24-year-old Israeli man Daniel Philosoph is one of a growing number of grandchildren of Auschwitz survivors around the world that are using their bodies to memorialize some of the darkest days in history for Jews.
“People see the number and they ask “What is it? This is a Holocaust number?” I say “Yes”, they said “Oh” and a minute of silence follows, maybe we talk about something and yeah it’s still an issue. It’s uncomfortable, yeah…"
Daniel Philosoph is a 24-year-old Israeli.
"When she tells you, it really gets into you…you know…when you look at her when she speaks about it", he says - referring to his grandmother Livia Ravek.
Ms Ravek is one of around 500,000 living holocaust survivors. Daniel has grown up in Israel listening to her stories of life in the concentration camp.
"It’s not like someone telling history, it’s like today we did like that, and like that…like she remembers every day…how the ground felt and the temperature….everything in a lot of detail”, he says.
Daniel is one of a growing number of grandchildren of Auschwitz survivors around the world that are using their bodies to memorialize some of the darkest days in history for Jews.
4559 is the number Ms Ravek was given and now Daniel bears the same number in the same spot on his own arm.
Brothers Roy and Amit Weisbrot have also had their grandfathers Auschwitz numbers tattooed on their bodies.
"My tattoo symbolises for me…this where I came from and this is the reason I’m here. Without that number I probably wouldn’t be here so this is important for me to always remember it and always see it", says Amit.
It’s believed tattooing started at Auschwitz in 1941. Millions of Jews were inked with a number so they could be easily identified in case of death or escape.
For many survivors the numbers represent a painful scar they’d do anything to erase rather than immortalise with new ink.
“For some Holocaust survivors I guess they can see it as disrespectful thing but for this reason it’s hidden and it’s for me. If they see this as disrespectful thing I just can say that I’m sorry, I didn’t want to hurt anyone and it’s personal thing like a lot of thing we have in life”, says Daniel.
This new ‘tatt’ trend is causing a stir in Jewish communities around the world. Some are supportive. Others say it’s offensive calling for it to be stopped.
But for Daniel and other young Jews – it’s simply about keeping their ancestors alive. “I think that our generation…you can say it knows enough about the Holocaust but it’s about how we remember it. Okay, it’s symbolises the dark but it symbolises that we got out of the dark and that’s what I want to remember”.
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