JERUSALEM – Israel is unveiling new identity cards for its citizens that will commemorate the Jews killed in the Nazi Holocaust of World War II.
The serial numbers will begin at 6 million, the number of Jews who perished in the genocide. The new cards, to be introduced in the coming months, will also include six Stars of David, representing the 6 million victims.
Baruch Dadon, head of the new ID card project in Israel's Interior Ministry, said a government committee tasked with planning the updated, biometric cards came up with the idea to incorporate Holocaust symbolism into the design, a sort of honorary citizenship for the 6 million victims.
"We haven't forgotten them," said Dadon of the Holocaust victims. "They are with us ... and they will be with us in the future."
The numbers serve a purely technical function for indexing the number of cards printed. But Dadon said the symbolic numbering was not trivial.
"We are the state of the Jews," said Dadon. "I think this was necessary."
All Israelis are required to carry their ID cards with them.
The new cards were designed to prevent forgeries. Each card features a chip containing encrypted information, including the bearer's fingerprints and photo.
Dadon said he hoped Israel's president would get the first card — numbered 6,000,001.