About Commemorative Holocaust Tattoos

(Re)Marked text across pink and yellow star.

The goals of this research are to document commemorative Holocaust tattoos and to better understand their meanings.  

We define commemorative Holocaust tattoos as tattoos that copy their ancestors’ concentration camp tattoos, and/or other Nazi-imposed symbols, such as the Star of David, as new sites of public Holocaust memory. Our aim is to investigate this emerging phenomenon and the personal and cultural meaning of these tattoos in a contemporary context.

We are interested in questions like:

  • What meaning do Holocaust commemorative tattoos have for those with commemorative tattoos and members of Jewish communities? 
  • What is the role of Holocaust commemorative tattoos in Holocaust collective memory?

(Re)Marked Defined

(Re)Marked refers to the embodied memorialization by 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation Holocaust survivors of the markings that the Nazis imposed on Jews during the Holocaust, such as the yellow Star of David or number tattoos in the Auschwitz concentration camp. The (Re) connotes a re-membering, re-claiming and re-appropriating of these imposed markings by choosing to have these symbols tattooed on bodies as new forms of public Holocaust memory. The (Re)Marked project refers to (re)telling the stories of Holocaust victims and survivors while also providing commentary on Jewish identity in contemporary culture, particularly within a context of rising antisemitism.