Book: The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Author: Heather Morris
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Fiction (Yet based on a true story)
Pages: 293 (Kindle)
Published: Jan 2018 (UK)
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Today's book review is 'The Tattooist of Auschwitz' by Heather Morris, hope you enjoy!
In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
Imprisoned for more than two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.
One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.
(From Goodreads - Link)
Little late with this one, but as it’s a must-read and was hugely popular last year, I thought I absolutely must give it a go. And I was not disappointed. I finished Lale and Gita’s stories within a day; I simply couldn’t put it down.
This book is strongly based on a true story, yet labelled as a ‘Fiction’ due to some events not being entirely factual. ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ follows the journey of Ludwig ‘Lale’ Sokolov and Gita in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Lale takes up an offer on becoming the camp Tätowierer (tattooist) and this gives him slight privileges in the camp, including extra rations of food and more freedom around the camp, yet this doesn’t mean that he’s safe from harm. He quickly finds a system in smuggling jewellery out of the camp in exchange for food and medicine, which he gives to his fellow Jews and prisoners. The book follows his experiences in the camp, and his determination to leave with Gita.
A wonderful story of love and hope in horrific conditions; it highlights the horrors of Auschwitz and is emotive throughout. As you’d expect with this type of book, there are descriptions of events that are upsetting and distressing. Yet I think it’s important to have at least some understanding of Auschwitz, to ensure this NEVER happens again. I love how pictures of Lale and Gita are included within the book, I appreciated having the pictures to put to the voices.
I couldn’t possibly critique this book - 5 out of 5 Stars! A must read.
Take care, Sophie x
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