Monday, September 30, 2019

The Tattooist of Auschwitz (Heather Morris)

Heather Morris's The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a book about survival in the most unfathomable conditions. But even through the darkness, this is a true story of unending love and a sense of hope.

Lale Sokolov is a Slovakian Jew sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1942. Because he speaks multiple languages, Lale is given the job of tattooist, moving back and forth between camps to tattoo numbers on incoming prisoners. This job is considered "privileged," and Lale uses this advantage to obtain food for his fellow prisoners.

It is as he is tattooing her arm that he first meets Gita. Lale and Gita hide their love by sneaking around the camp, and Lale will do anything he has to do to protect the love of his life. He vows that both of them will survive and ultimately marry. I found my heart pounding during the last few chapters to see if Lale's vow would come to fruition. The ending is all the more harrowing as you know it is based on fact.

If I were to find fault with anything in this book, it would be the writing at times. There wasn't a whole lot of depth to it, and much of it was written like "He did this..." and then "She did that...". However, the true story speaks for itself and perhaps the author was hesitant to embellish. I'm glad she told this story, as it was one that needed to be told.