The Tattooist of Auschwitz

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

A Novel

Book - 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 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." -- Publisher.
Publisher: New York City, New York : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, ©2018.
ISBN: 9780062877000
9780062797155
9780062870674
006287067X
9781785763649
9781785763656
Characteristics: 262, 11 pages :,illustrations, map, portraits ;,24 cm.

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AnneCarolineDrake
Apr 29, 2019

What would you do to survive the Holocaust? Atrocities are everywhere. Most of us wouldn't have survived. And, I think this is the point of the book. Lale and Gita Sokolov weren't perfect people, but they DID survive. They married. They had a son Gary. We can question Lale's ethics, but we can't question his overwhelming desire to see everyone he knew survive the horrors of Nazi Germany.

ArapahoeKatieK Apr 24, 2019

A heartwarming story about love in the unlikeliest of places and how that love survived. Based on the lives of actual Holocaust survivors, it gives us a peek into what life was like in the camps. Definitely worth a read.

s
Schultze1104
Apr 22, 2019

The story held my interest and, in truth, I couldn't put it down. However, the writing is terrible. It's a poor adaptation of a screenplay. And why does Lale Sokolov's story need to be fictionalized? This book is on par with what I consider to be a disturbing trend in Holocaust-related literature: sexy and romaticized works aimed at younger readers. To reference John Boyne, if you're going to write about the Holocaust, you better have something to say. Morris adds nothing to this genre. The story is meant to suck you in and make money.

a
angeleyes4
Apr 20, 2019

In the main, this ws a badly written book and the last five pages or so were the worst-as if the author got bored and wanted to be done with it.

m
Maihaske
Apr 02, 2019

I have never seen a Prologue where the author actually copied and pasted part of her book and stuck it at the beginning. This was a strong indication of what type of writing would lay ahead. The author also used crude terms that were unnecessary and distracted from the overall story. Her writing seemed disjointed and the narrative did not naturally build; rather, it slammed the reader with the horror from the first moments of the first pages. I suppose that could be because the author was getting her information second-hand from Lale. Perhaps the details of the story came out quite disjointed because of all of the years that passed since his experiences. I also found it hard to believe that so much dealing went on in the story with chocolates and jewels, but it could have happened that way. I was also disappointed that the hero was not an honest man of virtue, he was simply someone who fell in love during the holocaust. Having said all of that, I did believe in the love between him and Gita and I did appreciate the ending. I just think there are a lot more virtuous stories out there about Hitler's regime, such as The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.

k
kellymcclendon
Mar 29, 2019

Well written story that does need to be told. This true story is brought to life so that you can experience the thoughts and horror of the victims in the story and see survival.

l
Liber_vermis
Mar 20, 2019

Although this is a fictionalized account of real-life events, the prospective reader should read, first, the "Additional Information" and the "Author's Note" at the back of the book which provide a short biography of the main characters, photographs, and two maps. Check out the "Similar Titles" for higher rated Holocaust accounts.

a
artist2go
Mar 19, 2019

The screenplay mode came through clearly with the lack of scenery and background. I was astonished at the apparent ease with which the girls working in "Canada" were able to collect so many valuables without being searched, and then pass them on to Lale. I found Lale's ability to hide these under a mattress in "his room" (???) undetected, over an extended period of time, unbelievable.
The wonderful love story and amazing endurance of the characters is touching, however having visited Dachau concentration camp in 1967, and having read many other books on the subject, I found the book unconvincing. It gives rise to the notion that perhaps all the horror stories are untrue. Luckily we have photographic evidence to prove otherwise.

c
CarleeMcDot
Mar 14, 2019

I guess you could say I have been on a World War II, Holocaust reading kick lately. I don't really know why (especially with the subject matter being so dark and somber), but I continue to be drawn to them. When I had shared a recent book in my Instagram stories, a friend mentioned this title so I put it on hold at the library. Let me just say, this book... WOW! It is deemed a novel, but it's based on a true story and man is it a crazy one. Lale is a Slovakian Jew who is taken to Auschwitz and eventually becomes the tattooist, the one who tattoos the identification number on the bodies of everyone coming into Auschwitz-Birkenau. Although this is definitely not a light-hearted read, it is one centered on love and perseverance. I have no idea what I would do in a situation like this, but I pray A. never to find out, but B. that I would have the strength to fight for those around me and to make a difference in the world, however small and seemingly insignificant it may be. I feel like I spoiled the ending a bit by flipping through the last few pages of the book, so if you grab it, I would recommend averting your eyes. I flew through this book in an afternoon, I just couldn't put it down (started reading it while I rode the stationary bike). I would give it a 9 out of 10.

r
robinwalthery
Mar 13, 2019

Dawn Huntington

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ArapahoeMaryA Jan 02, 2019

...choosing to live is an act of defiance, a form of heroism.

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