Auschwitz prisoners' stamps put up for auction in Israel

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Auschwitz prisoners' stamps put up for auction in Israel
Auschwitz prisoners' stamps put up for auction in Israel
3 November 2021, 14:56In the worldPhoto: Reuters / The Jerusalem Post
The head of the auction house said the auction should "raise awareness of the Holocaust."

The Israeli auction house TZolman has announced that it will auction sets of seal numbers on November 9, which were used to mark the bodies of Auschwitz prisoners, according to The Jerusalem Post. A set of 14 sets is priced at $ 12,000.

The lot also includes an instruction manual from the German manufacturer Aesculap, which supplied the seals to the Nazis. Lot comments indicate that such marks were traditionally used to mark cattle, but the auction items are ten times smaller than usual, so they were probably used on humans.

In the description on the auction house's website, the items are described as "a shocking and extremely rare museum piece of unprecedented historical significance", one of three similar sets that have survived World War II. Another such can be seen in the museum in Auschwitz, another one - in the military museum in St. Petersburg.

Photo:il.bidspirit.com

In all concentration camps during the Second World War, prisoners wore numbers on their clothes. Auschwitz was the only place where they were tattooed on their bodies. This was done to identify corpses and fugitives. For adults, the tattoo was done on the left forearm or chest, for young children on the thigh. They applied tattoos using metal signet numbers - replaceable plates with needles several centimeters long were inserted into the metal stamp, which formed the numbers. The number was applied with one stroke of such a stamp moistened with ink.

Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel, condemned the sale and questioned the authenticity of the seals. The center's leadership said it would not bid for the items put up for auction because it did not want to encourage human greed: "Yad Vashem opposes the existence of a market for Jewish or Nazi items from the Holocaust and does not buy them."

The auction house, which usually sells old documents, does not say who put the stamps up for auction. However, its head, Meir Zolman, said the lot was intended to raise awareness of the Holocaust: “I am the last one to underestimate or downplay the significance of the Holocaust. I want to make sure that this item falls into the right hands and does not disappear from the pages of history".

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