The incredible story of the Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist and the woman he loved.
Lale Sokolov is well-dressed, a charmer, a ladies’ man. He is also a Jew. On the first transport from Slovakia to Auschwitz in 1942, Lale immediately stands out to his fellow prisoners. In the camp, he is looked up to, looked out for, and put to work in the privileged position of Tätowierer– the tattooist – to mark his fellow prisoners, forever. One of them is a young woman, Gita, who steals his heart at first glance.
His life given new purpose, Lale does his best through the struggle and suffering to use his position for good.
This story, full of beauty and hope, is based on years of interviews author Heather Morris conducted with real-life Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov. It is heart-wrenching, illuminating, and unforgettable.
When I picked up The Tattooist Of Auschwitz I knew I would be in for a highly emotional read. A book that deals with the Holocaust is never going to be an easy read due to the atrocities that took place, but despite covering such a difficult and heartbreaking subject this book is so much more than a love story it’s also a poignant reminder of a past that should never be forgotten.
This is a beautiful and haunting book that’s based on the true story of Lale Sokolov, prisoner 34902. A Slovakian Jew who was held during World War 2 in the infamous Auschwitz prison camp and worked as the tattooist who was forced to mark each prisoner with one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust – the blue numbers tattooed on prisoners’ arms. This is the story of one man’s determination to survive and make a life for himself and his wife Gita.
This book is simply written but it is such a wonderfully told story, even though it’s very much a love story Heather Morris doesn’t shy away from describing the living conditions and the treatment of prisoners of Auschwitz, she very much tells the story in line with the facts, there is no way you can “sugar coat” what happened at Auschwitz, in doing so I think it would be a disservice to all the millions who lost their lives and the survivors. This book is a stark and very real reminder of the atrocities that took place at Auschwitz and all the other concentration camps during World War Two.
Despite the ugliness and the gut wrenching setting there is beauty in this book, the resilience that Lale finds deep in himself, his courage and above all his strength of character shine through, as does his love for Gita. The author has done an incredible job of retelling Lale and his Gita’s story, at times I felt I was there alongside him, I felt his despair, his pain and those moments when it would have been easier to have given up than live another day. I found the end of the book very emotional as the reader learns what happened to Lale and Gita in the years after Auschwitz. This is one book that will haunt me for a long time to come, but I think it’s a book everyone should read. Highly recommended
Print Length: 288 pages
Publisher: Zaffre (11 Jan. 2018)