JERUSALEM — A prominent Israeli court issued an order Friday night halting the auction of an Israeli group’s “anti-Auschwitz tattoo kit” following a request from a survivor who said it belonged to a boy at the Nazi death camp, an attorney for the court said.
The auction, which was to take place on the Internet from Vienna, Austria, was part of what the auction site has described as an annual Holocaust auction. It was expected to bring in some $20,000.
Neither the auction house nor the survivor’s lawyer, however, would confirm that the tool, which according to the group’s website was used to tattoo Nazi guards, belonged to the boy who reportedly performed his duties with it.
Legal experts had speculated that if the sale of the tattoo kit took place, it would constitute fraud because of how the process was claimed to have been used at the death camp.
Bearing the mark of Auschwitz inmate No. 843134, Reuven Salom, a survivor who is 90 years old, told Channel 2 news on Thursday that the tattoo kit belonged to a boy whose death camp service dated from 1944.
“They wanted to reach that level of uniqueness that you cannot achieve in other ways,” Salom said of the victim who got the tattoo. “It was to inflict a unique mark on their body that will stand the test of time and tell everyone that that man was an accomplice of the murder of Jews.”
But Shachar Giladi, an attorney representing the Israeli auction house, Europcar, told The Associated Press that his clients already own the tattoo kit and have no connection to the alleged victim.
Giladi said he believed that the auction site and seller had merely offered to sell the kit to another interested party.
He said the auction site had already received three bids, with the highest of $2,200 on Friday night. But he added that his clients were working to get the auction to be halted immediately and were expected to file a lawsuit on Saturday.
Europcar is a popular automobile rental company that is active in several markets throughout Europe. Europcar officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday night.