What is the significance of the tattoo "A-7713" that Elie gets at Buna?

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holfie | College Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

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Hi Vikvik,

The tattoo that Wiesel receives is given to him by the Nazi soldiers.  From that point on, Elie is not referred to by his name, but rather by his number.  This is another example of the dehumanization of the Jewish people by their Nazi captors.  First, the Nazis take the Jewish people's homes, then they take their families (when they separate them just off the trains), then they take their clothes, and finally, they take their identities, by using the same type of number identification system that is used with cattle.  In the end, the Nazis will take many Jewish lives as well, including those of members of Elie's family.

Hope this helps!

Teacher Holfie

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