The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris- A Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The Tattooist of Auschwitz featured a new perspective for me in the overwhelming number of WWII historical fiction books out in the world. While the main character, Lale, is a prisoner, he is also working with the Nazi’s as the Tätowierer, the tattooist. I knew that many jobs within a concentration camp were done by the prisoners, but had never encountered a book focused on the person tattooing the people there. It was such an interesting story and I really loved it.

How I Felt:

At the end of this book, there is a section written by the author describing how she came to write this book. I found this so interesting, as I didn’t realize this was a true story until that part of the book. (We all know I cover buy and just roll the dice that I’ll like the book). So, I was really intrigued that it was at least based, somewhat, in fact. I have read articles discussing just how much of this book was actually true, and you know, I’m ok if it isn’t all true. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is positioned as historical fiction, so I would not expect this book to be 100% fact. Lale and Gita were real people and their story, whether embellished or not, was told and I like that.

The Characters: The story focuses on Lale and I really liked him. I found him to be lovable and a bit silly at times, but he had such a big heart. His constant need to help other people in the camp just made him so endearing. I just loved his personality! Gita wasn’t as personable for me, and that’s really because the book is focused on Lale’s story and Gita is only there, when she is near Lale.

The Writing: I really loved the way the story unfolded. Heather Morris wrote this book in such a wonderful way. Her writing made it easy to get lost in the story. She did an excellent job.

Overall: I found The Tattooist of Auschwitz to be a book that should be on your TBR. It covers a terrible situation, but shows the perseverance and determination of just some of the people that lived through it.

Content Warning:

This book is focused around a concentration camp. There is death, antisemitism, and reference to rape.

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris for readers that enjoy historical fiction, especially around WWII.

Have You Already Read and Loved This Book?

Here are some recommendations of other books you might enjoy. Click on the title to head over to my review.

Of Bitter Herbs and Sweet Confections by Susan Shalev

The Child of Auschwitz by Lily Graham

The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure

The Forger by Paul Watkins – This one is one of my all-time favorites!

Hidden Pearl by J.E. Laufer

Where to Find This Book:

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris is available at these sites.

Amazon Kindle | Amazon | Goodreads

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.

Just the Facts:

  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Page Count: 249 pages
  • Publisher:  Harper Paperbacks
  • Pub Date: September 4, 2018
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2 thoughts on “The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris- A Review

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