German politician charged for publicly displaying Auschwitz tattoo


A far-right German politician has been charged with incitement for publicly displaying a large tattoo of the Auschwitz death camp on his back.

Prosecutors announced Wednesday that Marcel Zech, a county council member near Berlin, is accused of violating Germany’s ban on the public display of Nazi symbols, The Associated Press reported.

Zech’s tattoo was visible on November 21 when he visited a swimming pool in Oraneinburg and another visitor took a photo of it. In addition to the image of what appears to be the Auschwitz gate, the tattoo features the words “Jedem das Seine” (to each his own), which appeared on the gate of the Buchenwald death camp.

If convicted, Zech, who is 27 and a member of Germany’s National Democratic Party, could face up to five years in prison. His trial will begin on December 22.

Bar Refaeli got a tattoo


Israeli model Bar Refaeli has revealed a photo of her brand new body art on Instagram.

Concerned fans, like the ones who posted comments about how Refaeli has gone and ruined her body, can rest assured that the small butterfly, done in white ink, is absolutely not the first stage of a sleeve.

As Refaeli said herself in the caption, “I finally did it. My first (and last) tattoo.”

French Olympic swimmer Fabien Gilot explains Hebrew tattoo as a family tribute


French Olympic swimmer Fabien Gilot said the Hebrew tattoo on his left arm is a tribute to his late grandmother’s husband, a Jewish survivor of Auschwitz.

Gilot, who is not Jewish, said the tattoo is dedicated to his family and honors Max Goldschmidt, who has been a large influence in the Olympic champion’s life, Ynet reported. The tattoo says “I’m nothing without them.”

He revealed the tattoo, which is on the inside of his left arm, after exiting the pool following his team’s gold medal-winning performance this week in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay in London. It created a stir in Israel and around the world.

The swimmer has previously discussed his tattoos in the French media, claiming “they all have a meaning for me.” He noted that “I have the Olympic rings, a sentence in Hebrew that means ‘I am nothing without them’ for my family and three stars—one for each of my brothers.”

Man with ‘Israel’ tattoo charged with attempting to assassinate Obama


A man arrested in an alleged shooting near the White House who has “Israel” tattooed on his neck was charged with attempting to assassinate President Obama.

Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, 21, was charged Thursday during a hearing before a federal magistrate in Pittsburgh. He will be taken to Washington D.C. for trial.

In a Nov. 12 web posting, the U.S. Park Police said they were seeking Ortega-Hernandez, in the Nov. 11 shooting in the 1600 block of Constitution Avenue in Washington, between the White House and the Washington Monument.

Pennsylvania State police on Wednesday arrested Ortega-Hernandez, whom they said may be mentally ill, according to an ABC news report.

The Park Police, the authority in the area of the National Mall, found evidence, including a gun and spent shells, in a vehicle abandoned several blocks away that led to Ortega’s arrest warrant.

The web posting described Ortega-Hernandez, who is from Idaho, as 5 feet, 11 inches and 160 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair and with the following marks: “His right hand has a tattoo of three dots, he has a tattoo stating ‘Ortega’ on his upper back, a tattoo on his right chest of rosary beads and hands clasped in prayer, a tattoo of folded hands on left chest, and the words ‘Israel’ tattooed on left side of neck.”

Photos of a bearded Ortega pictured outdoors and smiling, and showing his “Israel” tattoo in a flowery script, appear on the web posting. It is not clear how the police obtained the photos.

Police reportedly asked demonstrators with the Occupy Wall Street movement encamped nearby if they had seen Ortega among them.

The U.S. Secret Service on Tuesday discovered two bullets that hit the White House. One was lodged in a protected glass window on the residential level.

Man wanted in D.C. shooting has ‘Israel’ tattoo


A man wanted in an alleged shooting near the White House has “Israel” tattooed on his neck.

In a Nov. 12 web posting, the U.S. Park Police say they are seeking Oscar Ramiro Ortega, 21, in the Nov. 11 shooting in the 1600 block of Constitution Avenue in Washington, between the White House and the Washington Monument.

The Park Police, the authority in the area of the National Mall, found evidence in a vehicle abandoned several blocks away that led to Ortega’s arrest warrant.

The web posting describes Ortega as 5 feet, 11 inches and 160 pounds, with brown eyes and black hai,r and with the following marks: “His right hand has a tattoo of three dots, he has a tattoo stating ‘Ortega’ on his upper back, a tattoo on his right chest of rosary beads and hands clasped in prayer, a tattoo of folded hands on left chest, and the words ‘Israel’ tattooed on left side of neck.”

Photos of a bearded Ortega pictured outdoors and smiling, and showing his “Israel” tattoo in a flowery script, appear on the web posting. It is not clear how the police obtained the photos.

Police reportedly have asked demonstrators with the Occupy Wall Street movement encamped nearby if they have seen Ortega among them.

The U.S. Secret Service on Tuesday discovered two bullets that hit the White House. One was lodged in a protected glass window on the residential level.

Spectator – The Taboo Expressionist


The earliest recorded use of the word “tattoo” is found in descriptions of a Tahitian ritual, written by British explorer Capt. James Cook during a 1769 voyage through the South Pacific.

Tattooing is an act of indelible self-expression. As such, it serves as an ideal vehicle for Jill Ciment’s new novel, “The Tattoo Artist.”

The book tells of Sara, a shop girl on Manhattan’s Lower East Side who, at the age of 18, trades her Yiddish-speaking parents and their crowded railroad tenement for an artist’s garret shared with Philip Ehrenreich, her genteel, bohemian husband. Philip loses his family’s fortune in the Depression, and he and Sara, an avant-garde painter herself, are sent to Ta’un’uu, an island in the South Pacific that is celebrated for its intricate tattoos and carved masks, to collect its exotic bounty for a shadowy and rich German industrialist. But their ship never returns to the island to pick them up.

Not unlike Gauguin’s “Tahiti,” the couple’s accidental home is lush, with natives luminescent in their tattoo-covered bodies. When tragedy strikes, Sara takes up the tattoo needle as a source of solace. The ties to her New York life are relinquished, and replaced with a priest-like position as one of the island’s tattoo artists.

Ciment has crafted the survival story of a woman who draws herself a history and identity using the needles and inks of another people.

The island’s tattoo artists sing a prayer while inserting the needle that, like a Torah, must be read in portions. Instead of chanting the Ta’uu’nin stories, Sara “sang the only songs I remembered, the ones my father had sung to me about the storybook yeshiva on the windy Russian steppes or the little union girl who takes on the boss.”

Midway through “The Tattoo Artist,” Philip explains to Sara the reason she needs to leave their adopted island: “because it’s not real.” He is correct. Borrowing from cultures she knows and cultures she has researched, Ciment has invented geography, a simplified composite containing strains of Polynesia and the Jewish Diaspora. Yet it is exactly the un-realness of the mix and the beauty of Ciment’s borrowings that make the island worth visiting.

Article courtesy The Forward.

Ariella Cohen is a writer living in Brooklyn.

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