Palm penknife part of Nazi concentration camp tattoo kit auctioned off

Court issues injunction saying tattoo removal should be made available to victims of Nazi camps

An Israeli court has issued an injunction halting the auction of a palm penknife that could be used to tattoo prisoners of Nazi concentration camps.

The tattoo kit was described in court documents as “a means for the deliberate infliction of scars on the body for the purpose of identification”.

The package for sale included ink, a belt, a hand-held tool and stamps that could be engraved with the numbers issued to the prisoners.

A court in the town of Bnei Brak ordered the injunction against the auction last week, reportedly amid fears that the kit, which was on display at a Judaica shop, would go to an extremist group or that it could be used by Auschwitz survivors.

Court documents said the kit was regularly used by guard dogs trained by the German army at the concentration camps in occupied Poland.

A large number of prisoners had their fingers and palms tattooed by tattooists working at Auschwitz, according to a report on the website.

The $300 (£198) “sharp-tipped” palm penknife is described in court documents as capable of removing tattoos quickly, so that they could be applied to the bodies of female or male prisoners.

The court documents noted that the kit’s “primitive diagnostic tools could easily be used to identify persons via their tattoos”.

“The tattoo kit carries a simple image of the Jewish Star of David and also has a two-piece ring shown on the reverse that could be applied to the fingers and palms of the deceased in order to identify the body for identification purposes,” the court documents said.

According to the court documents, Nazi soldiers and guards had their fingers and palms tattooed in order to identify prisoners as Jewish, “to warn the Jews of their fate and to perpetuate the idea that all Jews are guilty of the Holocaust”.

The kit will remain off the market until Monday.

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