Fight over Holocaust tattoo kit leads to auction brouhaha

Written by Staff Writer

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(CNN) — Israeli authorities have ordered an auction of a large amount of celebrity memorabilia that includes a tattoo kit that a Holocaust survivor says he was given to use on prisoners at Auschwitz.

Alon Tibi received the kit from a friend during World War II.

When Tibi recently learned that his childhood friend’s son and grandchildren wanted to sell it, Tibi sued for its restitution.

The auction house put the sale on hold, claiming that Tibi’s case was not an appropriate cause to auction, according to a statement from the Israeli Attorney General’s office.

Former Auschwitz inmate Alon Tibi told CNN that the tattoo kit in question was given to him during the war.

The document, signed by Tibi, states that he was handed the tattoo kit by Tibi’s close friend Arik Gordon. Tibi has now said he was far away from Auschwitz during the time that Gordon gave him the kit, but he still has a tattoo of Gordon’s name on his leg, and has told CNN that he wishes to recover it.

The auction house that handled the sale,, did not respond to requests for comment.

The auctioneer initially planned to auction off more than 260 items, but Tibi’s attorney objected on his behalf and the sale was aborted on March 29, after four days.

The auction house had said that Tibi could file a lawsuit if he couldn’t find the people named in the documents.

CNN could not reach Tibi for comment, but the Attorney General’s office confirmed that he is the actual plaintiff and that the suit was filed on March 30.

The attorney general’s office said it will investigate whether Tibi is entitled to money from the sale, and that the auction company must return to Tibi the item he claims he owns.

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