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Book Review: The Tattooist of Auschwitz

May 23, 2019

So, this week's book was super sad! And came highly recommended by literally everyone I know who's a bibliophile like myself!

 

I usually don't read books with this particular subject matter, since it makes me really sad, and honestly a little horrified! It looks at a very macabre time of human history, and some of the darkest years for many Jewish families.

 

Before my review, catch up on why I do a weekly book review here!

 

So, here is my review of The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

 The story begins with Lale, a Jew, arriving at Auschwitz. He soon learns what horrors await him and his fellow Jews. He is put to work in the fields, until he gets typhus and almost dies.

 

He is nursed back to health by the current Tattooer of Auschwitz. 

 

Soon, he is working at the Tattooist apprentice, tattooing the new arrivals at Auschwitz and Birkeneau. 

 

Soon, the old Tattooist is taken away, and Lale takes over. One day, while tattooing, he tattoos the arm of a woman, Gita, and realizes she's the one for him.

 

Using his relative freedom as the Tattooist, Lale begins a relationship with Gita, and also begins smuggling extra food and medicine into Auschwitz for the other people begin kept prisoner there. 

 

Lale is soon caught with the contraband goods, and sent away to be tortured for information. 

 

He refuses to give up information, and after being badly beaten is sent back to Auschwitz.

 

Gita is relieved to see him alive. But more trouble is brewing as Doctor Mengle sets up shop in Auschwitz's hospital. 

 

He torments Lale, and castrates his assistant. The gas chambers begin to work at max capacity. Soon, though, rumors of the Russians arrival begin to worry the Germans. They begin to clear the camp and Lale and Gita escape seperately. He returns home to Bratislava and begins looking for Gita. The pair soon find one another and get married. 

 

I really enjoyed this book. While the subject mater was very dark, the story represents hope and love surviving all. The story was based on true events, and Lale and Gita's story is so beautiful. 

 

I liked Morris's style; she didn't attempt to be too flowery, or over-work the subject matter. She still told the horrors of Auschwitz, and made it feel very real, but allowed the love of Lale and Gita to be the true star of the story. 

 

I honestly have no complaints about this book. I think it was moving, yet poignant, hopeful, yet honest. I give The Tattooist of Auschwitz an enthusiastic 5 out of 5!

 

 

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