I know that some tour guides tell visitors to the Dachau Memorial Site that Jews were tattooed at Dachau, but I always thought that they were mistaken. I have checked with Wikipedia here and verified that prisoners were tattooed at Auschwitz, but Dachau is not mentioned.
Then I saw the photo above in today’s Palm Beach Daily News online, which you can read here.
The caption under the photo reads:
Max Kaufmann shows his numerical tattoo given to him at Dachau. He had been shot in the right arm toward the end of the war by a soldier who was aiming for his back and carries part of that bullet in a chain around his neck.
Here’s the story on Max Kaufmann, the prisoner who was tattooed at Dachau, quoted from the Palm Beach Daily News:
Max Kaufmann, a longtime West Palm Beach photographer, was originally from Vienna. At first, the Nazi invasion didn’t seem to have much impact on his family. But they were sent a letter out of the blue saying that they were being relocated to Poland.
Kaufmann was 14 when the family was put on a train and sent to the small town of Opole, Poland, where the family was broken up and taken in by village residents who lived in rudimentary houses with dirt floors and no sanitation facilities.
I looked up Opole on Wikipedia and found this information:
On February 15, 1941, and February 26, 1941, two deportation transports with 2,003 Jewish men, women and children on board left Vienna Aspang Station to Opole. By March 1941, 8,000 Jews were deported to the ghetto which had been set up in Opole. From May 1941, 800 men capable of work were deployed as forced labourers in Deblin. Liquidation of Opole ghetto began in the spring 1942. A transport to Belzec extermination camp left on March 31, 1942, and deportations to Sobibor followed in May and October 1942. Of the 2,003 Viennese Jews, twenty-eight are known to have survived. [Note: The deportation of Viennese Jews to Opole most likely is a reference to a historical event that happened in “the other Opole,” a town by the same time in Lublin, in eastern Poland. Therefore, the facts in this paragraph may not be factual as they apply to the Opole this article refers to.]
According to Wiki, there are two places named Opole, one of which is a city in Silesia, which was in Germany in 1942. Max Kaufmann must have been sent to “the other Opole,” which is a small town in Poland, where he lived with village residents who had houses with dirt floors and no indoor plumbing.
If he had been one of the 28 known survivors of the Opole ghetto in Silesia who were not gassed at Belzec or Sobibor, he surely would have mentioned it. In any case, he somehow ended up at Dachau, where he was tattooed. He could not have been tattooed at Auschwitz because if he had been sent to Auschwitz at the age of 14, he would have been sent immediately to the gas chamber by Dr. Mengele.