"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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The Tattooist of Auschwitz isn’t an easy book to read. But it’s a book everybody should read. Heather Morris recounts the true story of Holocaust survivor Lale Sokolov, the “Tätowierer” of the Auschwitz concentration camp. The Jewish captive is given the unthinkably difficult job of branding tens of thousands of fellow prisoners with permanent numbers that become their identities—erasing their names, lineages and occupations. Morris also writes of Sokolov’s relationship with Gita, the love of his life, whom he meets in the camp. This immensely moving book is more than a story of one of history’s darkest hours; it’s a story of spirit and the will to live.
Based on a true story, Morris's debut fictionalizes the romance between two concentration camp prisoners during WWII. In 1942, Lale, a Slovakian Jew, is given the position of tattooist, tasked with numbering the arm of every new inmate who enters Auschwitz-Birkenau. He uses his position to procure black market items, which he trades away in return for favors. One day, he tattoos the arm of a young woman named Gita and promptly falls in love with her. They begin meeting on Sundays, the only day of rest in the camps. He vows to Gita that he will marry her when they are freed, a boast that Gita is dubious of but nevertheless clings to. Lale even becomes something of a guardian angel to Gita, providing her with penicillin when she contracts typhus. Separated at the end of the war by the fleeing SS, Lale and Gita set out to find one another again in postwar Europe. To many, this book will be most appreciated for its powerful evocation of the everyday horrors of life as a prisoner in a concentration camp, while others will be heartened by the novel's message of how true love can transcend even the most hellishly inhuman environments. This is a perfect novel for book clubs and readers of historical fiction.
I allowed my life to stop for this spell bounding book, for it fluent language to its love story. I was not let down, I was enthralled and at the same time enlightened. Every book club in the world should have this on their reading list.
It opened my eyes
I always knew about the concentration camps, but going through my difficult life now I know I can continue on and face the challenges like Lale did, “ if you can wake up in the morning, it is a good day”.
Shining light of humanity during the darkest experience
Perfectly woven story of love, survival and humanity shown by Jews during the most horrendous, inhumane treatment from the SS soldiers. Definitely worth reading!