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Wednesday, August 16, 2023

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

 Heather Morris brings us a true love story set in one of the most horrific times in the world's memorable history.  Morris interviews a Holocaust survivor, Lale Sokolov, near the end of his life.  Lale wants his story remembered and learned from. 

Lale is placed in the concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, in 1942.  He speaks many languages, which promotes him to the position of tattooist.  He will be the one who uses permanent ink to number Hitler's prisoners in the camp.  

A new prisoner named Gita, puts her arm in front of Lale at the table the prisoners are herded to for labeling.   He immediately wants to know the fearful woman in front of him.  

With his limited extra privileges, he finds what "block" she's assigned and sneaks a treat to the guard in order to meet Gita.  

A deep love develops between the two.  Gita doesn't reveal her last name or details of her life, yet Lale knows he needs her love as she does his to survive the dark hell of the camp and beyond.  

Taking many risks, Lale uses his position to gather jewels and money from the deceased in trade for food for his fellow prisoners.  

It's not hard to find black moments in the tale from WWII, but it is difficult to imagine Lale and Gita surviving and finding each other after the official release of barely alive prisoners at the end of the war.  The strength of love has amazing results.

Happy reading,


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