The Tattooist of Auschwitz

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris Book Summary

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.

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz (Heather Morris) Book Reviews

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- Excellent5 star


- Sad, but loved it5 star

It is a tough read in places, but hard to put down. A man taken to Aushwitz death camp schemes his way to a ‘secure’ position tattooing numbers on new arrivals. He uses his elevated position to help others around him. In the terribleness of what is happening in the camp he falls in love. Very well written.

- New favorite book!5 star

This is an incredible story and beautifully written. An amazing depiction of struggle and perseverance.

- AMAZING5 star

I absolutely love this book!! It has such a story you just automatically get sucked in. I recommend this to everyone interested in the subject!

- Must Read5 star

I couldn’t put this book down. Highly recommend!

- Great easy read4 star

There are some sad bits to this book as with any book about the holocaust but it is a great read with many light hearted parts. I really enjoyed this novel.

- Tatoist of auschwitz5 star

As i sit in quarantine & read Lale & Gita”s story, i have experienced sorrow, inspiration, & joy. The horror & loss of so many innocent lives during the holocaust is something the world should never forget. Thank you for telling their story- i will remember. The inspiration that they survived such horror & were able to love & build a life... may it give others who are struggling hope for tomorrow. May we each be a vessel to help those around us in need in any small or great measure we can within our ability at the moment. Lale”s heart to help others is an example to follow. Blessings to you 💓 Debra

- Amazing. So amazing.5 star

Where to start with this book...? It is an amazing story. The characters are real and this was their life. It tells of their perseverance and love. It also lets us in on the horrific things the people went through in the camps (if they even survived). This is one book I can say I do plan on reading again, and I never say that about novels. It’s heartbreaking and wonderful at the same time. Hard to read at times because it can be sad but, it’s also impossible to put down.

- Powerful5 star

This is such a wonderful read. It’s written beautifully and flows smoothly from start to finish. Highly recommend!

- Outstanding book5 star

So terribly sad what happened in Auschwitz to innocent people

- Grupping5 star

Read the entire thing through one sitting. Literally could not put down!

- Touching Story5 star

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 story5 star

The story is amazing but the writing and execution of the ending were my favorite parts

- An Extraordinary Story in Extraordinary Times4 star

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.

- Incredible5 star

This is an incredible book. I couldn't put it down. So well written and such a trying story of survival and love.

- Loved5 star

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 history5 star

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 Read5 star

Amazing story from the beginning until the end! Finished it in two days. Couldn’t put the book down.

- Not worth the expense!1 star

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.

- This is a MUST READ!5 star

As soon as I finished the last page, I wanted to reread it all over again! I didn’t want it to be over! Heather Morris does an amazing job of telling Lale’s incredibly true story. She bring his story to life for us younger generation to connect to history.

- Great book5 star

Quick read and great book. Super interesting to hear about some of the details of his life.

- A riveting, tour de force read5 star

This story is incredibly compelling on so many levels. The historical education and perspective of such hell on earth, intertwined with a human love it story makes for a rare and type of book.

- What a story.5 star

Definitely a must read! It’s haunting, interesting, and hopeful.

- Compelling, inspiring, heartbreaking story; simply written2 star

THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ is based on a compelling, inspiring, and hearbreaking true story of Lale Sokolov and his years in a concentration camp tattooing numbers on the arms of fellow Jews. It's a love story; a tale of the strength of human spirit and ability to survive that reprehensible, inhumane environment with one's heart in tact. While the story drew me in, I found the writing style simplistic; I would have liked the book better with character detail and descriptions I could sink into.

- The Tattooist of Auschwitz5 star

Thank you

- An inside look into a terrifying and devastating experience4 star

Must read

- Incredible5 star

At times difficult to read, but an amazing key about love, the will to survive, and finding light in such darkness. An incredible story.

- The Tattooist of Auschist4 star

Great read.

- Fantastic5 star

What an outstanding book. Gary, thank you for sharing your parents story!!

- A Must Read!5 star

I sat down and read this book in 4 hrs. I could not put it down. I have read many books and materials on WWII this one by far is one of my favorites. As sad and horrific as the story was it brought to light all very serious time period. It had me yelling “No, no, no!!!” and balling like a baby. Reviewing the depths of humanities failures and darkness took me on a emotional roller coaster. I can’t even begin to imagine the turmoil this must have caused for this couple but to say no matter what I’m surviving and I will love you! Shows how much we can be resilient in the face of evil.

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- Disgraceful1 star

I thought this book was beyond disrespectful to the atrocities experienced by those during the Holocaust.

- Tattooist of Auschwitz3 star

I found this book to be an average read only. Everything about the plight of prisoners in Germany’s concentration camps is horrifying. We knew that. But this writer recounts his time dispassionately. Almost clinically. It’s not that I am without sympathy. But it just wasn’t a compelling suspenseful read.

- Everyone needs to read this5 star


- A true love story5 star

I could not put this book down! After three days of reading start to finish I learned that love can over come some of life’s most difficult obstacles. I also learned a little more about what life was like during that time which made me cry for the pain they suffered. But made me feel joy as well when they were happy! I highly recommend this book to anyone.

- Couldn’t put it down5 star

Loved this book. Would recommend to anyone. It had my attention from the first chapter and I fell in love with Lale and Gita.

- The Tattooist of Auschwitz5 star

A great read. A touching story which proves the desire to live and love can overcome all obstacles.

- Compelling tragic and incredible5 star

I wasn’t sure what to expect, only that everyone raves about this book. I found myself unable to put it down. From start to finish heather really captures the heart and soul of that period in history covered in so much despair and heartache.

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@KLovesbooks1 @AnnAlston17 @OvendenLaura @Jo_Bowers The sequel to the Handmaid’s Tale, ‘The Testaments’ is good. Fo…

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@EASarakikya 1) The Tattooist of AUSCHWITZ 2)The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 3)River Town(Two Years on the Yangtze).

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Book #122 - The Tattooist of Auschwitz ( Heather Morris )

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@LindyLoo13: Finished reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz tonight and I’m still so emotional. 🥺😭🤍 This is definitely a book I would recom…

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@goodreads Finished ”Don Quixote”, didn't want it to end though. Now I’ve started ”The tattooist of Auschwitz ” and…

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@goodreads I need a book! It’s always hard to pick a new read and recently I’m picking books I don’t enjoy. I liked…

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@arey_waah: ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ is a Holocaust novel. The book is a bout an unforgettable love story in the midst of all the at…

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‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ is a Holocaust novel. The book is a bout an unforgettable love story in the midst of a…

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@BrittAlsemgeest @BasicallyReadtn I'm so excited!!! I'll be reading The Tattooist Of Auschwitz, since it's been on my TBR for over 2 years🙈

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Possibly even better than The Tattooist of Auschwitz and yet another true story. If you’ve any interest in spies (w…

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@PamelaB04 Also love and recommend Perks of Being A Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky Strangeland, Tracy Emin The Book…

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If you enjoyed The Tattooist of Auschwitz or it's sequel Cilka's Journey then why not read The Librarian of Auschwi…

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@TickledMoon The tattooist of Auschwitz.

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@samooshka1312 A Million Little Pieces all the bright places perks of being…

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@Elstesers Frankissstein by Jeanette winterston, the tattooist of auschwitz, a million little pieces, miseducation of cameron post xx

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