The Tattooist Of Auschwitz opening line: Lale tries not to look up.
Lale is going to have to tattoo the living dead in order to stay alive. This goes against his faith, but how can there be faith in a place like this? There is barely even life in Auschwitz. But against all odds, Lale finds love, only to lose it and find it again. Will there ever be a future away from this hell?
This novel is based on the true story behind one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust – the blue numbers tattooed on prisoners’ arms. When Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, was given the job of tattooist in Auschwitz, he used his infinitesimal freedom of movement to help keep fellow victims alive. If caught, he would have been killed; many owed him their survival.
Terrible though this story is, it is also one of hope, of courage – and of love. Waiting in line to be tattooed was a terrified and shaking young girl. For Lale it was love at first sight, and he was determined he and Gita would survive. Their story, fact-checked against all available documentary evidence, endorsed by the son they never thought they would have, and untold for over seventy years, will make you weep, but you will also uplift you. For here, in the very worst of circumstances, is the very best of humanity.
I sat down to read this book, and did not move from the sun lounger until I was done. Set aside an afternoon to weep, both with sorrow and joy as you share in Lale’s life. There will always be hope and there will always be love!