How many of us heard that if we came home with a tattoo, we wouldn’t be able to be buried in a Jewish cemetery ? And, of course the tattoo also had such a deeper meaning. We associated the tattoo with the permanent scar of the Holocuast, a constant reminder of the darkest days of our history. So, I was incredibly moved by Jodi Rudoren’s September 30th NY Times article “Proudly Bearing Elder’s Scars, Their Skin Says “Never Forget”. In that article, she documented the wave of young people who have taken an active role in commemorating the atrocities of the Holocaust by memorializing those dark days on their own bodies. By tattooing the same number that Auschwitz inmates were tattooed with years ago, these young people believe that the scar of the Holocaust is permanent and will not fade with time.
As the number of survivors dwindle, we must find new ways for us as a society to ensure that we remember. This is pretty bold. Wearing the pain of the atrocities for the rest of your life. Is a statement as bold and striking as a tattoo necessary, or is there another powerful message that we as a society can send to ensure that these atrocities will never be forgotten? Whatever we do, time is of the essence.