Pope kisses prisoner tattoo on Holocaust survivor’s arm

Vatican City, May 26 (EFE).- Pope Francis on Wednesday kissed the prisoner tattoo tattooed on the arm of a Belarusian Holocaust survivor who was sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp.

During a public audience in the Vatican, Lidia Maksymowicz, 81, rolled up her sleeve to show the pope the number she was marked with upon entering the camp.

Francis kissed it and hugged her before briefly speaking with the woman, who is in Italy ahead of the presentation of a documentary telling her story.

The woman who lives in Krakow was deported in 1943 and ended up in the so-called children’s pavilion, a victim of the atrocious experiments of Nazi physician and war criminal Josef Mengele.

She was released along with the other remaining Auschwitz survivors in January 1945 by Soviet soldiers and was adopted by a Polish family, where she grew up believing her mother had died.

In 1962, they managed to locate her biological mother, who also thought her daughter had died.

In February, Francis surprisingly left the Vatican to visit the house of Hungarian poet Edith Bruck, also a Holocaust survivor, in Rome.

During his 2016 visit to Poland, the pope visited the Auschwitz and Birkenau camps. EFE


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