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Free University of Chicago lecture tells the story of Nazi body recycling

University of Chicago professor Bo?ena Shallcross will present a lecture entitled “A Holocaust Object and the Story of Its Production” on April 28, 4:30 p.m., in the University’s Classics Building, 1010 E. 59th St., Room 110. The lecture and the following reception are free and open to the public.

In order to more fully understand the ethical and cultural consequences of the Nazi practice of commodifying and recycling the body, Shallcross will discuss the true story of Nazi doctor Rudolf Maria Spanner manufacturing soap from human fat, as reported by the Polish writer Zofia Na?kowska.

Bo?ena Shallcross is Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago. Her research interests have evolved from a focus on verbal-visual interrelationships through questions of identity to a discourse on objects and material culture—an intellectual trajectory reflected in the title of her forthcoming book, The Holocaust Object: Proximity and Vestiges. She is now at work on another book, tentatively titled Ideology of Furniture. Among her distinctions is the Polish Government Award of Outstanding Achievement for Promoting Polish Culture in the World.

The Jean and Harold Gossett Lecture was established in January 1997 in memory of Holocaust victims Martha and Paul Feivel Korngold. It is sponsored by the University of Chicago’s Committee on Jewish Studies. The lecture is intended to highlight artistic expression in modern Jewish culture with a particular emphasis on issues related to the Holocaust. It is presented each year in the spring. Previous lecturers include Professor of Music Philip Bohlman, poet Peter Filkins and Associate Professor of Art and Architectural History Paul Jaskot, among others.

For general information about this or other events sponsored by the University of Chicago’s Division of the Humanities, contact Carl Nash at 773-702-7423 or, or visit the Humanities Division events calendar at


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