The Tattoo This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

January 18, 2013
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When I read “The Tattoo” by Maya Sweedler, I was reminded of the huge social and population impact on Jews during the Holocaust. This piece was phenomenally well-written but upsetting to the point that I almost cried.

In Maya’s fictional story, an old man’s granddaughter asks him about his tattoo, which is five numbers inked onto his forearm. The subject of the mark returned him to his past. Every number signifies a struggle and loss the man faced during the Holocaust. Maya expresses the grandfather’s experiences and his damaged life, capturing the reader’s heart.

I found the story very profound; especially the way each number tattooed on the man’s forearm symbolized a part of him during the Holocaust. My paternal grandparents survived the concentration camps and were deeply affected by it. They were always very serious, and when I asked my dad why, his face would become grim.

One of the lines that stood out for me was “Gone without a trace, leaving behind a generational gap that he, his five children, and dozens of grandchildren could not fill.” It is horrible how many Jews suffered from this event, and those who died will always be remembered.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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