontically equal. The authoress' starting point was an analysis of use by the Nazis of human corpses as a raw material, e.g. for production of soap. Human body approached as a commodity is intrinsically combined with a modern rational warfare system and with its accompanying technological accountability that has replaced a moral responsibility. The consequence is a paradox described by her: the mass-scale killing removed the threat and repugnance represented by Jewish (dead) bodies.
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