I’ve been trying to catch up on my NetGalley books and decided to start with this one because I love historical fiction especially when related to the Holocaust.
Title: The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Author: Heather Morris
Published: According to GD: January 27th, 2018 by Bonnier Publishing Australia (first published January 11th, 2018) / According to Netgalley: February 02nd, 2018.
Genre: Historical Fiction
The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, two Slovakian Jews who survived Auschwitz and eventually made their home in Australia. In that terrible place, Lale was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival – literally scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust. Lale used the infinitesimal freedom of movement that this position awarded him to exchange jewels and money taken from murdered Jews for food to keep others alive. If he had been caught, he would have been killed; many owed him their survival.
Lale and Gita Sokolov didn’t tell their story to a lot of people after the war ended but when Gita died, Lale decided it was time to do so. And for 3 years, Heather Morris was there to listen which resulted in this incredible book.
We follow Lale, a Slovakian Jew, since his travel to the camp in terrible conditions. Even so, he always tries to stay positive and bring that positivity to the others. Shortly after his arrival, he’s offered a job as the Tätowierer, the Tattooist, who marks the prisoners who are to enter the camp. With this job, he receives more food and better accommodations but he never forgets the other prisoners and would share his rations with them everytime he could.
One day he meets Gita as she’s in line to be tattooed and is immediately drawn to her. They start meeting with each other and fall in love. He would always promise her that they would survive these horrors and walk out of there as free people someday.
With the help of the girls who worked in the Canada building (the place where they kept the prisoners’ possessions), he would get money and jewels and exchange them for food and medicine in order to help as many prisoners as he could. He was so brave and many people survived thanks to him. I’m so glad this book exists and I hope a lot of people read it. Never forget.
Save the one, save the world.