Caleb Lush, grandson of Holocaust survivor Max Rodrigues Garcia, has his grandfather’s prisoner number tattooed on his right bicep.
“I decided to get my tattoo for two reasons,” he writes in a back-of-the-book essay in his grandfather’s memoir, Auschwitz, Auschwitz…I Cannot Forget You. “To constantly remind myself that I can overcome anything that lies in my path; and, to show respect for my grandfather, and his unbelievable story.”
I know to some it may seem like sacrilege, but I think his homage to his grandfather is fantastic. Beautiful even.
When I was just out of college I wrote a short story about a young woman who got her grandmother’s concentration camp number tattooed on her forearm. She went straight to a tattoo parlor after her grandmother’s funeral. I remember feeling a bit uncomfortable about it, but felt it was honest and that if I had a grandparent who survived the Holocaust, I too might have done that. I had never heard of anyone actually doing it, so when I saw Caleb’s tattoo in his grandfather’s book, I was instantly smitten. The book, too, is well worth a read. Fascinating stuff.