Symbol of enduring struggle (archives)
Photo: Yehonatan Zur

Shoah memories live on through tattoos

Relatives of Holocaust survivors get tattoos which closely replicate brandings that Nazis forced upon Jews. 'It's a statement of collective identity,' sociology profession explains

VIDEO – As a symbol of their enduring struggle and as a sign of remembrance, relatives of Holocaust survivors in Israel are getting tattoos which closely replicate the brandings that the Nazi Party forced upon Jews.


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The numbers which the Nazis tattooed on prisoners during their time in labor camps such as Auschwitz were indelible, so the imprints left on those surviving were noted by their families following their release – leading to dozens of children and grandchildren getting tattoos to keep the memory alive.


Ellee Sagir, the granddaughter of Joseph Diamant, recounts: "I said to him, 'One day you will be gone and we will stay here to tell your story.' He started to cry and he kissed my hand, and it was special for him. After he died, it has the same meaning but stronger, I think."


Yona Sagir, the daughter of Joseph Diamant, says: "It gives me strength. When I look at the number I feel that I can do anything. What he has been through is so strong and so hard that my problems are little."


Gad Yair, a professor of sociology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, characterizes the tattoo movement as a sign of cultural and historical identity.


"People, by tattooing the number on their hand, make a contract for perpetuating this history and making it visible for everybody else in their surroundings. So I think it's a statement of collective identity," he explains.


A wave of Holocaust memorial events are taking place this month to remember the six million Jews who perished during World War II at the hands of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party.



פרסום ראשון: 06.01.13, 08:17
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