Josef Mengele tattoo kit seized by Israeli court

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption ‘The story ends here,’ reads the caption to the tattooed mark which runs along his torso

A tattoo kit reportedly used by serial-killer Josef Mengele at Auschwitz has been seized by a court in Israel amid an attempt to sue the maker.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the court confiscated the ink kit following an injunction issued by a Paris court last year.

Its law firm, Le Donmar Akermann Attorneys for Jewish Rights, which sought the ban, said in a statement that it was now back in its rightful place.

“We are delighted,” said lawyer Benoit Donmar.

Haaretz reported that police carried out the seizure at a Haifa court after uncovering the kit while investigating a theft of property reported last October.

No charges have been filed over the theft.

Haaretz’s report said the kit in question had been sold to an unknown individual in Paris with a photocopy of the serial number on the back.

‘Mein Kampf’

A team of experts, led by Professor Danielle Illek, have for years tried to trace the owner of the kit.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption The auction house is reported to have concluded there was no error in the sale

They were initially unable to do so, before being able to track the buyer to an online auction site in Haifa and to an online store in France.

The auction house then sold the kit to an unidentified buyer who was unaware that it contained unusual items.

Haaretz reported that the auction house then decided to make the item available for sale again.

But the action filed in Paris over the kit by Le Donmar Akermann Attorneys for Jewish Rights alleges that the auction house was “conducting an illegal sale”.

“One of the things that an auction house has to do is know what it is selling,” Mr Donmar said.

“The sale was fraudulent, an attempted fraud. We think the auction house was trying to sell a piece of history.”

The identification number on the kit matches serial numbers found on the inside of clothes belonging to a man who worked at Auschwitz and was known to have come from the hospital where Mengele was incarcerated.

He was thought to have died in 1961.

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