Month: January 2011

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Tattoos and Numbers at Auschwitz concentration camp

During the Holocaust, the systematic persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators ( “Holocaust” is a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire“), concentration camp prisoners received tattoos only at the Auschwitz concentration camp complex.

It was the largest of its kind established by the Nazi regime. It included three main camps, all of which deployed incarcerated prisoners at forced labor: these main camps consisted of Auschwitz I (Main Camp), Auschwitz II (Auschwitz-Birkenau), and Auschwitz III (Monowitz and the subcamps). Incoming prisoners were assigned a camp serial number which was sewn to their prison uniforms. Only those prisoners selected for work were issued serial numbers; the prisoners sent directly to the gas chambers were not registered and received no tattoos.

Initially, the SS authorities marked prisoners who were in the infirmary or who were to be executed with their camp serial number with indelible ink.

As prisoners were executed or died in other  various ways, their clothing bearing the camp serial number was removed. So,there was no way to identify the bodies after the clothing was removed. Thus, the SS ( the Schutzstaffel, the major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party) introduced the practice of tattooing in order to identify the bodies of registered prisoners who had died.

Originally, a special metal stamp, holding interchangeable numbers made up of needles approximately one centimeter long was used.

This allowed the whole serial number to be punched at one blow onto the prisoner’s left upper chest. When the metal stamp method proved impractical, a single-needle device was introduced, which pierced the outlines of the serial-number digits onto the skin. The site of the tattoo was changed to the outer side of the left forearm. However, prisoners from several transports in 1943 had their numbers tattooed on the inner side of their left upper forearms. Tattooing was generally performed during registration when each prisoner was assigned a camp serial number.

Tattooing was introduced at Auschwitz in the autumn of 1941.

At Auschwitz II (Birkenau), the SS staff introduced the practice of tattooing in March 1942 to keep up with the identification of large numbers of prisoners who arrived, sickened, and died quickly. The majority of registered prisoners in the Auschwitz complex were Jews. In the spring of 1943, the SS authorities adopted the practice of tattooing almost all previously registered and newly arrived prisoners, including female prisoners(the first female prisoners arrived in March of 1942). Exceptions to this practice were prisoners of German nationality and “reeducation prisoners”. “Reeducation prisoners,” or “labor-education prisoners,” were non-Jewish persons. These prisoners had either refused to work at forced labor or had been accused of working in a manner that was not found satisfactory. They were sent to the concentration camps or to special “Labor Education Camps” (Arbeitserziehungslager) for a specified period of time not to exceed 56 days. The first series of prisoner numbers was introduced in May 1940, well before the practice of tattooing began. This first series was given to male prisoners and remained in use until January 1945, ending with the number 202,499. Until May 1944, male Jewish prisoners were given numbers from this series. A new series of registration numbers was introduced in 1941 and remained in use until 1945. The numbering scheme was divided into “regular,” AU, Z, EH, A, and B series’. The “regular” series consisted of a consecutive numerical series that was used to identify Poles, Jews, and most other prisoners (all male). Following the introduction of other categories of prisoners into the camp, the numbering scheme became more complex. The “AU” series denoted Soviet prisoners of war, while the “Z” series (with the “Z” standing for the German word for gypsy, Zigeuner) designated the Romani. These identifying letters preceded the tattooed serial numbers after they were instituted. “EH” designated prisoners that had been sent for “reeducation” (Erziehungshäftlinge).

A third series of numbers was introduced in March 1942 with the arrival of the first female prisoners. Approximately 90,000 female prisoners were identified with a series of numbers created for female prisoners in March 1942 until May 1944.

In May 1944, numbers in the “A” series and the “B” series were first issued to Jewish prisoners. The “A” series was to be completed with 20,000; however an error led to the women being numbered to 25,378 before the “B” series was begun. Each new series of numbers introduced at Auschwitz began with “1.” Some Jewish prisoners had a triangle tattooed below their serial number.

A separate series of numbers was introduced in January 1942 for “reeducation” prisoners who had not received numbers from the general series. Numbers from this new series were assigned retroactively to “reeducation” prisoners who had died or been released, while their superseded general-series serial numbers were reassigned to new “general” arrivals. Approximately 9,000 prisoners were registered in the “reeducation” series. Beginning in 1943, female “reeducation” prisoners were given serial numbers from their own new series. There were approximately 2,000 serial numbers in this series.

The camp authorities assigned more than 400,000 prisoner serial numbers.

The Captain Tsubasa (& Soccer!) Physics

Captain Tsubasa (& Soccer!) Physics

Captain Tsubasa ( キャプテン翼, Kyaputen Tsubasa, also known as Flash Kicker or Holly & Benji )

Tsubasa Ozora is a young Japanese Elementary school student who is deeply in love with soccer and dreams of one day winning the FIFA World Cup for Japan. He lives togetherwith his mother in Japan, while his father is a seafaring captain who travels around the world.

Tsubasa Ozora’s motto of “The ball is my friend”. Ever since he was little, he always went out with a soccer ball. His mother now having concluded that he was indeed born only to play soccer.

At the beginning of the story, both of them move to the city of Nankatsu, a town well-known for their talented high school soccer teams, and where Tsubasa meets Ryo Ishizaki(Bruce Harper), who often sneaks out from his mother’s public bathrooms, Sanae Nakazawa (also known as Patty ), his future wife, a young girl who also loves soccer and helps cheer the Nankatsu High team ( NewTeam ) on, and Genzo Wakabayashi( aka Benjamin Price), a highly talented young goalkeeper. Tsubasa meets Roberto Hongo, one of the best Brazilian soccer players, who is a friend of Tsubasa’s father, and who arrives in Japan and starts living with Tsubasa and his mother. Roberto becomes a mentor to Tsubasa and helps him to harness his soccer skills, convincing him to join Nankatsu Elementary and its fledgling high school soccer team, which Roberto coaches later as he passes his techniques onto Tsubasa.

Tsubasa also meets Taro Misaki (Tom Becker), who has travelled around Japan and
soon joins Nankatsu, and the two become the best of friends, forming a partnership soon to be renowned as the “Golden Duo” or “dynamic duo” of Nankatsu.

He meets such talented players as Kojiro Hyuga (Mark Landers), Jun Misugi(Julian Ross), and many others. His Nankatsu team wins the U-16 World Championships for Japan, before leaving the country to play in Brazil.

World Youth

Tsubasa starts playing, with his mentor Roberto as the manager, for São Paulo, in Brazil’s premier professional league, winning the final against Flamengo.

Road to 2002

While Tsubasa moves from São Paulo to Barcelona, Kojiro Hyuga is bought by Juventus (F.C. Piemonte in the anime). Tsubasa plays very well in training, displaying all his skills, but the Dutch coach Van Saal, who coached Barcelona at the time) demotes him to FC Barcelona, the reserve team that plays in the second division, because Tsubasa and Rivaul cannot play together whilst Rivaul holds a key position for playmaking.

And the Physics?

What’s the lenght of Captain Tsubasa’s pitch?

How fast do Tsubasa & Co. run?

These calculations are not extraordinarily difficult: in other words, what I have done to find these values is pure and simple analysis.

You can find answers to these questions in my book, published through Amazon’s KDP:


“The Physics of…” on Amazon

Many people have a deep fear of Physics.

The fear of Physics may not seem as scary as a fear of darkness. There are many reasons why people develop a fear of Maths and Physics.
Maths and Physics have a similar image to that of cabbages, in that you are not supposed to like them and if you do, people think you are strange. We are taught directly or indirectly by relatives and the media that Physics is very hard: no-one can do Physics well; no-one likes Physics. Because of all this, Physics has been put on a pedestal as ‘very hard’ subject: If you can do it, you are revered as some kind of genius.
Students find Physics difficult, because they have to contend with different representations such as formulas and calculations, experiments, tables of numbers, graphs, diagrams and maps.
People think that Physics has too many things to learn: too much theory; too many formulas; too many laws and rules to be learned.
People also find that Physics is not interesting ( … seriously?!) and that makes it difficult for students.
In this book, I wanted to prove that Physics could be interesting: you can learn laws and rules with such enjoyment that you don’t notice that time passes!

I hope you will enjoy reading this book!