The Tattooist of Auschwitz - Heather Morris

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

By Heather Morris

  • Release Date: 2018-09-04
  • Genre: Historical
Score: 4.5
From 2,600 Ratings

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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.


  • Outstanding book

    By SM from TX
    So terribly sad what happened in Auschwitz to innocent people
  • Grupping

    By CN170
    Read the entire thing through one sitting. Literally could not put down!
  • Touching Story

    By TwoCortWort
    We all have heard of the horrors those experienced during WW2 and the concentration camps. This tells about Lale Sokolov’s story of finding love and surviving the horrors at Auschwitz. Very good book.
  • Beautiful story

    By godfty
    The story is amazing but the writing and execution of the ending were my favorite parts
  • An Extraordinary Story in Extraordinary Times

    By Funkwench
    I poured over this novel in the course of several days. Having read many books on the subject of The Holocaust and concentration camps, I found the tale of Lale and Gita to be a compelling love story. At times, the events seem to be hard to fathom especially Lale’s bartering for gems, food, and the many fortunate situations that preserved his life. A cat with nine lives, indeed. The screenplay and subsequent book by Heather Morris was a somewhat fictionalized account of an extraordinarily dark time in history. She brought light, love, and humanity to it. Worth the read.
  • Incredible

    By T-Town Chick
    This is an incredible book. I couldn't put it down. So well written and such a trying story of survival and love.
  • Loved

    By Rissa29
    Very well written! Couldn’t put it down! I love the history that is shared through his journey. Such a great read!
  • Wow, what a great book about a horrible time in history

    By orior1e
    This book was incredible. The author’s writing style is easy to follow and I plan on looking into other work she’s done. Lale’s (the tattooist) story is one everyone should know. I highly recommend reading this book!
  • Great Read

    By Emma K.S.
    Amazing story from the beginning until the end! Finished it in two days. Couldn’t put the book down.
  • Not worth the expense!

    By bitte500
    I found this a novel of fiction. I am not a historian but have read numerous accounts of the concentration camps. Lale made it seem easy to get food and gems and hide them away to share with his starving inmates. These unfortunate people were starved and worked mercilessly. They were shot and killed for the smallest infraction. He had so many gems that he shared one with an SS guard! Come on. The SS guards were terrifying to the people. They had total control and lacked sympathy or empathy. This novel trivialized what these millions of people suffered in the camps and not just Auschwitz but the thousands of camps in Germany and Poland. Terrible unlikely story of a heartbreaking time in the history of the world.