The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
Source: Owned Book
Genres: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: 4th Oc2018
“The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, two Slovakian Jews who survived Auschwitz and eventually made their home in Australia. In that terrible place, Lale was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival – literally scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust. Lale used the infinitesimal freedom of movement that this position awarded him to exchange jewels and money taken from murdered Jews for food to keep others alive. If he had been caught, he would have been killed; many owed him their survival.
There have been many books about the Holocaust – and there will be many more. What makes this one so memorable is Lale Sokolov’s incredible zest for life. He understood exactly what was in store for him and his fellow prisoners, and he was determined to survive – not just to survive but to leave the camp with his dignity and integrity intact, to live his life to the full. Terrible though this story is, it is also a story of hope and of courage. It is also – almost unbelievably – a love story. Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale – a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer – it was love at first sight, and he determined not only to survive himself but to ensure that Gita did, too. His story – their story – will make you weep, but you will also find it uplifting. It shows the very best of humanity in the very worst of circumstances.
Like many survivors, Lale and Gita told few people their story after the war. They eventually made their way to Australia, where they raised a son and had a successful life. But when Gita died, Lale felt he could no longer carry the burden of their past alone. He chose to tell his story. Publisher’s Summary”
My Thoughts & Review
I brought this book back in April 2019 and I wanted to read it so badly but just never got around to it. But in December I decided it was time to squeeze it in. I’m so glad I did.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on a story of Lale, a Slovakian Jew. We follow his journey through the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp during WW2. Being able to speak several languages Lale soon finds himself employed as a tattooist. This means he was responsible for tattooing identification numbers on the wrists of all the new prisoners that arrive at the camp on their wrists. While carrying out his daily jobs he soon falls in love with a fellow prisoner Gita. The rest you’ll have to find out for yourselves by reading the book.
I found this a very gripping read yet at the same time it was very unsettling and hard to read. There were some graphic scenes in this book which I would normally love reading about, but because of the nature of the story I actually found them a little hard to read.
Heather Morris has captured the story beautifully.I feel she really did an amazing job with Lale’s character. He was so brave, almost selfless who took many risks to help others. I really felt for him and wanted him to make it out of the camp. The other characters were also really well done. I really felt sorry for Cilka. As most you have probably already learnt from my other reviews that I’m not really a big fan of love stories between characters, but I was really hooked on the love story between Lale and Gita, and I really wanted them to get together.
I know there are a small number of readers who really didn’t enjoy this book but personally I couldn’t put this book down, till I found out how it all ended. I loved everything from the writing style to the different characters. After reading this book I can’t wait to pick up the second book Cilka’s Journey.
If you haven’t read this book already or love historical fiction I highly recommend you give this one ago.
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Leave a comment below and let’s have a chat.