Why do some Jews who survived the Holocaust have a number tattooed on their arm?
The Auschwitz camp complex was the only institution to systematically tattoo inmates with their prison numbers, to facilitate their identification after death from starvation, disease or brutality in the camp. Incoming prisoners were assigned a camp serial number, which was also sewn to their prison uniforms.
By the end of the war, the camp authorities were using nine different numbering sequences. These identified particular inmates as belonging to particular racial or ethnic groups.