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18 years ago I decided to have a tattoo in memory of dozens of my family members that were murdered in the death camps during the holocaust. I looked for the last number which has been tattooed to a prisoner in Auschwitz, as a symbol that embodies and contains this disaster. The last number is 202499 and l had it tattooed on my arm. Since then, this act is part of my life and reflected in my art in different ways. The last number became my personal journey.

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A couple of years ago I got an email from Alexandra Rojkov, a German journalist who wanted my permission to research who was the person who originally carried this number. The results were shocking, touching upon very dark realities of that period.The story is published in Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin. Photos by Heather Sten The link is to the story in German.

An interview at Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin
PDF version of the article in German
Die letzte Auschwitz-Nummer
Der israelische Künstler Gal Wertman ließ sich vor 17 Jahren die letzte Nummer auf den Arm tätowieren, die je einem Menschen im Konzentrationslager Auschwitz gestochen worden war – im Gedenken an alle Opfer des Holocaust. Er ahnte nicht, wer sie trug.
By  Alexandra Rojkov,| August 29, 2019

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