The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris is the true account of Lale Sokolov, a Holocaust survivor. During his time in Auschwitz he served as the designated tattooist, where he would brand each of his prison mates with a number.

The secret love of the Auschwitz tattooist - ABC News (Australian  Broadcasting Corporation)

Blurb: The Tattooist of Auschwitz

The #1 International Bestseller & New York Times Bestseller

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.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an extraordinary document, a story about the extremes of human behavior existing side by side: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love. I find it hard to imagine anyone who would not be drawn in, confronted and moved. I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone, whether they’d read a hundred Holocaust stories or none.”—Graeme Simsion, internationally-bestselling author of The Rosie Project

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

Book Review: The Tattooist of Auschwitz

This was our November pick for The Book Meddler’s Book Club!

All in all this book was great! I personally loved Lale and his attitude toward life. Sometimes we survive because we make the decision to do so. I believe Lale did that, especially after he met Gita.

However, our bookclub discussion was based on the fact that we considered his perspective too mellow for the atrocities he witnessed. Through this account you might’ve thought they had several normal days where the horrors didn’t take place.

Another interesting fact, is how many jews the Nazis used to hurt other jews. For me, this was one of the most atrocious things they could’ve done. How do you get back from that? You know, hurting your own people?

This is not a happy story despite Lale and Gita surviving the horrors of Auschwitz. As the reader you get to witness so many horrible accounts including Josef Mengele’s “experiments”. You must prepare to read all this cause it can easily provoke an acute impression.