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Pope kisses tattoo of Auschwitz survivor

Pope Francis has kissed the tattoo of an Auschwitz survivor during a general audience.

Lidia Maksymowicz, a Polish citizen who was deported to Auschwitz from her native Belarus by the age of 3, showed the pope the number tattooed on her arm by the Nazis, and Francis leaned over and kissed it.

Maksymowicz tells Vatican News that she didn’t exchange words with the pope.

“We understood each other with a glance,” she says.

Pope Francis talks with Lidia Maksymowicz, a Holocaust survivor, who was prisoner in the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp before leaving San Damaso Courtyard at the Vatican for his weekly general audience, Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Maksymowicz has participated in events sponsored by Sant’Egidio aimed at educating youth about the Holocaust. She spent three years in the children’s area of the camp, and was subjected to experiments by Josef Mengele, known as the “Angel of Death.” When the camp was freed, she was taken in by a Polish family.

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