You are correct, for this was indeed a dehumanizing act against defenceless, harmless human beings
This beastly act was performed by the Nazis against Jews in the course of World WarII, with a permanant identifying number inscribed on the subject's lower forearm.
Ghastly as this seems, it was nothing compared to the maximum degraditation meted out to these poor people, most of whom were forced into concentration camps where they were starved, beaten and otherwise dehumanized, with a majority of them gassed, then burned in camp ovens.
This was the holocaust, and represented Hitler's Final Solution, the killing of all Jews in Europe.
Concentration camps existed throughout Europe, with the following being some of the mostinfamous:
Auschwitz, Belzac, Buchenwald, Dachau, Chelmno, Sorbibor, Terezin and Treblinka, to name a few.
These camps were operated by Hitler's SS, and each had mass gassing installations and body disposal furnaces.
An estimated six million Jews were murdered and disposed of in this manner.
For more insight into this, check:
which brings up,
Concentration Camps, with a broad menu of topics.
I last accessed this site 5-15-2000, so youmay have to 'dig' a little.
I hope that I have at least answered some part of your question.
Please feel free to contact me if I may be of further assistance to you.