Israel’s Yad Vashem has criticised the sale of tattooing tools used to ink numbers onto the arms of Jewish prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The sale was marketed by Tzolmans auction house in Jerusalem as “a collection of seals [which] symbolises… the most horrific tragedy and the Holocaust of our people”.
Dani Dayan, chairman of Israel’s Yad Vashem National Holocaust Memorial, said: “Yad Vashem opposes the existence of a market for Jewish or Nazi objects from the time of the Holocaust and therefore does not purchase such items. Fortunately, the number of items donated to Yad Vashem is dozens of times higher than those traded… The trade of these items is morally unacceptable and only encourages the proliferation of counterfeits.”
Rabbi Menachem Margolin of the European Jewish Association urged ministers to ban such “despicable” sales, but Meir Tzolman defended the bidding, arguing it increased awareness around the Shoah.
The set of tools is reportedly one of three known kits that survived the war. One is stored at a military museum in St Petersburg, the other is on display at Auschwitz.
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