The Auschwitz Death Camp was one of many Nazi camps to exterminate millions of Jews in WW2. As the many entered the camp, they walked under a sign stating, "Work for Freedom", and at first, many felt it might just be a prison of sorts. As they entered, they usually were greeted by the commanding officer and told to go to the left or to the right. One direction meant, you would live, the other, you would be gassed and cremated.
All remaining prisoners would then be put through the system of being disinfected, clothed in prison garb, and getting a tattoo with an identification number. This tattoo experience must have been a very painful experience since local anesthesia was not given.
The tattoo was on the arm usually and each number of the tattoo set had needles on the back side dipped in ink. It was then pressed into the skin of the person for some time. I suppose, in some difficult cases, a hammer might be needed to make the impression and held in place. Hitting the bone would be very painful.
Most serial numbers were eight digits, so the tattoo would be done that many times into the arm. At Auschwitz, over 1,000,000 Jews were killed, imagine the tattooing process on that many people. It was the only place where this tattoo method was used among the various concentration camps.
Recently, the grandson of an Auschwitz survivor in Israel, found this tattoo set in some personal belongings and put it up for auction. It was valued up to $50,000, according to those in the know. The most received was $3500 before an Israeli court halted the auction stating that the selling of this was "morally wrong" because of the history connected with it. The Court stated that this tattoo set should be sold to a museum so people do not forget and not some private collector. The Israeli court has a point: this tattoo set, as obnoxious as it is, belongs in museum for all to see throughout the ages, especially a Holocaust museum.