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The skin of memory
  -    -  The skin of memory

The number tattoo is the predominant, perhaps even the singular signifier of the Shoah. This one small part of the story of persecution, humiliation and dehumanization – no more than a stage in the Nazi process of genocide – has assumed the status of the very emblem of the event.

This perhaps because its makes permanently visible how prisoners were stripped of their names, their identities, their past lives – how human beings were turned into bureaucratic ciphers, Häftlinge. Survivors who have chosen to keep the number “until [they] die” do so to bear witness to their own victimization and on behalf of those who have not survived to testify…

Marianne Hirsch y Leo Spitzer

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