The Tattooist of Auschwitz (The Tattooist of Auschwitz, #1)by Published 04 Sep 2018
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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.
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.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz (The Tattooist of Auschwitz, #1) Reviews
A unsettling but gripping novel, based on the true story of Lale, a Slovakian Jew caught up in the horrors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp during WW2. He speaks several languages, so soon finds himself employed in the camp as the tattooist, the man responsible for inscribing prisoners numbers on their arms. He soon meets and falls in love with Gita, a fellow inmate., but can their love survive the horrors of life inside a concentration camp?
This is a beautifully told tale, Helen Morris captures the essence of the camp well. I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau earlier this year and found it to be chilling and disturbing. One can only speculate at the deranged minds of those that caused such suffering. I read through this book it quickly in one sitting, and though it outlines the horrors of war, it shows the strength of the human spirit, and that there is always something to hope for. Highly recommended, this is one that will stay with you for a long time.
what a comfort it is to know that, even in the most desperate and tragically unfathomable of circumstances, love and hope are possible and can be found.
this was a truly touching story about lale and gita and how the love they found for each other in auschwitz helped them survive. the story is based on true events, information gathered from lales interviews with the author. lale waited until after the death of gita to open up about his experiences due to fear of being perceived as a nazi sympathiser. but goodness, this was a story that needed to be told.
and i feel rather heartless giving a book with that sort of gravity anything less than 5 stars, but i was very let down when it came to the writing and the way the story was told. i would have much rather heard the story told from lale himself, as i dont think heather morris did his story justice. the writing was very flat and didnt evoke the sense of emotion i would have hoped for from a story as memorable as this.
regardless, i am still grateful i read this, for there were so many valuable lessons within this book. lessons on what it means to be human, how far one would go to survive, how love can be found anywhere, and most importantly, the power of hope.
↠ 3.5 stars
The German government needed workers for their labor camps. In 1942, all families in Slovakia were ordered to provide a child eighteen or older for work detail or risk having the entire family sent to concentration camp. Lale Sokolov hoped that by going to Prague to await these instructions his family would be safe. He did not expect to be forced into a cattle wagon and be transported to Auschwitz. He was determined to do as he was told, reveal little about himself and always be observant.
Lale's upbeat manner as well as deference to his capo helped him secure the job of "Tetovierer", the tattooist. Rules: Look down. Be quick and efficiently tattoo the five numbers written on each person's piece of paper. In order to survive, he had to defile innocent people. The job of "Tetovierer" did have some perks. Lale was given his own room and increased food rations which he hid under his sleeve to distribute to others when possible. One day, Lale saw a girl with the darkest brown eyes. Gita. He made a vow to himself. He will leave Auschwitz a free man. He has just met the love of his life!
Through cunning, luck and love, Lale is instrumental in setting up a barter system with paid bricklayers, Victor and Yuri. Food and medicine are exchanged for gems and currency smuggled out of the "Canada" building where some of Gita's friends work to empty the pockets of clothing from
new arrivals at Auschwitz. Diamonds and chocolate entice an occasional guard or capo as well.
"The Tattooist of Auschwitz" by Heather Morris is based upon the harrowing experiences of Lale Sokolov in Auschwitz and Birkenau. The chilling accounts of total disregard for life are occasionally tempered by selfless goodness and sacrifice without which Lale and Gita's love story could not have been told. This slim tome documents less familiar aspects of Holocaust literature. A must read.
Thank you Bonnier Zaffre and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review "The Tattooist of Auschwitz".
I recall, as a child, accompanying one or the other of my parents to our family jeweler countless times. It seemed as if some piece always needed to be repaired or purchased for one occasion or another. For my tenth birthday I received a small sapphire and diamond ring which was too large and needed to be resized. One day after school off we went to see Marty and Irv. It was an unseasonably warm fall day and Irv had his shirtsleeves rolled up. When he placed his arm on the glass countertop, I saw the tattooed numbers on his arm for the very first time. I felt, also for the first time, a cold clenching my stomach. That very day, at the age of ten, I had watched Night and Fog as part of my fifth grade curriculum and my physical reaction was the painful shock of recognition. It was disturbing to me that this kind and gentle man had been subjected to and survived the death camps. I was raised to be a polite child so I didn’t say anything but I do remember having a serious conversation with my mother about it on our way home.
This experience, which is still so vivid to me, is one of the many reasons I find it difficult to rate ‘based on true” accounts about the holocaust. What I will say about this book is that it tells a story of hope amid horror. I will also say that the writing is sophomoric. However, I do think this is a book that is well suited for young teens as an introduction to this very dark part of history.
Armas sem Balas
O Holocausto legou-nos um conjunto inestimável de histórias da vida real, que merecem ser lidas!
São testemunhos de humanos como nós que, quando coagidos a explorar limites, revelaram um potencial ilimitado.
Suportaram fome, torturas, espancamentos,... e, pior que tudo, um amanhã incógnito.
Numa época de tamanhos horrores, acordar para cada dia, era uma vitória da vida sobre a morte!
São histórias didácticas, onde aprendemos sobre nós mesmos. Revelam a força anímica que albergamos quando confrontados com situações de alto risco, demonstrando como as ações e sentimentos nobres — a solidariedade, a união, a entre-ajuda, a compaixão, a esperança, o amor,... — são fontes de poder inesgotável quando se trata de sobrevivência.
Os sobreviventes do holocausto foram mestres na luta com armas sem balas! São testemunhos duma força de alcance incomensurável, que desconhecemos mas temos. Uma força capaz de concretizar incríveis e impossíveis, quando devidamente manipulada — reside e cresce em nós, almejando ser encontrada, usada, e abusada!...
As histórias do holocausto são uma viagem a um infinito que há em nós, e que imerso, clama por emergir!...
E agora, eis chegado o instante de stop 🛑 para aqueles que pretendem entregar-se a esta leitura num estado o mais tábua rasa possível, pois não resisto a falar-vos um pouco desta divina história de amor, que aconteceu em Auschwitz:
É verdade, sim!...
Uma história de amor que ocorreu num campo de concentração nazi!
Num local de torturas, espancamentos e gente sub-subnutrida, o amor acontece!...
Este sentimento que já conta com milénios de existência, não se cansa de nos surpreender com a sua resistência e ousadia!...
Os protagonistas da história são Lale e Gita:
Lale é o Tatuador de Auschwitz — o prisioneiro judeu encarregado de tatuar os restantes prisioneiros do campo, com os números que os identificam.
Um dia, uma beldade judia de olhos castanhos ( Gita) encontrava-se na fila dos presos para tatuar, e... naquele instante em que o sedutor Lale se apercebeu da sua presença, foi amor espontâneo — Lale tatuava-lhe o braço, enquanto o olhar brilhante de Gita lhe tatuava o coração!
Nesse momento mágico, Lale soube que iria sobreviver e construir uma vida com Gita, porque o Amor é mesmo assim — profetiza certezas infundadas! Simplesmente sabe-se, e pronto!
E de facto assim foi — Lale e Guita sobreviveram e reencontraram-se, por obra, graça e magia desse nobre sentimento, que dá pelo nome de Amor!...
6 milhões de judeus pereceram no Holocausto!
Lale e Gita sobreviveram!
Em tempo de guerra, o Amor é arma sem balas!!!
P.S.: Em Portugal, a qualidade desta obra intemporal, foi reconhecida — O Tatuador de Auschwitz conquistou o segundo lugar na lista dos melhores livros de 2018: https://www.worten.pt/melhores-livros...