JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A strip of skin tattooed with the Auschwitz death camp number 99288 sits in a silver frame on a shelf in Avraham Harshalom’s living room. It is his prisoner number, etched on to his forearm in 1943.
As the 75th anniversary of the camp’s liberation on Jan 27, 1945, nears, Harshalom, 95, is very clear about why he kept it.
History - Generations
“For history. To tell it to the next generations,” he said.
“In Auschwitz nobody knew names. The German SS (officer), when he was talking to you, he was talking to a number.”
Harshalom - Holocaust - Survivors - Israel - Today
Harshalom is one of some 200,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel today. But with every passing year, fewer remain to provide first-hand testimony to the atrocities committed by the Nazis in World War Two.
Six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust.
World - War - Family - Story - Home
“The Second World War is no longer a family story that you hear at home. For many it has become a history textbook story,” said Pawel Sawicki, press officer at the Auschwitz Memorial, at the site of the camp built in Nazi-occupied Poland.
“The biggest challenge is how to tell this story in a way relevant to them today and in the future.”
People - Jews - Auschwitz - Name - Killings
More than a million people, nearly all of them Jews, died at Auschwitz, whose name has become synonymous with the industrial-scale killings carried out at the Nazi death camps.
Harshalom, who was born in a small Polish village, was 17 when he arrived at Auschwitz.
Harshalom - Avraham - Frydberg - SS - Work
Harshalom, born Avraham Frydberg, was selected by the SS for work at the camp. It saved his life: those deemed unfit for labor were sent to immediate death in the camp’s gas chambers.
Among those killed were his parents and his brother.
Harshalom - Tattoo - State - Israel - Family
Harshalom had his tattoo removed soon after moving to the newly-founded state of Israel in 1949, where he started a family and built a career...
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