Auschwitz tattoo kits banned after Holocaust criticism

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Graphic images showed the photos of the clothing being displayed on bales of straw at the sale

A US company has been told to halt the sale of a tattoo kit blamed for facilitating the tattoos of Jews at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

A German court ruled that tanning clothes could be used to make Jewish names visible during the Second World War.

But the police watchdog in Israel said it was concerned that people could get tattoos to the names of Jews “under cover of the sun”.

The kit was offered at a recent auction in the US, estimated to have been used to make 53,000 tattoos.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Graphic images of the tattoos were posted on Twitter by a Twitter user

“Even though the sellers claim that the permits were held up by bureaucratic obstacles, we cannot allow the sale of a kit that enables the body modification of minors who could abuse it,” said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

Human rights groups had already raised concerns, including a warning from the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Earlier this year, Germany’s president said individuals should be prosecuted for Holocaust denial or glorification.

Image copyright Interpol Image caption Operation Orca, based in Hamburg, uncovered tattoos on Auschwitz soldiers during their shift

In 1944, SS captain Paul Zimmermann was found in a makeshift tattoo parlour and sentenced to five years in prison for illegally tattooing prisoners.

Some prisoners had their hands, feet and arms tattooed with Nazi slogans like “Heil Hitler” and the number “045”.

Many Nazi officers tattooed the names of prisoners and their families on their bodies.

General Sobibor, a camp just east of Auschwitz, was thought to be the work of Heinrich Himmler, Hitler’s deputy.

He was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment, but was shot by Red Army troops in 1945 and is believed to have died in jail.

Image copyright JG Photo Archives / Alamy Stock Photo Image caption Witness testimony suggests that as many as 35,000 Jews may have been tattooed at Auschwitz

After the war, the Nazis used hair-cutting ceremonies and injections of penicillin to replace Jewish tattoos with the designation “Oscar”.

German police were later able to track down more than 26,000 Auschwitz tattooed men, women and children.

In a report released in April, police said the estimated number of tattooed prisoners was around 35,000.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Silesian language tapes acquired by the German newspaper Die Zeit suggest that up to 28 per cent of Ukrainian Jewish prisoners died

Another German newspaper, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, reported in March that 1,193 of 3,300 prisoners executed at Buchenwald concentration camp had Jewish names on their bodies.

Auschwitz was a network of three camps (Bucharest, Malmo and Dachau) where more than a million people died between 1940 and 1945, most of them Jews.

The museum says some 130,000 individuals had their last names tattooed on the camp.

It identified 4,760 people by name and 6,286 as second names, most with numbers on them.

As a deterrent, the idea of letting them serve as witnesses has lost its power in some quarters.

Last year, scientists made a substantial contribution to understanding the deadly regime of Nazi slave labour at the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz.

In July 2010, he and two accomplices were executed by German security forces in Wandsworth, south-west London

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