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
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
This is a historical fiction novel based on a true story. Lale Sokolov tells his story based on true events. He became the main tattooist of Aushwitz and falls in love at first sight with Gita who he first met tattooing her arm. He tattoos all the new prisoners with their identification numbers. Lale is a Jew. He is on the first transport of men from Slovakia to Auschwitz in 1942. The concentration camp was very horrifying. Lale did have some special privileges, since he was the tattoist. He had lots of freedom than the other prisoners. He was so brave and had lots of courage. He would exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep others alive. If he was caught he would of been killed. Many prisoners owed him their survival. He was a leader among the other prisoners.
Their are some graphic scenes that are a little dark. This book stands out from other Holocaust related novels. It is an emotional read. The Nazi guards are monsters, they kill and hurt human beings. Lale was determined to survive. This is a terrible story but it also is a story of hope and courage.
I really did love this story. It was almost like reading a memoir, but a little different than a memoir. This story is an emotional read, but I also found it uplifting at times.
The Holocaust was horrific and couldn't believe all the awful things that happened in the concentration camp. I would say this is a safer read than other Holocaust novels.
I really loved Lale's true story. I am so happy that the author spent a lot of time with him, to tell his story.
She really did an amazing job on his character. All the characters were very well done and made this novel come alive. I loved the love story between Lale and Gita and how they fall in love at first sight. I love a romance in a novel only when there is lots of suspense. Its always the suspense that I am looking for and this one has ok
plenty of it.
I felt so sad for Cilka, and everything she went through. I also felt sad for Leon. There are some scenes that are graphic but this is the Holocaust, a horrifying time and as I mentioned before this is a safer read than other Holocaust books.
I could not put this book down. It was a page turner. I loved the writing style. I am really loving historical novels more and more because I think they are needed because we need to remember what happened so that history isn't forgotten.
This was a Traveling Sister read and I loved reading this with them and it was a wonderful discussion. This is a great book to do as a group read.
I want to thank Netgalley, the publisher and Heather Morris for a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.
Right after I started reading this book there was a story on the local news about a new exhibit at the Jewish Community Center in our area. The exhibit highlights the Holocaust survivors from this area. At kiosks you can click on a name, read a bio but what struck me the most was that you can also see a video of the survivor telling their story. The utmost importance of these stories is reflected at the beginning of this book by author Graeme Simsion: "It reminds us that every one of the unimaginably large number of Holocaust victims was an individual with a unique story...." . It's really not possible to know what it was like in Auschwitz or the other camps no matter how much we read about the Holocaust, but it is through the stories of the survivors that we can try to understand, even if only a little . Heather Morris has retold the story of Lale Sokolov, a Jewish prisoner at Auschwitz who becomes the camp tattooist and while there finds the love of his life, Gita. This stared out as a screenplay she wrote as Lale told her his story and has been developed into this "novel".
Lale from the first day he arrives in Auschwitz by cattle car, makes a vow to himself that he would survive this and after falling in love with Gita, he makes a promise to her that they will have a life together when they are out . That he can speak multiple languages saves Lale multiple times as well as connections made with other people imprisoned, with workers from the outside and even a German guard. With jewelry and cash gotten from the women who work in the building where belongings are sorted, Lale with his savvy, his courage and with some luck barters for time with Gita for the price of chocolate, a piece of sausage , a hunk of bread, a diamond or ruby. But he also provides as much food as he can to others. He helps many people along the way putting himself in danger each day as each day he tattoos numbers onto the arms of the new inhabitants. He does seem to have an existence in some ways better than most in the camp and better than when he first arrived until he is caught with the jewels. It is obvious that he survives, so there's no spoiler here that Lale continues to have the capacity for hope and love that seems impossible as he endures.
This is a story told with love about courage in the face of the horrors of the camps and loss of family, courage sustained by the strength of the human spirit and it's a love story that I'll never forget. There is not much more I can say other than what Lale himself tells Morris - that he wanted his story recorded so "It would never happen again."
I received an advanced copy of this book from Bonnie Zaffre through NetGalley.
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.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Holocaust fiction books in the English language alone. This is not the one to read.
This kind of book is hard to rate. It's based on the true story of Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew who volunteered to go to Auschwitz to save his older brother and, through a combination of true grit and luck, he's able to survive and even fall in love. Who wants to give the story of a Holocaust survivor just two stars? Isn't that a bit heartless?
But it's not subject of the book I'm rating. This book isn't well written. I wasn't surprised to learn that Heather Morris is a screenwriter, because she relies heavily on dialogue here and really struggles with prose (although, to be honest, the dialog leaves a lot to be desired, as well). Scenes change in the matter of a sentence, the dialogue often seems only broken with stage directions. There's no atmospheric build up. There's no sense of tension or urgency or terror. It was all very one-note. The characters, even Lale himself, are flat and poorly developed. The whole book felt very amateurish, and I cannot recommend it.
I received an advance copy of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley.