Pope kisses number tattooed on arm of Holocaust survivor. The 81-year-old Belarusian woman rolled up the sleeve of her dress to show the pope the number with which the Nazis marked prisoners
Pope Francis today kissed the tattoo with the prison number of Lidia Maksymowicz, deported in the Auschwitz Birkenau camp when she was not yet three years old, after she showed it to him while greeting him during the Wednesday public hearing held at the Vatican. .
The 81-year- old Belarusian woman rolled up the sleeve of her dress to show the pope the number with which the Nazis marked prisoners entering concentration camps and Francis kissed him before hugging her.
Both were able to exchange a few words and the woman indicated the number three to the pope, the years with which he entered the concentration camp.
Maksymowicz is in Italy for the presentation of the documentary that tells of his life and whose title is the number that was tattooed on him: ” ” 70072, the girl who did not know how to hate “, a project of the association” Memoria Viva “.
Deported in 1943
This old 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 the war criminal Josef Rudolf Mengele.
She survived that horror and, like all Auschwitz prisoners, she was freed in January 1945 by Soviet soldiers and given up for adoption to a Polish family, where she lived her youth imagining that her mother had died. But in 1962 they located her real mother, who had also believed her little daughter to be dead.
The title of the film comes from a phrase by Maksymowicz: “If I had to live thinking about hatred and revenge , I would harm myself and my soul, and I would be the sick one: hatred would kill me too.”
Francis already surprised him last February when he unexpectedly left the Vatican to go to the house in Rome of Edith Bruck, a Hungarian poet survivor of the Holocaust. On July 29, 2016, the pontiff visited the Auschwitz and Birkenau camps during his trip to Poland.