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July 2011

The KL Concentration Camp Tattoo

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Dr Hoenig is in private practice, Pembroke Pines, Florida.

Arch Dermatol. 2011;147(7):781. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2011.152

Place: Mielec Concentration Camp, Poland; Date: Early 1940s. A Nazi SS officer tattoos the letters KL on the distal outer right forearm of the Jewish prisoner Joseph, age 16 years. Joseph wears a striped prisoner shirt bearing the serial number 118580. His daily diet consists of a slice of bread, a small amount of margarine, and a quart of soup. He is forced to work at the nearby Heinkel aircraft manufacturing facility constructing airplane parts.

Mielec is a brutal camp: 15 prisoners die daily, excluding sick prisoners, who are routinely shot.1 Joseph survives 2 to 3 years at Mielec.

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