The Tattooist of Auschwitz

The #1 International Bestseller & New York Times Bestseller

This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.

“The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an extraordinary document, a story about the extremes of human behavior existing side by side: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love. I find it hard to imagine anyone who would not be drawn in, confronted and moved. I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone, whether they’d read a hundred Holocaust stories or none.”—Graeme Simsion, internationally-bestselling author of The Rosie Project

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.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz - Heather Morris Summary

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a 2018 Holocaust novel by New Zealand novelist Heather Morris. The book tells the story of how Slovakian Jew Lale Sokolov, who was imprisoned at Auschwitz in 1942, fell in love with a girl he was tattooing at the concentration camp. The story is based on the real lives of Sokolov and his wife, Gita Furman. There has been mixed criticism towards the book, with some complimenting the novel’s compelling story based on real-life events, while claims of factual inaccuracies that bring into question miseducation around historical events has been critiqued by the Auschwitz Memorial Research Center.As of October 2019, the novel has sold more than three million copies around the world. 61,391 copies of The Tattooist of Auschwitz were sold in 2018 in Ireland. In 2018 it was the #1 New York Times Bestseller and #1 International Bestseller. ..

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz - Heather Morris Book Reviews (3,291)


Sad, but loved it5 star

It is a tough read in places, but hard to put down. A man taken to Aushwitz death camp schemes his way to a ‘secure’ position tattooing numbers on new arrivals. He uses his elevated position to help others around him. In the terribleness of what is happening in the camp he falls in love. Very well written. 55

Savage Army Wife

New favorite book!5 star

This is an incredible story and beautifully written. An amazing depiction of struggle and perseverance. 55



I absolutely love this book!! It has such a story you just automatically get sucked in. I recommend this to everyone interested in the subject! 55


Must Read5 star

I couldn’t put this book down. Highly recommend! 55


Great easy read4 star

There are some sad bits to this book as with any book about the holocaust but it is a great read with many light hearted parts. I really enjoyed this novel. 45


Tatoist of auschwitz5 star

As i sit in quarantine & read Lale & Gita”s story, i have experienced sorrow, inspiration, & joy. The horror & loss of so many innocent lives during the holocaust is something the world should never forget. Thank you for telling their story- i will remember. The inspiration that they survived such horror & were able to love & build a life... may it give others who are struggling hope for tomorrow. May we each be a vessel to help those around us in need in any small or great measure we can within our ability at the moment. Lale”s heart to help others is an example to follow. Blessings to you 💓 Debra 55

Every nickname I pick it takin

Amazing. So amazing.5 star

Where to start with this book...? It is an amazing story. The characters are real and this was their life. It tells of their perseverance and love. It also lets us in on the horrific things the people went through in the camps (if they even survived). This is one book I can say I do plan on reading again, and I never say that about novels. It’s heartbreaking and wonderful at the same time. Hard to read at times because it can be sad but, it’s also impossible to put down. 55


Powerful5 star

This is such a wonderful read. It’s written beautifully and flows smoothly from start to finish. Highly recommend! 55

SM from TX

Outstanding book5 star

So terribly sad what happened in Auschwitz to innocent people 55


Grupping5 star

Read the entire thing through one sitting. Literally could not put down! 55

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