The Tattooist of Auschwitz (The Tattooist of Auschwitz, #1)by Published 04 Sep 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 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.
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.
"The Tattooist of Auschwitz (The Tattooist of Auschwitz, #1)" Reviews
This is a historical fiction novel based on a true story. Lale Sokolov tells his story based on true events. He became the main tattooist of Aushwitz and falls in love at first sight with Gita who he first met tattooing her arm. He tattoos all the new prisoners with their identification numbers. Lale is a Jew. He is on the first transport of men from Slovakia to Auschwitz in 1942. The concentration camp was very horrifying. Lale did have some special privileges, since he was the tattoist. He had lots of freedom than the other prisoners. He was so brave and had lots of courage. He would exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep others alive. If he was caught he would of been killed. Many prisoners owed him their survival. He was a leader among the other prisoners.
Their are some graphic scenes that are a little dark. This book stands out from other Holocaust related novels. It is an emotional read. The Nazi guards are monsters, they kill and hurt human beings. Lale was determined to survive. This is a terrible story but it also is a story of hope and courage.
I really did love this story. It was almost like reading a memoir, but a little different than a memoir. This story is an emotional read, but I also found it uplifting at times.
The Holocaust was horrific and couldn't believe all the awful things that happened in the concentration camp. I would say this is a safer read than other Holocaust novels.
I really loved Lale's true story. I am so happy that the author spent a lot of time with him, to tell his story.
She really did an amazing job on his character. All the characters were very well done and made this novel come alive. I loved the love story between Lale and Gita and how they fall in love at first sight. I love a romance in a novel only when there is lots of suspense. Its always the suspense that I am looking for and this one has ok
plenty of it.
I felt so sad for Cilka, and everything she went through. I also felt sad for Leon. There are some scenes that are graphic but this is the Holocaust, a horrifying time and as I mentioned before this is a safer read than other Holocaust books.
I could not put this book down. It was a page turner. I loved the writing style. I am really loving historical novels more and more because I think they are needed because we need to remember what happened so that history isn't forgotten.
This was a Traveling Sister read and I loved reading this with them and it was a wonderful discussion. This is a great book to do as a group read.
I want to thank Netgalley, the publisher and Heather Morris for a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.
Armas sem Balas
O Holocausto legou-nos um conjunto inestimável de histórias da vida real, que merecem ser lidas!
São testemunhos de humanos como nós que, quando coagidos a explorar limites, revelaram um potencial ilimitado.
Suportaram fome, torturas, espancamentos,... e, pior que tudo, um amanhã incógnito.
Numa época de tamanhos horrores, acordar para cada dia, era uma vitória da vida sobre a morte!
São histórias didácticas, onde aprendemos sobre nós mesmos. Revelam a força anímica que albergamos quando confrontados com situações de alto risco, demonstrando como as ações e sentimentos nobres — a solidariedade, a união, a entre-ajuda, a compaixão, a esperança, o amor,... — são fontes de poder inesgotável quando se trata de sobrevivência.
Os sobreviventes do holocausto foram mestres na luta com armas sem balas! São testemunhos duma força de alcance incomensurável, que desconhecemos mas temos. Uma força capaz de concretizar incríveis e impossíveis, quando devidamente manipulada — reside e cresce em nós, almejando ser encontrada, usada, e abusada!...
As histórias do holocausto são uma viagem a um infinito que há em nós, e que imerso, clama por emergir!...
E agora, eis chegado o instante de stop 🛑 para aqueles que pretendem entregar-se a esta leitura num estado o mais tábua rasa possível, pois não resisto a falar-vos um pouco desta divina história de amor, que aconteceu em Auschwitz:
É verdade, sim!...
Uma história de amor que ocorreu num campo de concentração nazi!
Num local de torturas, espancamentos e gente sub-subnutrida, o amor acontece!...
Este sentimento que já conta com milénios de existência, não se cansa de nos surpreender com a sua resistência e ousadia!...
Os protagonistas da história são Lale e Gita:
Lale é o Tatuador de Auschwitz — o prisioneiro judeu encarregado de tatuar os restantes prisioneiros do campo, com os números que os identificam.
Um dia, uma beldade judia de olhos castanhos ( Gita) encontrava-se na fila dos presos para tatuar, e... naquele instante em que o sedutor Lale se apercebeu da sua presença, foi amor espontâneo — Lale tatuava-lhe o braço, enquanto o olhar brilhante de Gita lhe tatuava o coração!
Nesse momento mágico, Lale soube que iria sobreviver e construir uma vida com Gita, porque o Amor é mesmo assim — profetiza certezas infundadas! Simplesmente sabe-se, e pronto!
E de facto assim foi — Lale e Guita sobreviveram e reencontraram-se, por obra, graça e magia desse nobre sentimento, que dá pelo nome de Amor!...
6 milhões de judeus pereceram no Holocausto!
Lale e Gita sobreviveram!
Em tempo de guerra, o Amor é arma sem balas!!!
P.S.: Em Portugal, a qualidade desta obra intemporal, foi reconhecida — O Tatuador de Auschwitz conquistou o segundo lugar na lista dos melhores livros de 2018: https://www.worten.pt/melhores-livros...
I recall, as a child, accompanying one or the other of my parents to our family jeweler countless times. It seemed as if some piece always needed to be repaired or purchased for one occasion or another. For my tenth birthday I received a small sapphire and diamond ring which was too large and needed to be resized. One day after school off we went to see Marty and Irv. It was an unseasonably warm fall day and Irv had his shirtsleeves rolled up. When he placed his arm on the glass countertop, I saw the tattooed numbers on his arm for the very first time. I felt, also for the first time, a cold clenching my stomach. That very day, at the age of ten, I had watched Night and Fog as part of my fifth grade curriculum and my physical reaction was the painful shock of recognition. It was disturbing to me that this kind and gentle man had been subjected to and survived the death camps. I was raised to be a polite child so I didn’t say anything but I do remember having a serious conversation with my mother about it on our way home.
This experience, which is still so vivid to me, is one of the many reasons I find it difficult to rate ‘based on true” accounts about the holocaust. What I will say about this book is that it tells a story of hope amid horror. I will also say that the writing is sophomoric. However, I do think this is a book that is well suited for young teens as an introduction to this very dark part of history.
The German government needed workers for their labor camps. In 1942, all families in Slovakia were ordered to provide a child eighteen or older for work detail or risk having the entire family sent to concentration camp. Lale Sokolov hoped that by going to Prague to await these instructions his family would be safe. He did not expect to be forced into a cattle wagon and be transported to Auschwitz. He was determined to do as he was told, reveal little about himself and always be observant.
Lale's upbeat manner as well as deference to his capo helped him secure the job of "Tetovierer", the tattooist. Rules: Look down. Be quick and efficiently tattoo the five numbers written on each person's piece of paper. In order to survive, he had to defile innocent people. The job of "Tetovierer" did have some perks. Lale was given his own room and increased food rations which he hid under his sleeve to distribute to others when possible. One day, Lale saw a girl with the darkest brown eyes. Gita. He made a vow to himself. He will leave Auschwitz a free man. He has just met the love of his life!
Through cunning, luck and love, Lale is instrumental in setting up a barter system with paid bricklayers, Victor and Yuri. Food and medicine are exchanged for gems and currency smuggled out of the "Canada" building where some of Gita's friends work to empty the pockets of clothing from
new arrivals at Auschwitz. Diamonds and chocolate entice an occasional guard or capo as well.
"The Tattooist of Auschwitz" by Heather Morris is based upon the harrowing experiences of Lale Sokolov in Auschwitz and Birkenau. The chilling accounts of total disregard for life are occasionally tempered by selfless goodness and sacrifice without which Lale and Gita's love story could not have been told. This slim tome documents less familiar aspects of Holocaust literature. A must read.
Thank you Bonnier Zaffre and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review "The Tattooist of Auschwitz".
“If you wake up in the morning, it is a good day.”
This was a really tough novel to read - I mean obviously, it is set in Auschwtiz - it was hardly going to be a walk in the park!
I don't think I quite prepared myself, or wasn't able to entirely remove myself from the novel, so became completely invested and because of this, it absolutely tore me apart.
Based on a true story - Lale uses his education and knowledge of languages to get himself a job as the Tatowierer after each Jewish family must volunteer one young male for 'work'. This 'work' turns out to be the concentration camps on Auschwitz and Birkenau.
We witness first hand the atrocities Lale sees happen, and also the cruelty and torture he endures at the hands of the Nazi's. Despite knowing this was a 'memoir' of sorts, and that Lale would eventually escape, I was still terrified when reading this. Books like this need to be published and read, as I think that despite everyone knowing what the Holocaust was, I think people might be in danger of forgetting just how truly horrifying it was, and the lowest depths of humanity.
Though not always 100% gripping, I feel that it added to storytelling. Not everyday was filled with violence, some days nothing happened at all - and the prisoners whiled away the days, too starved or beaten to really do anything. Non-fiction books aren't always designed to be enthralling, and for me this story's purpose was more for education and the sharing of someone's past, rather than to simply entertain the reader.
I've seen a few reviews commenting on the writing style, how it is written quite factually rather than emotionally, and to be honest I do agree. It is written more as a timeline, than a novel. There is a lot of focus on the romance, where I would have rather had more info on the other prisoners/conditions etc. But I understand it was done this way because it is the couple's story to tell; I just would have preferred more detail in other places. [spoilers removed]
"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."