Here we are, February is nearly over and I am proud of continuing to keep up with my big 2019 Reading Goal. Today I am sharing my 4th book that read for the year so far. This book is a little out of the norm for me but I am so glad I picked it up. The Tattooist of Auschwitz was recommended to me after I read the Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly last year. While The Tattooist of Auschwitz wasn’t a feel good novel like I usually enjoy I finished this book quickly because I had to find out what happened in the end.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
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 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 over 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.
My Review of The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Just like the Lilac Girls book this book gives a glimpse into the daily life at Auschwitz. This is a historical fiction novel based on a true story. Lale Sokolov tells his story based on true events and I found myself captivated on his way of survival. He became the main tattooist of Aushwitz and falls in love at first sight with Gita who he first met tattooing her arm. What a predicament for Lale…he found a good “job” while at the camp but it involves violating others just like him. I honestly cannot imagine the guilt he must have felt every day.
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.
While this was a story about Lale and Gita’s survival and love it also gave some historical knowledge into the situation at Auschwitz. This was set in the time that the camps first opened so through out the novel you will see the modifications and growth of the camp. Heartbreaking and unfathomable that something like this could occur and yet, the climate we are in currently in our own country has me seeing how one person’s hate can transfer to so many.
This book, while different than other Holocaust books I have read, was powerful. I could see this book being turned into a movie due to the amount of first hand information the author received from Lale and Gita. That being said, it was a hard book to read because of the situation but one that I think everyone should take time to enjoy.
Book 4 was a hard one to read and process but I am so happy I picked this one up. Book 4 down! On to a great 2019 of reading! I am excited for this journey and goal once again and hope I find some great books to give you reviews on. I have already started book 6 and it is proving to be a fun one.
Make sure you check out my reading list for 2019 that I have planned so far.
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