The Tattooist of Auschwitz

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

A Novel

Book - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"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." -- Publisher.
Publisher: New York City, New York : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, ©2018.
ISBN: 9780062877000
Characteristics: 262, 11 pages :,illustrations, map, portraits ;,24 cm.


From Library Staff

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Nov 25, 2019

I had higher expectations for this book based on it’s popularity and the reviews. I found it overly simplistic and did not feel the characters were well developed. It was without any new insights. I found some of the story improbable and was therefore not surprised to learn of the many historical inaccuracies. I think the author or editors could have done a better job of fact checking. In the end I also felt that the two main characters were collaborating with the Natzis and that this behavior continued with collaborating with the Russians after the war. Would have been a better read if this aspect of survival had been explored more.

Nov 08, 2019

Really enjoyed this story of survival related in such a compelling and direct way. It made me want to know more.

Oct 30, 2019

Such an excellent read!!

Oct 22, 2019

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, although the setting and plot was very sad. Based on the life of the true tattooist of Auschwitz. Well worth the time.

Oct 18, 2019

This was a great book. Heather Morris wrote a poignant book of survival and love. Parts of the story are difficult to read but necessary to show the true horror of the holocaust. It is important to know the hard truths of history as to not repeat it. This should be required reading for students. God bless Lale and Gita and all survivors everywhere.

AnnabelleLee27 Oct 03, 2019

An inspiring novel based on a true story of how love can arise in even the most grim of circumstances and how it can sustain survival. The storytelling is direct, sparse, and uncomplicated.

Sep 26, 2019

Absolutely excellent book, based on actual events.

ArapahoeSarahH Sep 18, 2019

Read in one sitting, as I had to find out what happened to Lale and Gita. This is yet another account of the horrors of WWII, but also sheds light on the beauty, resourcefulness and humanity that continued even in such a place and time.

Sep 17, 2019

Read at one sitting as the author's writing style, characters and story was so enjoyable

Sep 14, 2019

Engaging easy read

View All Comments


Add a Quote
Sep 25, 2019

"They are holding something that is absolutely forbidden in Auschwitz. These items, so dangerous that their mere possession is a death sentence, cannot be fired, nor do they have a sharp point, a blade, or a heavy end. These items, which the relentless guards of the Reich fear so much, are nothing more than books: old, unbound, with missing pages, and in tatters."

ArapahoeMaryA Jan 02, 2019

...choosing to live is an act of defiance, a form of heroism.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Oct 03, 2019

trreadaholic thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Library

To Top