The Tattooist of Auschwitz: A Novel

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Collaborator? No. Savior? Maybe. Survivor? Definitely. At twenty-five, Lale’s only crime is being Jewish in Slovakia in 1942. Hoping to save his family, Lale volunteers to work for the German government but is transported to Auschwitz instead. For the next three years, Lale will serve as Tätowierer, The Tattooist of Auschwitz. In charge of branding all Jewish prisoners with numbers, Lale is granted better accommodations, more rations, and limited liberty. With his restricted freedom, he has access to the valuables being stripped from prisoners and uses them to get food and medicine for prisoners. It is also in Auschwitz that Lale meets and falls in love with another prisoner, Gita. To Gita, he vows they will not only survive but also live to have a family.

Based on a true story and told from interviews with Lale before his death, Heather Morris crafts an account of Auschwitz and what it took to survive. Though fiction, Morris was able to trace the dates and places to find Lale, Gita, and other prisoners in WWII records. And, while the book leaves out the detailed horrors of the concentration camp, The Tattooist of Auschwitz subtly captures the violence and tragedy that the Jews, Romany, and prisoners of war experienced during WWII at the hands of the Nazis. Highly recommended, this is a frightening yet inspiring story about what it takes to remain human.


Reviewed By:

Author Heather Morris
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 288 pages
Publisher Harper Paperbacks
Publish Date 2018-Sep-04
ISBN 9780062797155
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue January 2019
Category Modern Literature
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