Written by Staff Writer by Contact Fraser, CNN
A court in Israel has quashed an auction house’s attempt to auction an item that contained a small tattoo with a four-letter word allegedly used to mark the Auschwitz concentration camp during the Holocaust.
A suit was filed in the court by the German-Israel film director Daniel Barenboim and fellow former prisoners of Auschwitz to prevent the auction house taking place.
The auction house, the Intermarché auction house, had accepted the pre-sale note that gave information about the tattooed item as a reference and is now appealing the court’s decision to quash the auction.
“After the (pre-sale) letter addressed to Intermarché, with a handwritten note from an Auschwitz survivor, plaintiff Barenboim had the right to remain an uninvolved party in the auction,” Israel’s Supreme Court said in its decision on Wednesday.
“Because he never received a tattoo at Auschwitz, and with this responsibility, the defendant forfeited his right to sell the item at auction,” it added.
The sale letter for the tattooed document showed the tattoo had a letter T, or Trawniki, written in Hebrew, and was written by an Auschwitz survivor.
Agrarian work first
Barenboim was incarcerated at the camp in 1943 alongside two other prisoners, his family said. Barenboim, who now lives in Israel, moved to Germany after the war.
According to CNN affiliate Maariv, Barenboim and his co-plaintiffs plan to file an appeal against the court’s decision.
The tattoo was the first of hundreds that prisoners were reportedly given at the camp, CNN reported in December after a German media outlet published a report based on an investigation by the network.
Intermarché did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.
In December, Intermarché said in a statement that the decision to put the tattoo — which was said to be the first such one ever discovered in Auschwitz — up for auction was “irresponsible.”
“The auction has no connection with any Holocaust studies or the news about the victims of Auschwitz, only an exhibition,” the auction house said.
“We regret not having studied the facts before agreeing to sell this item.”