Israeli courts have suspended an auction on a Nazi-inspired partial tattoo kit, which was to be used for Auschwitz inmates.

After a protest by Holocaust survivors, the judge pronounced the verdict on Wednesday. They had chastised Gilo’s auctioneers for trying to sell the kit.

The kit was purchased from Meir Zzolman, a private collector. It consists of eight steel dies that are fingernail-sized, lined with pins for numerals. These numbers would then have been inked into the flesh of prisoners to mark their serial numbers, according to Meir. 

According to his website, it was “the most disturbing of Holocaust objects” with an estimated sale value of between $30,000 and $40,000. 

Auschwitz was one of many camps that Nazi Germany ran on Polish soil during World War Two. It killed more than 1.1million people. Most of these were Jews. The only prison that allowed tattooing was Auschwitz. 

The dies from a tattoo kit, and a manual, are displayed at an Israeli auction house which says they were used on inmates at Auschwitz death camp

An Israeli auction house has the dies and manual from a kit of tattoos on display. It claims they were used to inmates at Auschwitz.

A worker at an Israeli auction house organises dies from a tattoo kit, which they say were used on inmates at Auschwitz death camp, in Gilo, a Jewish settlement in the Israeli-Occupied West Bank November 2, 2021

An Israeli worker organises the death of a victim at an Israeli auction. They claim that they used it on Auschwitz death camp inmates in Gilo. Gilo is a Jewish settlement located in the Israeli-Occupied West Bank, November 2, 2021.

the kit is comprised of eight fingernail-sized steel dies, each lined with pins to form numerals, which would have been pressed into prisoners' flesh with ink to brand their serial numbers

The kit includes eight steel dies of fingernail size, lined with pins for numerals. These would be pressed into the flesh of prisoners with ink to mark their serial numbers.

Auschwitz, also known as Auschwitz-Birkenau, opened in 1940 in Poland and was the largest of the Nazi concentration and death camps

Auschwitz (also known as Auschwitz–Birkenau) was established in Poland in 1940 and is the most important of all the Nazi death and concentration camps.

By Wednesday’s close, the bidding was at $3,400. The Tel Aviv district Court granted survivors a request to temporarily halt the auction, pending an Nov. 16 hearing. 

Tzolman’s website was updated to indicate that the sale had been stopped. 

Israel does not have a law prohibiting the private sale of Holocaust relics. The court spokesperson did not provide any details about Wednesday’s injunction. 

Yad Vashem in Jerusalem is the Holocaust world remembrance center. It stated that it should be in possession of auctioned-die items. 

Dani Dayan (chairman of Yad Vashem) stated, “The trading of such items is morally inacceptable and encourages the proliferation counterfeits.” 

Auschwitz survivor Mr. Leon Greenman, prison number 98288, displays his number tattoo on December 9, 2004 at the Jewish Museum in London, England

Mr. Leon Greenman is an Auschwitz survivor and was incarcerated at number 98288. He displayed his number tattoo at The Jewish Museum in London on December 9, 2004, where he was a prisoner.

The entrance gate to Auschwitz concentration camp in the 1940s. The arch over the gates reads 'Arbeit Macht Frei' - 'Work Sets You Free'

Auschwitz Concentration Camp’s Entrance Gate in 1940s. An arch is visible above the gates that reads: ‘Arbeitmacht Frei’, ‘Work Sets You FREE’

Tzolman, who was interviewed before the injunction court hearing, stated that he was the grandson of Holocaust survivors who were tattooed. 

He said that he was defending the auction, from which he would receive a 25% commission to ensure the dies reach ‘the right people’. 

He said that the seller would sell anything necessary. We received many calls from individuals who wanted to place bids on the item, and then donate them. Every one of them noted the name and affiliation of a museum that is related to Holocaust. 

Tzolman stated that the dies were certified to have come from Auschwitz. He didn’t share this documentation with Reuters. 

Website of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum states that some Auschwitz Tattoos were created by stylus, while others used a metal stamp. These special stamps hold interchangeable numbers.

According to the Auschwitz Memorial, Poland, photographs of dies were similar to the ones in their collection. 

Pawel Sawicki, a memorial press officer, stated that if they were authentic then it would not be fair that these unique historic items go up for sale – instead, the auction proceeds will go to an institution that remembers Auschwitz’s victims. 


Auschwitz was an extermination and concentration camp that the Nazis used during World War Two.

Three main sites made up the camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. 

Auschwitz I, the original concentration camp, Auschwitz II-Birkenau, a combined concentration and extermination camp and Auschwitz III–Monowitz, a labour camp, with a further 45 satellite sites.

Auschwitz was an extermination camp used by the Nazis in Poland to murder more than 1.1 million Jews

Auschwitz was a Polish extermination camp that the Nazis used to kill more than 1.1 Million Jews.

Birkenau played a significant role in the Nazis’ Final Solution to Europe’s Jewish Problem.  

An estimated 1.3 million people were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, of whom at least 1.1 million died – around 90 percent of which were Jews. 

Since 1947, it has operated as Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, which in 1979 was named a World Heritage Site by Unesco. 

Since 1947, it has operated as Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, which in 1979 was named a World Heritage Site by Unesco

The Auschwitz Birkenau State Museum has served the site since 1947. Unesco named it World Heritage Site in 1979.