Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Joseph Gringlas - January 14 & 22, March 18, 1993

Being Tattooed

And you were tattooed?

Yeah uh, eh, after awhile there being there in Birkenau, we, we, we, we, in Appell and we came out a big field. There was thousands, thousands of us and there were, somebody go, went through with a pen. And you give him the arm and I was tattooed.

What was that like?

My number was B2247. I still have it on my arm.

What was that like, being tattooed?

In a way I understood they got to you that uh, you're not going to be sent away because they're going to keep you at work.

You thought that...

Yeah. Otherwise, the people were sent to the selec...uh, the select...send them to the gas chamber. They didn't give them a uniform, they didn't give them no--the tattooing, because they--the people what they're going to keep for awhile they gave them a uniform out, with the stripes. And then the tattooing--had a feeling that for awhile we, we, for awhile we are safe. But not for long, but for awhile...

Did it hurt?

...because they use us as a slave labor.

Did the tattoo hurt?

No, it didn't hurt.

It didn't.

No. They stick a pin in the skin.

So you had been through showers.



Yeah, Mm-hm, yeah that, yeah.

Then they gave you uniforms. Then you were in this field and they tattooed you.


And then to a barracks.

Then to--back to the barracks. And whatever things to do work. But that's--there wasn't much, working there, like a factory, it wasn't there. The only thing there was, when we were sent to Buna, that, then there was work to do.

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