the day I saw Numbers on the Arm.

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by Bretnutz, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. Bretnutz

    Bretnutz Guest

    I remember the first time I saw a numbered tatoo on the arm of a person.

    I was about 13 years of age. We had our freezer quit working and had to call a repairman. The repairman arrived and he spoke with an accent' . I was watching do his with boys my age at the time, watched to try and learn something about repair. Then I noticed that on his inner forearm there were a set of numbers tatooed......... I later asked my Father as to what they were and he told me.
  2. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    I too remember clearly the first saw the tattoo. I was on the arm of the father of a college friend (he had children rather late in life). I was aware that he had been in a camp, but had always assumed that my friend meant a POW one. She never wanted to talk about it, and after I saw the tattoo, I asked her for more details. It was then that she admitted that she knew next to nothing, including which camp he had been, because he refused to talk about it.

    So much pain locked away, and all expressed by those few numbers.
  3. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    My first was a local shopkeeper in the late 50's. Dad had to explain it to me and I have never forgotten it!
  4. clivetemple

    clivetemple New Member

    I lived in Israel for a year so I saw quite a few. But the oddest occasion was at the toll booth for the Everglades turnpike in Florida in the late 80's. I handed up my dollar or whatever to an old man sat in the booth, when he reached down to hand me my ticket I saw he had his number on his arm.
  5. Jeff

    Jeff Member

    My neighbor showed me his tatoo when i was about 10. I was shocked by what i read about the holocaust after he told me why he had the tatoo on his arm.
  6. Nakhash

    Nakhash New Member

    I remember the first time I saw numbers tattooed on the arms of a man and wife who owned a kosher deli in a nearby town. I asked the man why he had numbers on his arm. He was very kind and only told me that during the war he was captured and that was what the Germans did to prisoners. My mom explained it to me later at home and told me a "secret" that her family was Jewish. They converted during WWII because that's what they had done during the Inquisitions.

    My family had been mostly lucky. We lost a few distant relatives who lived in Belgium but the bulk of my family lived either in Portugal or the US. Since my mom's family are from the Azores, they had more restrictions and safety problems than the mainland as the islands have always been a midway point in the Atlantic for refueling, resupplying, etc. There is currently a US Naval and USAF base located there.
  7. teamrose

    teamrose Member

    The first time I saw the numbers on an arm I was working at a MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) center in South Florida. I was doing medical transcription and happened to be in the MRI department getting tapes, to start transcribing. The MRI tech asked came to me all shook up. He was trying to calm a nice old lady down, because she was absolutely terrified of lying down to go into the MRI chamber.

    It seems she was a Holocaust survivor. The chamber made her think it was a gas chamber. She showed me and the tech the numbers tattooed on her left arm. She explained as a young girl in Poland she was a prisoner and tattooed. She went on to tell us an incredible story about life back during those days.

    The bottom line, there was absolutely no way we were going to get her to go through that MRI chamber. In fact, after this lady I found out there were many many Jews with that same fear. This is so prevalent in the Jewish community that GE invented a MRI machine with no walls.
  8. pilot2fly

    pilot2fly Member

    I've seen one person with the numbers on their arm. I was too young to really ask suitable questions about it. I was about five years old, so I didn't really know much about it.
  9. Ernest D'Albero

    Ernest D'Albero New Member

    I've never seen a guy with numbers on their arm. I wouldn't know if it would be nice to ask him about his story. Maybe he just wants to forget and he wouldn't like if somebody reminded him of his past.
  10. teamrose

    teamrose Member

    When every I get a chance to talk to older people, I ask lots of questions. Most of the time they are anxious to talk and share their lives with you. The things you learn from old people is like a living history lesson.
  11. RcNu

    RcNu Member

    Numbers on the arm?
    Do you live overseas? Cause I never see that kind of thing here in the States.

    Futhermore wouldn't they (holocaust survivors) be really old?
  12. teamrose

    teamrose Member

    I live in the states in South Florida. We have a very old population here. In fact, Ft Lauderdale is called God's waiting room. We probably have more people over the age of 80 than any other part of the world. I got to see the numbers in two different places. First as stated above while working for a MRI imaging company. I've also seen the numbers in the senior center (Area Agency on Aging). Talking to holocaust survivors is really fascinating.
  13. Charlie Prenicolas

    Charlie Prenicolas New Member

    Good thing that GE made a way to lessen the fear. The Holocaust experienced is forever etched in their hearts and minds, so it is very important that people should be considerate when dealing with victims of this traumatic event.
  14. teamrose

    teamrose Member

    So true about GE being considerate. After hearing about GE inventing that open MRI as it's called, I investigated GE and found they are innovators in literally hundreds of products and services. I was so impressed (not with stock price), but with the dividends, I bought a few shares of GE. They say to put your money where your month is.
    Charlie Prenicolas likes this.
  15. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    Yes, I believe that something wicked happened in Europe during WWII. And I do believe the Germans attempted "racial hygiene." There is just too much evidence supporting it.

    A while back I was in an internet argument, one which still rages, I am lead to understand. Supporters of David Irving are trying to convince people that it never happened. They refer to Irving's lectures (many on Youtube) and his canon of work. This prompted me to find a book and read of Irving's suit in English courts. He claimed liable, but eventually he lost, branded a holocaust denier and a liar. Even so, his disciples persist, denying the court's finding.
  16. teamrose

    teamrose Member

    The holocaust is so horrible, many people find it easier to accept if they just pretend it didn't happen. Until the last survivor dies, it will be virtually impossible to erase this piece of history.
  17. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein Member

    The following intriguing posting was made on the BBC People's War Archives by an old Army friend, Lew Fox
    "I have a Jewish friend by the name of Arnold who was called up after me and eventually posted to the Royal Warwickshire Rgt who were attached to the 3rd British Infantry Division.

    His unit was given the objective of taking Caen and opening a corridor into Belgium and Holland. Whilst on this operation they found themselves on the flank of the Paratroopers at Arnhem but were unable to help them. At Lingham in Germany they discovered a V2 Factory which they then destroyed and his unit finally finished up in Bremen.

    Before going into action on D-Day Arnold had the Star of David tattooed onto his arm. As he and I work for the same Charity organisation I had previously noticed this tattoo and was curious as to its origin.

    Arnold told me that the reason he had this done was that he fully expected to be killed in action and, in his words, wished it to be known that he had fought and died as a Jew."

    Attached Files:

  18. teamrose

    teamrose Member

    Great story. There are literally thousands of great war stories yet to be told.

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