According to auctioneer Meir Tzolman, obtained from a private collector, eight nail-shaped steel dies, each of which are lined with pins to mark marks, are painted with ink to brand their serial numbers. pressed into the meat.
Their website considered it “the most shocking of the apocalyptic items” with an estimated sale price of $30,000 to $40,000.
Bidding reached $3,400 by Wednesday, when the Tel Aviv District Court requested an auction by survivors to stay for a November 16 hearing to see if it should go ahead. Tzolman’s website was amended to show that the sale had been suspended.
More than 1.1 million people, most of them Jews, were killed in Auschwitz in several camps run by Nazi Germany on occupied Polish soil during World War II. It was the only facility that used to tattoo prisoners.
Israel has no laws against the private sale of Holocaust relics. The court spokesperson’s statement did not specify the legal basis for Wednesday’s order.
Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, said it should have possession of items such as those that were auctioned.
“The trading of these items is morally unacceptable and only encourages the spread of counterfeits,” said Dani Dayan, president of Yad Vashem.
In interviews prior to the court order, Tzolman said he was the grandson of Holocaust survivors who had been tattooed. He defended the auction – from which he would take a 25% commission – as a means of ensuring it reached the “right hands”.
“The seller is determined to sell by any means necessary,” he said. “We got calls from tens of people who wanted to bid on this item and donate it. Each noted the name of a different museum related to the Holocaust.”
Tzollmann said that those who died were certified as coming from Auschwitz. He did not share such documents with Reuters.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website states that some Auschwitz tattoos were applied by stylus and others by “using a special metal stamp consisting of interchangeable numbers made from needles approximately one centimeter long.”
The Auschwitz Memorial in Poland said the photographs of those who died appeared identical in its collection.
“If they will be authentic, the fact remains that such unique historical objects are put up for auction – and not given to an institution that remembers the victims and educates about the tragedy of Auschwitz – Deserves words of protest and condemnation,” said memorial press officer Pavel Savicki.