Some thoughts on the Holocaust as we commemorate Yom HaShoah tonight
By Robert Eli Rubinstein for The Times of Israel
Appearing to change the subject, she motioned toward the blue number tattooed on her forearm and explained, as she had done countless times in the past, that this was how the Nazis tagged Jewish prisoners kept alive for slave labor at the Auschwitz concentration camp. It was not just a typically efficient German administrative procedure, akin to ranchers branding cattle to keep track of them: It was also a diabolical attempt to dehumanize the Jews. By replacing the prisoners’ names with numbers, the Germans were trying to extinguish their souls before murdering their bodies. Of all her family members deported to that infernal place, my mother was the only one who survived to bear witness.