The Tattooist of Auschwitz

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

A Novel

Book - 2018
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The #1 International Bestseller & New York Times Bestseller

This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov--an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.

"The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an extraordinary document, a story about the extremes of human behavior existing side by side: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love. I find it hard to imagine anyone who would not be drawn in, confronted and moved. I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone, whether they'd read a hundred Holocaust stories or none."--Graeme Simsion, internationally-bestselling author of The Rosie Project

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 over 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.

A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.

Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, [2018]
Edition: First U.S. edition.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780062870674
Branch Call Number: FIC MORRI
Characteristics: 262, 11 pages : maps


From the critics

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ArapahoeSarahH Sep 18, 2019

Read in one sitting, as I had to find out what happened to Lale and Gita. This is yet another account of the horrors of WWII, but also sheds light on the beauty, resourcefulness and humanity that continued even in such a place and time.

Sep 17, 2019

Read at one sitting as the author's writing style, characters and story was so enjoyable

Sep 14, 2019

Engaging easy read

Sep 01, 2019

It was a tragic story told beautifully.

Aug 26, 2019

Great story

Jul 30, 2019

A love story that formed at one of the most horrific places in the world - the concentration camp of Auschwitz during WW2. I wasn't even aware that love was remotely possible at a concentration camp. I thought the book was well written and perhaps my low(er) rating is only because I have read too many WW2 books as of late.

Jul 17, 2019

Even if most were true or fact-based, I found the conformist (survival instinct, charity or humanity in adversity) overtone is a cliche, and was affected little by Lale's personal romance in an extreme circumstance. However I was more intrigued by his hiatus with Russian Army ... after his escape the prison, but before his reunion with Gita.
Lali/Lale still appears to be an interesting character, I'd hope him to be re-written with more textured and nuanced shadow revealed in light of true wisdom.

A heart-breaking story - difficult to read but one everyone should read. Lale, the tattooist, never stops helping others and ends up with the one he loves.

Jul 10, 2019

Finally finished it. Took a long while as the writing style is jarring. No book, fiction or otherwise involving the Holocaust is an easy read but after I was done and learned of all the inaccuracies, was very disappointed. Why didn't Ms Morris write it as a biography?? I would love to know more about this couple but don't believe half of what happened in the book to be true. Unfortunate loss of a great opportunity to tell their story. Doubly sad to hear that the correct spelling of his name wasn't even used! I hope their son will write his own real version.

Jul 03, 2019

Tough subject matter but easy read if that makes any sense. Could not put it down because I connected with the character’s humanity. Appalled with branding people he tried to make amends in whatever way he could by bartering for food, by risking his own life. Sad story. Well worth the read.

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ArapahoeMaryA Jan 02, 2019

...choosing to live is an act of defiance, a form of heroism.

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