The Tattooist Of Auschwitz

What if you met someone and it was love at first sight? But what if you were both Jewish and interned in the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp?  

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a true story of love in the midst of tragedy and the price of survival at all costs. The weight of the truth behind the story grips you from the beginning, making everything more present and more terrible.  

The Plot

Lale Sokolov arrives in Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1942. He is determined to survive the concentration camp and through some careful maneuvering, he becomes the Tattooist of Auschwitz. During his work he meets, and tattoos Gita, and it is love at first site. Now, he is determined that Gita as well as himself will survive. But survival in a place like Auschwitz-Birkenau demands sacrifices.  

The Review

The story of Lale and Gita reads like a Hollywood movie. Love at first sight, and insurmountable odds between the two lovers. It is astounding that the story is true. The author, Heather Morris, interviewed Lale Sokolov over a three-year period and then turned his story into a novel, The Tattooist of Auschwitz.  

It is written as a fiction narrative, but Morris is clear that everything she has recorded is based on true events. Each event that Lale mentioned was fact-checked by Morris to ensure the integrity of the story.  

What stuck with me the most was Lale’s indomitable drive to survive the odds stacked against him and Gita. He saw and experienced truly terrible things: people murdered because a guard was hungover, the ash of friends raining on him from gas chambers, and yet through it all he kept his will for him and Gita to survive.  

It is this lust for life and calm intelligence that saves Lale, but also makes the reading of the book bearable. It is dark, and there is so much horror, but I never found it too overwhelming to read.  

Morris writes the depravity of the Nazi concentration camps with unflinching honesty. The Nazi guard who handles Lale is a horrifying, but complicated character. He wantonly murders and tortures and yet takes Lale’s girlfriend advice and passionately defends his younger sisters. By the end of the novel, with the compassion of hindsight, the most I feel for him is sorrow. He was a twisted young man given permission to do terrible things by terrible people.  


The Tattooist of Auschwitz is about hope and love and perseverance, and the terrible atrocities committed by the Nazis in the second world war. The story is as human and relatable as Anne Frank’s diary. Lale’s story is a must read. It will break your heart and give you hope all at once.

— Bliss
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Hi, I'm Bliss, the reader and writer behind Books For Bliss. Discover book reviews, lists for your next great read, or a story to make you feel great. It's all right at your finger tips; happiness on a page. Read More