11:17 AM PDT, May 26, 2021
Lidia Maksymowicz, a Holocaust survivor, recently visited Pope Francis at the Vatican. And after hearing her story, the pontiff kissed the woman’s concentration camp tattoo.
Maksymowicz was just a toddler when she and her family were sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp from their home in Belarus. While there, the notorious Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele subjected her to horrifying experiments.
Although over a million people were killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Lidia survived. But she bore the memory of that terrible place and time on her body in the form of an identification tattoo: number 70072.
She was ultimately adopted by a Catholic Polish family.
Now in her early 80s, she often speaks to schools and other groups about her experience. After she shared her story with the Pope, she rolled up her sleeve to show her number 70072. Francis kissed the mark, and the two hugged.