Many times a person gets a tattoo to symbolize an important person or event in their life. Johnny Depp says his tattoos are a roadmap of his life.
In Jerusalem, some younger generations are getting tattoos in memory of their elders who were held in concentration camps during the Holocaust. Eli Sagir is one of these young people who wants to preserve the memory of the terrible injustice committed against her grandfather, Yosef Diamant, and countless others nearly 70 years ago.
Ms. Sagir says her generation “knows nothing of the Holocaust.” She said “they think it’s like the Exodus from Egypt, ancient history.” She wanted to share her grandfather’s story and the Holocaust story with her generation.
By getting her grandfather’s numbers tattooed on her left forearm, just like those unwillingly received by Mr. Diamant at the hands of the Nazis, Ms. Sagir hopes to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive and ultimately prevent any such event from every happening again.
As with any tattoo, however, everyone has their opinion. Family members often do not accept the tattoos at first, but once the younger generation explains the reasoning behind having the numbers tattooed, the elder generation often comes around. Strangers often comment on the number tattoos and ask questions. Many times the reasoning is not understood. Some people would rather forget, but these young descendants of Holocaust survivors believe that forgetting could have dangerous consequences.
When society forgets the past, they are then open to repeat it, and repeating an incident such as the Holocaust is exactly what this generation is trying to prevent by proudly displaying the “scars” of their parents and grandparents.