Images of Czech police officers writing numbers on the hands of migrants are an uncomfortable reminder of a different event and a different era.
But the Czech authorities appeared totally unaware of the unfortunate visual connotations with the Holocaust, when prisoners at Auschwitz were systematically tattooed with serial numbers.
The Foreigners’ Police said the priority in dealing with the 200 migrants at Breclav railway station, in the South Moravian region, was identifying them and trying to keep family members together.
This, said a spokeswoman, was a difficult task when many had no documents and did not speak English; hence the numbers in felt-tip pen on their arms.
But some are outraged.