What about the tattoos?

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Callahan
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What about the tattoos?

Postby Callahan » 7 years 5 months ago (Sat May 19, 2012 10:36 am)

I hear a lot of different responses when I first tell someone that I believe the Holocaust was a hoax. One that I've heard quite often is: "what about all of the people with numerical tattoos?". I've never met someone with one of these tattoos but it seems that this detail is one that's generally regarded as being evidence of dehumanization, giving way to the motive of an extermination plan.

What evidence exists, currently, regarding the tattoos given? How many prisoners had tattoos? Is there any evidence of their intended purpose?

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Re: What about the tattoos?

Postby Raymond » 7 years 5 months ago (Sat May 19, 2012 11:09 am)

Why would the Germans go through the effort of registering, tattooing and keeping track of people they were going to exterminate? The tattoos are proof against extermination, not for. Of note, the SS also tattooed their soldiers blood type in their left armpit. Was this dehumanizing them as well?

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Re: What about the tattoos?

Postby Zulu » 7 years 5 months ago (Sat May 19, 2012 1:44 pm)

Callahan wrote:What evidence exists, currently, regarding the tattoos given? How many prisoners had tattoos? Is there any evidence of their intended purpose?

What is strange about tattoos is the real lack of documents which would establish that practice as a systematic policy applied at Nazi camps.
From existing documents at this date, it is reckless to affirm that this practice was more than in limited use at Auschwitz.
Concerning the survivors from that camp, it is also difficult to define with certainty whether their tattoos were made by SS, by themselves or by skilled companions.
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6122&start=60#p51027

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Re: What about the tattoos?

Postby Kingfisher » 7 years 5 months ago (Sun May 20, 2012 11:22 am)

I have no specific knowledge on this, so what follows is just general reflections. Until now, I never questioned the tattoos, but then for years I never questioned the H either.
- How long would it take to make a tattoo? Carlos Porter's link to a tattooing marathon does not tell us very much as those were artistic tattoos by an expert and the record being set was for time, not quantity.
- Were they applied by medical staff or by "trustie" prisoners, with or without supervision?
- What about the hygiene risks? Would not contaminated needles spread viral hepatitis and other diseases? Risk of septicemia?
- How many known instances are there of tattooed, and non-tattooed, ex-prisoners?
- Were the tattoos only used at Auschwitz, and if so, why?
- Do the known tattoos appear to be handmade or applied with some kind of stamp?
- Is self-tattooing at Auschwitz credible, given that tattooing is permanent and the Jewish religious taboo on tattoos?
- Is self-tattooing after the war, to obtain attention or compensation, credible, and if so for some, many or all tattoos?
- Is there any material or documentary evidence to support either side of this argument? There are post-liberation photos of children showing their tattoos, but these could easily have been faked by the Soviets: we know the photos were staged after the event as part of a propaganda exercise. What about well-known ex-prisoners, such as Simone Veil or Henri Krasucki? Have they shown any tattoos?
- The allegation that they were to identify gassed corpses is ludicrous for multiple reasons. Why bother? Indelible ink enough. Sheer numbers if numbers claimed are genuine. No records found...

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Re: What about the tattoos?

Postby JoFo » 7 years 5 months ago (Sun May 20, 2012 9:21 pm)

Has anyone ever identified actual camp ledgers containing prisoner information that corresponds to the numbers found on survivors? That would constitute some proof that the tattoos were used in any systematic way by that camp administration.

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Re: What about the tattoos?

Postby Raymond » 7 years 5 months ago (Mon May 21, 2012 2:36 pm)

I certainly cannot comment on the logistics of tattooing in the kz system, but I was once a tattoo artist and can say that timing wise itmwould take barely mote time than it takes to write the number. A simple scratching with a sharp object and a smearing with ink. They wouldn't have been all too concerned with it being pretty

That being said, from a logical standpoint, it seems pretty asinine. The risk of infection is extremely high, I don't care how many showers or delousings you go through, you are running the risk of thousands of amputees. On top of that is he extremely painstaking record keeping this would take, including commucating between camps the thousands of numbers and corresponding names. We all ow the Germans were ones to over document things and are very efficient but this seems more and more logistically insane the more i think about it.

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Re: What about the tattoos?

Postby Kingfisher » 7 years 5 months ago (Tue May 22, 2012 1:58 am)

Raymond wrote:I certainly cannot comment on the logistics of tattooing in the kz system, but I was once a tattoo artist and can say that timing wise itmwould take barely mote time than it takes to write the number. A simple scratching with a sharp object and a smearing with ink. They wouldn't have been all too concerned with it being pretty

That being said, from a logical standpoint, it seems pretty asinine. The risk of infection is extremely high, I don't care how many showers or delousings you go through, you are running the risk of thousands of amputees. On top of that is he extremely painstaking record keeping this would take, including commucating between camps the thousands of numbers and corresponding names. We all ow the Germans were ones to over document things and are very efficient but this seems more and more logistically insane the more i think about it.

Raymond,

Thanks for the interesting practical information. It answers most of my queries on that particular aspect. Why, though, do you think that it would be so difficult to maintain hygiene standards similar to those practised routinely in tattoo parlours?

On the record-keeping issue, though, I believe it's established that such a detailed record of every prisoner was indeed maintained. In addition to paper records, they used an IBM-Hollerith system, based on punched cards, I think.

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Re: What about the tattoos?

Postby Hektor » 7 years 5 months ago (Tue May 22, 2012 3:35 am)

Are there any "Lagerordnungs" / (camp regualtions) available?

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Re: What about the tattoos?

Postby Raymond » 7 years 5 months ago (Tue May 22, 2012 4:51 pm)

Kingfisher wrote:
Raymond wrote:I certainly cannot comment on the logistics of tattooing in the kz system, but I was once a tattoo artist and can say that timing wise itmwould take barely mote time than it takes to write the number. A simple scratching with a sharp object and a smearing with ink. They wouldn't have been all too concerned with it being pretty

That being said, from a logical standpoint, it seems pretty asinine. The risk of infection is extremely high, I don't care how many showers or delousings you go through, you are running the risk of thousands of amputees. On top of that is he extremely painstaking record keeping this would take, including commucating between camps the thousands of numbers and corresponding names. We all ow the Germans were ones to over document things and are very efficient but this seems more and more logistically insane the more i think about it.

Raymond,

Thanks for the interesting practical information. It answers most of my queries on that particular aspect. Why, though, do you think that it would be so difficult to maintain hygiene standards similar to those practised routinely in tattoo parlours?
quote]


Well I might have overstated the potential for infection now that I think about it, but not by much. People do not realize how infection prone tattoos really are. In a tattoo parlor, there are hundreds of steps to keep a sanitary work area. The entire work area is first disinfected, then covered in celophane. Anything that is not sealed and one-use gets cleaned in an autoclave pressure cooker anf then sprayed down with alcohol. The skin is cleaned, sanitized, shaved, cleaned, sanitized again and then is ready. The tattoo artist goes through a similar process to that of a surgeon. Once the actual tattooing begins, a sanitary ointment/lubricant is used on the skin. The skin is wiped down with alcohol multiple times during the actual process. Once complete the skin is again sprayed down and wiped clean before getting a layer of protective gel smeared over it and then it is covered with celophane that should not be removed for at least 12 hours. Once it is removed, it is important to clean it every few hours or so and protected from any contact with anything. This hourly cleaning should continue for about a week. Even if these measures are followed, the risk for infection is quite high as you are walking around with an open wound.

As far as in the camps, if the SS doctors or techs that were administering tattoos followed these steps, it would take a great amount of time and the risk of infection once being released into the general inmate population. We know the germans did go through a lot to maintain sanitary conditions, but as we also know, disease was an issue.

Now if we follow the thought process that a sharp object was used to cut the skin and then have ink smeared in the cut in interest of being a speedy process, you have multiple issues:
-The object is is tearing the skin, leaving a much more jagged wound than that of a traditional tattoo needle that creates a bunch of precision holes to create the art. Obviously a jagged wound is much more prone to infection than a clean cut.
-If the same sharp objest is being used for multiple people, it would become dul very quick. During professional tattoos, a needle is sometimes changed out because human skin dulls a needle rather fast. Look at a syringe under a microscope before and after just one injection, you will be amazed.
-Also if the same object is being used, just one person with some sort of blood borne pathogen would infect every single person after that person getting tattooed. Now if these were transports form ghettos, it is not that far of a stretch to say that there was at least one ill person on a transport.
-After care is the most important issue. How were these inmates expected to maintain a clean open tattoo? How many times a day were they allowed to clean it? How was it protected from potentially dirty uniforms or bed linins?

I guess my point is that though I don't really doubt that this happened, it does present a lot of logistical questions of which we have no answers.

PS Please excuse my many typos, I am using this terrible Windows HTC touchscreen phone and it as a royal pain in the ass!

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Re: What about the tattoos?

Postby twila » 7 years 5 months ago (Tue May 22, 2012 10:46 pm)

Let's not forget the weasels own words:

Around four o'clock, they put us in a line. Three old [i.e., veteran] prisoners brought a table and medical instruments. Each man had to push up his left sleeve before he came to the table: numbers! The three prisoners took needles in hand, dipped them in black ink and tattooed numbers on our left hand.

My number: A-7713.

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Re: What about the tattoos?

Postby Kingfisher » 7 years 5 months ago (Wed May 23, 2012 4:39 pm)

If most inmates were really tattooed, you'd think there must have been tens of thousands out there with tattoos. So I decided to look in Yahoo images, and lo and behold the same number appeared half a dozen times. It was the same number, mostly same photo, as shown by Carlos Porter on his page. Google images had a bit less repetition, but both Google and Yahoo had remarkably few pictures of alleged Auschwitz tattoos.

I then went on to read Porter's article and he does indeed make a convincing case. Curiouser and curiouser...

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Re: What about the tattoos?

Postby borjastick » 7 years 5 months ago (Thu May 24, 2012 1:49 am)

Kingfisher and Twila you are closing in on a very interesting topic. It appears that we have all been conned once again, on this subject. The standard issue story is that all inmates were tattooed and we are left to believe that it was commonplace in all camps. Now it appears that it only happened in Auschwitz and sporadically at best. What puzzles me most is that there is little to back up the inmates' claim that this was for everyone. Yet no paperwork seems to back this up and there are no machines. I wondered for a long time as to the unprofessional style of the numbers. Surely if this were administered to every new inmate they would have a regularised tattoo process?

As for the Wiesel claim that gets curiouser and curiouser too. Read the comment by Twila and he says it was on his left hand. Buy there is nothing on his hand or forearm today... Aahhh the sweet smell of BS.
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Re: What about the tattoos?

Postby trevor » 7 years 5 months ago (Sun May 27, 2012 1:16 pm)

"Despite the perception that all Holocaust prisoners were given tattoos, it was only the prisoners of Auschwitz after 1941 who were branded this way."
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jso ... ttoos.html

The prisoners were often working alongside with ordinary inhabitants of Auschwitz town and nearby villagers. They had to somehow reliably distinguish prisoners from non-prisoners.


The Auschwitz complex had more than 30 subcamps:
http://en.auschwitz.org/h/index.php?opt ... &Itemid=33


500 prisoners escaped from Auschwitz:

Nizkor, owned by B'nai B'rith, has this on their website:

“According to Dr. Piper the best estimates for the number of prisoners transferred from Auschwitz between 1940-45 was 212,820; the number released: 1,500; escaped: 500; and the number liberated by the Soviets at 8,000”

http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/camps/aus ... variant-02


The subject of camp tattoos is also covered here:
viewtopic.php?t=6367

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Re: What about the tattoos?

Postby Charles Traynor » 7 years 4 months ago (Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:30 am)

I found the following on Wikipedia regarding concentration camp identification tattoos.

A practice was established to tattoo the inmate identification numbers. Initially, in Auschwitz, the camp numbers were sewn on the clothes. With the increased death rate it became difficult to identify corpses, since clothes were removed from corpses. Therefore the medical personnel started to write the numbers on the corpses' chests with indelible ink. Difficulties increased in 1941 when Soviet POWs came in masses, and the first few thousand tattoos were applied to them. This was done with a special stamp with the numbers to be tattooed composed of needles. The tattoo was applied to the upper left part of the breast. In March 1942, the same method was used in Birkenau.

Metal stamps turned out to be impractical, and later numbers were tattoed with a single needle on the left forearm.
The tattoo was the prisoner's camp number, sometimes with a special symbol added: some Jews had a triangle, and Roma had the letter "Z" (from German Zigeuner for "Gypsy"). In May 1944, the Jewish men received the letters "A" or "B" to indicate particular series of numbers. For some unknown reason, this number series for woman never began again with the "B" series after they had reached the number limit of 20,000 for the "A" series.[1]

Franciszek Piper and Teresa Swiebocka, eds., Auschwitz: Nazi Death Camp (Oswiecim: The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, 1996), pp. 60-61.

[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identification_in_Nazi_camps]

I checked this passage at Amazon books and the quote appears to be genuine. I’ve ordered a cheap second hand copy of the book from them and will post again on this topic in the near future. It will be interesting to see whether the authors have bothered to include any citations for their claims. I don’t know anything about Sweibocka, but this wouldn’t be the first time Piper had been caught pulling propaganda out of his ass and presenting it as truth.

I personally do not recall ever coming across exhibits of the alleged early tattoo stamps nor the later mechanical versions whilst touring the Auschwitz State Museum.

[Edit: Spelling only]
Last edited by Charles Traynor on Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What about the tattoos?

Postby Raymond » 7 years 4 months ago (Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:53 am)

"...sometimes with a special symbol added: some Jews had a triangle, and Roma had the letter "Z" (from German Zigeuner for "Gypsy"). "

So what determined when "sometimes" was? Wouldn't it be the most logical way to maintain decent records or organization or what have you, to maintain some order with reason? Not "oh, some times we will put this little triangle, just toss it in there whenever you feel like it."


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