For readers of Schindler's List, The Man Who Broke into Auschwitz and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas comes a heart-breaking story of the very best of humanity in the very worst of circumstances.
I tattooed a number on her arm. She tattooed her name on my heart.
In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival - scratching numbers into his fellow victims' arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.
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 was determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure this woman, Gita, did, too.
So begins one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust: the love story of the tattooist of Auschwitz.
'Extraordinary - moving, confronting and uplifting . . . I recommend it unreservedly' Greame Simsion
'A moving and ultimately uplifting story of love, loyalties and friendship amidst the horrors of war . . . It's a triumph.' Jill Mansell
'A sincere . . . moving attempt to speak the unspeakable' Sunday Times
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Tattooistof Auschwitz, a story of survival, love and terrible loss!
I really enjoyed this book. It was easy to read but for obvious reasons, it was difficult to comprehend what people had to endure. It is an amazing story of survival and how one man had the willingness to endure through, and all for love. Love is truly powerful!
It’s an amazing book! Full of twist, turns and unexpected scenarios. Great for people who love history as well as romance. Breath taking.