Holocaust Legacy

It's not the tattooed number that we need to ensure is carried on.

Comments (28)

(28) Bobby5000, May 24, 2016 11:58 AM

But what about today's holocausts

There probably will not be another Jewish holocaust within our lifetime. There will be others murdered and there have beene systematic murders of groups. Yet there seems to be no impetus to accept those in danger, and questions about suitability arise, simply to those raised about Jews trying to flee Nazism.

(27) sharona, November 9, 2010 7:23 AM

make a good impact

I so agree, there are better ways to memorialize. For example, honoring their memory by doing positive acts, like visiting people in the hospital or senior home/ learning about our heritage and holding on to it. And bringing light to the world by kind acts and spiritual things like shabbat candles before sun-down, and continue on shalom

(26) miriam, August 3, 2010 4:02 PM

Numbers have great meaning

Lori, I wonder of you're objection is to the forbidden tattoo rather than to what the tattoo is depicting. If, as one of the comments above suggest, the grandchildren wanted to have a piece of fabric stitched with the numbers, would you still object? I would guess not. Remembering the people who endured the Holocaust is about the numbers, the loss, the unspeakable tragedy and dehumanization and also the triumph, the rebirth and the values. It is all of it. When you suffer, you need your loved ones to understand the extent of your suffering as well as encourage you to transcend. Without the first, acknowledgement, it is hard to to the second, transcend. We cannot forget the Holocaust or the people who went through it. And remembering tattooed numbers is a wonderful catalyst to understand its horrors. We honour victims and survivors by understanding the horrors. This does not preclude learning values from survivors as well, it enhances it.

(25) Matityahu, May 24, 2010 7:46 PM

Give the Arabs another excuse to say it didn't happen

Those who have decided to TAKE the evidence of the Shoah and put it on their bodies are giving the antisemites another argument that the Shoah didn't happen. After all, they will say, "Jews put tatoos on thier own arms so they can create the fictional story of an oppression that never happened." Leave the "medal" of suffering for those who earned it.

(24) Richard Sandler, May 15, 2010 3:04 AM

To Survive is to Survive

Only we seem to appreciate our legacy. Only until recently did I believe in our" higher standards". Now, with all the anti-Israel talk and threats to our existence...I believe our existance depends on our strength. A strong Israel and an organized diaspora.

(23) Richard Dennis, May 14, 2010 10:48 PM

A better way to leave a legacy . . .

If those three offspring wanted to be able to remember their grandfather, instead of printing on themselves, why not print those numbers on a piece of linen and frame it? The numbers could be the same color as the tattoo on zeide' arm. And they could have three of those linen and frames made to hang in their respective living rooms. So, nu? What's wrong with that?

(22) Eric, May 14, 2010 2:44 PM

Lori, you are absolutely correct. We do not need to put numbers on our arms ( which is forbidden anyway) to remember what happened in the Holocaust. Rather, as you point out, we should remember the lives of those who survived as well as those who did not, and transmit the values that our relatives stood for.

(21) Raquel Zucker, May 14, 2010 5:34 AM

My dear Lori, I love all your videos, but with this one I do not agree with you, my parents (Z.L.)where in a concentration camp, both of them , they told me and my children what they pass true, and now they(my children) want to tell their children about the holocoust. In this time that people deny that was a holocoust, we the jewish people must to remember not only our children, to the world , that there was a holocoust and what they do to our families. We need to keep good memories , but not to forget what happens there. Surviving such a bad time there and still they can built a new jewish family is the best that they could do for our children and for the rest of the generations. This is the legacy, they built a new jewish family from ashes, this is a legacy. Sorry my dear Lori for my english, i´m from Chile, trying to do my best to let you know that I lost a lot of family in the holocoust, even 3 litle brothers, need to tell you that my mother (Z.L.) keep kosher even in the concentration camp. I remember all what my parents told me and I´m very proud that they told me all that they could remember to let the wolrd know what really happened there. We need to remember not numbers, Lori, people, children, .... my brothers , that they where 2 and 3 years old and they burned them alive in a granary . This is our legacy, we are strong people , we survive and get up from the ashes to built new families, new communities, this is what we need to remember.

(20) Guy Sutton, May 13, 2010 9:04 PM

NOPE on tatoos

I agree with Lori..... I do in fact remember my grandfather telling me of the times that were 'not plesant' before he passed, and yes, I saw the tatoo and before I could ask, he told me all about it. But for that to be the ONLY part or even such a part that we title, Legacy, nope, the tatoo legacy is not OUR heritage, rules and customs, if you will..... Legacy, is what a particular person does, says, acts..... Not something that happened to a person this evil, no, this s not to be carried on and on through tatoos for the whole family..... I LOVE the idea above, record video memories.... I'll tell you what, I bet cha that 99% of those that leave a video do not tend to spend too much time with that issue, if at all! Yes, we need to remember the holocost, there is no way to forget it, but in its time, and celebrate life the rest of the time.....

(19) Gedalyah, May 13, 2010 12:33 PM

Quite alive - baruch HaShem!

With envie I congratulate this Zaide for his family, especially for his grandchildren who want to remember him and whatever he stands for. On the other hand, I am saddend, to write the least, about my children (39 & 33) who avoid me (69) and their grandmother (91), not (wanting) to understand the process of "verunmenschlichung" (making you inhuman) which is forced upon you in a KZ. In spite of decades of therapy, on and off, the past can ambush you at any time, at the wink of a moment. Nonetheless, baruch HaShem, we are quite alive! (Survivors of KZ Bergen-Belsen)

(18) Anonymous, May 13, 2010 12:06 AM

Retaining Tatoo Of Holocaust

The Use of a CD/DVD offers a wonderful alternative if the survivor is still alive today. Carrying over the number to another generation is a grisly reminder, but how hard it is to say that we can tell them it should not be done. Using a dog tag with the number is not at all the same, not withstanding the halachah. How would I, a non-survivor of a camp member, say Never Forget; my attendance at community events and my supporting the US Holocaust Museum as a Charter Member and encouraging awareness of their programs still seems awfully pale in comparison.

(17) Marlene Wiltshire, May 12, 2010 4:19 PM

To remember is to Survive!

Lori,I have to disagree with you on this one. Throughtout history the Jews have always been a beacon of morals, high values,wisdom etc, Did this stop the Nazis from murdering six million Jews? NO! The story of the holocaust must be told and retold and retold. Remember "Why is this night different from all other nights?'

(16) Mike Winakur, May 12, 2010 2:43 PM

affirm life or remain victims

We are told to blot out the name of Amelek and we use groggers on Purim whenever Haman is mentioned. Should we encourage our children to tattoo Hitler's legacy onto their arms? Do we want to live as victims or do we want to celebrate life and our rich Jewish heritage? If we allow the Holocaust to define us as a people then we will surely lose our most precious heritage - our culture and our faith. Lori is absolutely correct. While it is important to remember the Holocaust and to teach our children about that horrific dark episode and about other human atrocities, the Holocaust should never become the defining event of our Jewish identity. I would encourage Zaide to talk to his grandchildren about those precious souls he knew who were murdered by Hitler's henchmen and to have them make a journal about their lives. This is the proper way to remember - celebrating life instead of passing on the lagacy of evil which the tattooed number represents. May Zaide live a long life and may the memory of those precious souls who perished in the Holocaust be a blessing to us forever.

(15) , May 12, 2010 12:33 AM

May those who put those numbers be erased and let the numbers be erased. If you want take lots of pictures with the granpa and then show your children the mirricle that is their grandpa. Talk about that. Not the imposed tortures numbers.

(14) Nivea, May 12, 2010 12:25 AM

It's personal

I think that these young people did the right thing in discussing it with their grandfather, who is the survivor. I personally respect their decision. Nivea

(13) Barbara, May 11, 2010 7:59 PM


I met a lady who had that tattoo, and got the eduction of my life. Until then I had questioned the holocaust happening, I have since accepted it totally. Thanks Elsa!

(12) moshe zryl, May 11, 2010 6:13 PM

tatooed number

its the people who have the number are those we need to remember and sice the 3rd reich branded jews with a number....thsat number has to be a part of our legacy.....son of survivors

(11) Hillel Kuttler (Baltimore, Md.), May 11, 2010 4:32 PM

it's not your place to critique

Lori: The grandfather and the grandchildren talked it over: They explained their rationale, and he understood. It is not for us to question how a family afflicted by the Holocaust handles its own history. I fully agree with you that our family dialogues, and contemporary Judaism generally, must be far broader than Holocaust memorializing. We do not criticize the building of Holocaust memorials, March of the Living trips, tourism to death camps, films about the era, etc. Why? Because those are opportunities for education and commemoration -- and, we hope, for a lesson/warning to society at large. The children's initiative represent all of the above, but on a smaller, individual scale. We should respect their thoughtfulness.

(10) Harry Kuperschmidt, May 11, 2010 4:10 PM

I support those kids.

My parents were holocuats survivors. The memory is very painful. Too often we want to forget this pain. It hurts. But I beieve that the more we remember this pain, the less likely it will happen again. Sorry Lori.

(9) Grieg Mayberry, May 11, 2010 3:29 PM

I disagree

I understand Lori's point of view but I think something like this has to be left up to the individual. My mother was married for a short time before she met my dad. He was killed in a training excercise and lost out at sea. He never had a funeral nor a tomb stone. When dad died, she asked us kids if we would object to her having a tomb stone for her first husband placed next to dad's. We all agreed that this was her life and if that was what she would like to do then none of us had a problem with it. I think we need to allow these children of a Holocaust survivor to greeve any way they desire too. I also believe it is going to take acts such as this to remind us all of just how horrific the Holocaust really was.

(8) Anonymous, May 11, 2010 2:47 PM

Tattoo legacy

Emotional decisions such as this often result in undesirable results. My Dad had tattoo's from his year 1900 (aro) sailor life; but hid them. We cherish the photo's and documentation of his life and the culture he proto-typed for us.

(7) Gord Bushewsky, May 11, 2010 2:46 PM


I always watch Lori as soon as the Aish arrives; invariably i agree and frequently I am moved to tears. Today, with all due respect I disagree. As much as I loathe tatoos and know they are prohibitted to Jews, I would argue that forgetting the Holocaust is becoming more common and i offer Kol Hakavod to these young ladies for putting Holocaust Rememberance on the front burner. People will ask questions; is there a better way in our visual world to spread the word.

(6) Asher, May 11, 2010 2:44 PM

Let the man with the numbers live forever

Dear Lori, I as well as the members of our shul (Agudath Israel Snif Zichron Shmuel) was zoche to have Mr Chaim Weinrib, Zichron Livrocho come daven in our shul and my Rov, Rabbi Eliezer Ginsburg Shlita used to have Mr Weinrib lift up his long sleeve shirt just enough to show his numbers so that we could have just a little feeling of what this man went through, 70 years ago. It just so happens that two years ago on Simchas Torah we were again zoche to have him in shul and after he held the sefer torah and was sitting on the sideline, I went to my Rov and said "Let's all walk by Mr Chaim Weinrib and get bentched by him and each and every person walked by him as he held up his arm for all to see his tattooed number and he bentched us all. Unfortunately he passed away that year and we cannot have him with us but the memory of that moment of all the mispallelim getting a brocha from him on that Simchas Torah will last a lifetime. We are slowly getting further away from the years of the Holocaust and there are many books and videos of stories said over but to meet personally with someone with the numbers, there is a deeper message that can be taken as it becomes hands on learning (no pun intended). May Reb Chaim Weinrib Zichrono Livrocho as well as all the men and women that went through that gehenim teach us forever that we must be strong and stay true yiddishe mentchen and trust in Hashem always.It has been said over from the Satmar Rebbe used to tell people that " you do not have to come to me for a brocha, all you have to do is go to a shul that has a person with a tattooed number on their arm and they should give you a brocha"

(5) Anonymous, May 11, 2010 6:03 AM

it provokes questions from people who see it

with all due respect to Lori, I think she missed the point. it's not that the tattoo is the tribute in and of itself; rather, it's that the tattoo will beg the questions that might be otherwise unasked. it will remind them when the would otherwise not think about it. it will fill a place that something not as evident or permanent could fill. it's against halacha, and therefore wrong; but it's more practical, in a sense, than any other alternative.

(4) Anonymous, May 10, 2010 10:11 PM

I agree but...

We also can not forget the tragedy and the horrors that happened to to out people. It is really important to remember our grandparents childhood and all of the amazing things that they did as a person, but we also can not forget the part of their life when they where degraded to just a number. By putting this tragedy in the past we are depriving the world of leaning what happens when evil and hatred takes over. I think that when these people tattooed the number to their arm they wanted their children to feel the same shock and terror as they themselves felt when they first learned how their grandfather was degraded to a number. Maybe tattooing the number was a bit extreme but I think the point is that we can NEVER forget what Hitler, the Nazis, and the entire world let happen to the Jewish people.We unfortunately living in a world where learning about the Holocaust is not just important, it is necessary, because evil and hatred, of Jews and also non- Jews, still exists. This can be conquered by education of the horrors and tragedy of the Holocaust. We can not only remember they good and forget about the bad.

(3) Jason, May 9, 2010 9:40 PM

Never Again

We must always remember, and never forget. If we forget the past, we are doomed to repeat it. The Torah teaches us to never forget what Amalek did to us to teach us how we must act. We move on, yes, but we must never, ever, forget. The Torah constantly repeats the laws which we must live by, and the blessings which can result from our actions. But the Torah also does not cease to remind us of the curses which are to befall us if we do not listen. We see this clearly in this past weeks Parsha and Haftorah readings. Do not avoid a topic because of its darkness and gloom. Every part of our History is vital, a large piece of the puzzle that is necessary to be fully aware of its details. We do not leave out a portion of the Torah because it’s ‘scary.’ I agree that we should speak of the good things and of course our torah legacy but we must stay alert and cannot become comfortable in Galut once again - this is a sure way for our children to repeat our history.

(2) Beverly Kurtin, May 9, 2010 8:59 PM


Yes, that is the partial answer. Interview him, then burn the resulting interview onto a CD or DVD. I did that with my father three years before he passed and I'm glad. Thanks to the foresight of my grandparents, we did not go through the Holocaust, but they were alive and did what they could do to to help others escape the ovens. I was born in 1940, too young to be aware of what was going on. When I first saw the pictures General Eisenhower had taken so nobody could deny that this happened I was beyond shocked. I had to be taken out of the theater by a kind usher. Forty-seven of my aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. did go through the ovens. They could have gotten out when our family sent them the money to get out before the borders were slammed shut. I urge everyone to read the article about the ten biggest lies that are being told against us. In Los Angeles one bigot held a sign that said Israel and all Jews would soon be history. I'm printing and binding the article to hand out. It burns me up like nothing else when people say that we should give more land to the Arabs. Even this week's "Nation" magazine has a letter from Bruce Stedman the retired assistant secretary general that headlines "There You Go Again, Israel." In it, this fool is demanding that Israel go back to the '67 borders. Heck, why don't we all just hold hands and walk into the ocean? When people ask me why we do not give the Arabs back ''their" land I educate them on whose land belonged to who...and when. Take half an hour or so and EDUCATE people who are unaware of anything other than Arab propaganda.

(1) Anonymous, May 9, 2010 2:55 PM

Video tape his wisdom

They should video tape their Grandfather. He could share his stories, and impart wisdom and video tape the tatoo. He can say what he wants to be shared with all the future generations of his family. The Grandfather would know how much they care and are interested in what he has to say. And every year on Holocaust day, gather the family to watch it. Letting the Grandfather know, this will be a family tradition forever.


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