Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 288 pages
Audiobook Length: 7 hours and 25 minutes
First Published: 2018
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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.
In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover 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.
Quotes from The Tattooist of Auschwitz
If you wake up in the morning, it is a good day.
To save one is to save the world.
I know he is not perfect, but I also know he will always put me first.
Politics will help you understand the world until you don’t understand it anymore, and then it will get you thrown into a prison camp. Politics and religion both.
About Heather Morris
Heather Morris is a New Zealand native living in Australia. While working as a screenwriter, she was introduced to Lale Sokolov. Through their friendship, Morris wrote her debut novel, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, a fictional version of Lale’s true story. Then she wrote Cilka’s Journey, another true story about one of the bravest people Lale had ever met. Her third novel, Three Sisters, is also based on a true story. Morris is also the author of the memoir Listening Well. Visit the author’s website →