Local auction 

Jerusalem auction house sells Auschwitz tattoo stamps worth $ 12,000


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  • An Israeli auction house has been criticized for listing 14 stamps used on people sent to concentration camps.
  • The stamps, now reportedly worth up to $ 12,000, were used to engrave numbers on the bodies of prisoners at the Auschwitz camp.
  • The auction house manager said the sale was aimed at “raising awareness” of the Holocaust.

An auction house in Jerusalem has listed the sale of 14 stamps used to tattoo prisoners in the Auschwitz concentration camp, sparking outrage from Israel’s Holocaust memorial center.

The stamps, which used needles to punch numbers on inmates’ bodies, are worth up to an estimated total of $ 12,000, per online auction house page. The items will be auctioned on November 9.

The set includes an instruction manual from the German manufacturer Aesculap, which supplied the seals to the Nazis. This booklet says the stamps were intended for cattle, but the items are ten times smaller than average and were likely used on humans, the online listing said.

The auction house described the stamps as “a shocking and extremely rare museum object of unprecedented historical significance”. This particular set is one of three collections known to have survived WWII, one on display at the Auschwitz site and the other in a military museum in St. Petersburg, according to the listing.

According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, these stamps were used by the nazis mark prisoners with an identification serial number, using a set of centimeter-long needles that would pierce an outline of the numbers on the chest. The Nazi officers then rubbed ink.

The World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel, Yad Vashem, has condemned the sale of the stamps and questioned their authenticity, The time of Israel reported.

The photo provided in the listing makes it difficult to determine whether the stamps are legitimate, Yad Vashem told The Times. President Dani Dayan tweeted that the center will not buy auctioned Holocaust items because it refuses to encourage “greedy traders”.

“As a matter of principle, Yad Vashem opposes the existence of a market for Jewish or Nazi items from the Holocaust era, and therefore does not buy such items,” Dayan wrote. first reported to The Times. “Fortunately, the number of items donated to Yad Vashem is tens of times higher than those exchanged.”

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, president of the European Jewish Association, accused the auction house of trying to profit from the stamps, per local media Hamodia. He wrote a letter to the Israeli justice minister, asking the official to stop the “vile sale”.

So far, the auction house has not identified who listed the stamps. He usually sells old Jewish texts and historical documents, according to The Jerusalem post.

But auction house manager Meir Tzolman defended the list and said it was meant to raise awareness of the Holocaust.

“I am the last to underestimate or diminish the value of the Holocaust. I want to make sure that the object falls into good hands and does not disappear from the pages of history,” he said. told a local radio station, according to The Times.


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