The Tattooist Of Auschwitz By Heather Morris #Bookreview @BonnierZaffre


Book description

The incredible story of the Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist and the woman he loved.

Lale Sokolov is well-dressed, a charmer, a ladies’ man. He is also a Jew. On the first transport from Slovakia to Auschwitz in 1942, Lale immediately stands out to his fellow prisoners. In the camp, he is looked up to, looked out for, and put to work in the privileged position of Tätowierer– the tattooist – to mark his fellow prisoners, forever. One of them is a young woman, Gita, who steals his heart at first glance.

His life given new purpose, Lale does his best through the struggle and suffering to use his position for good.

This story, full of beauty and hope, is based on years of interviews author Heather Morris conducted with real-life Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov. It is heart-wrenching, illuminating, and unforgettable.


When I picked up The Tattooist Of Auschwitz I knew I would be in for a highly emotional read. A book that deals with the Holocaust is never going to be an easy read due to the atrocities that took place, but despite covering such a difficult and heartbreaking subject this book is so much more than a love story it’s also a poignant reminder of a past that should never be forgotten.

This is a beautiful and haunting book that’s based on the true story of Lale Sokolov, prisoner 34902. A Slovakian Jew who was held during World War 2 in the infamous Auschwitz prison camp and worked as the tattooist who was forced to mark each prisoner with one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust – the blue numbers tattooed on prisoners’ arms. This is the story of one man’s determination to survive and make a life for himself and his wife Gita.

This book is simply written but it is such a wonderfully told story, even though it’s very much a love story Heather Morris doesn’t shy away from describing the living conditions and the treatment of prisoners of Auschwitz, she very much tells the story in line with the facts, there is no way you can “sugar coat” what happened at Auschwitz, in doing so I think it would be a disservice to all the millions who lost their lives and the survivors. This book is a stark and very real reminder of the atrocities that took place at Auschwitz and all the other concentration camps during World War Two.

Despite the ugliness and the gut wrenching setting there is beauty in this book, the resilience that Lale finds deep in himself, his courage and above all his strength of character shine through, as does his love for Gita. The author has done an incredible job of retelling Lale and his Gita’s story, at times I felt I was there alongside him, I felt his despair, his pain and those moments when it would have been easier to have given up than live another day. I found the end of the book very emotional as the reader learns what happened to Lale and Gita in the years after Auschwitz. This is one book that will haunt me for a long time to come, but I think it’s a book everyone should read.  Highly recommended

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 288 pages

Publisher: Zaffre (11 Jan. 2018)


24 thoughts on “The Tattooist Of Auschwitz By Heather Morris #Bookreview @BonnierZaffre

  1. Claire 'Word by Word'

    Reminds me a little of the beautiful book, also based on a true story, Fever at Dawn by Péter Gardos, written by the son, Hungarian survivors of the concentration camps. He discovered the story after his father died, when his mother handed him a bundle of very old letters and discovered the romantic, semi-tragic story of how his parents met. Stunning.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lindsey

    I hadn’t heard of this until a week or so ago, then a friend recommended it and now this is the second superb review I’ve seen in two days – looks like this is a definite must-read! Beautiful review, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: The book review café **book of the month** for January 2018 | The Book Review Café

  4. Heather Godbout

    I think this glowing review is the final push I need to move this one up on my TBR list. I’ve read so many stories of the Holocaust it would have been hard to imagine an author being able to add something new, but I imagine this choice of protagonist (the tattooist, that is), brings some new perspective to this very well-traveled ground.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: The Tattooist of Auschwitz - Heather Morris | Lovely Mix

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