The Tattooist of Auschwitz
One of the bestselling books of the 21st century with over 6 million copies sold.
Don’t miss the conclusion to The Tattooist of Auschwitz Trilogy, Three Sisters. Available to pre-order now.
I tattooed a number on her arm. She tattooed her name on my heart.
In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival – scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.
Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale – a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer – it was love at first sight. And he was determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure this woman, Gita, did, too.
So begins one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust: the love story of the tattooist of Auschwitz.
Discover Cilka’s Journey, the incredible bestselling sequel to The Tattooist of Auschwitz. Out now.
‘Extraordinary – moving, confronting and uplifting . . . I recommend it unreservedly’ Greame Simsion
‘A moving and ultimately uplifting story of love, loyalties and friendship amidst the horrors of war . . . It’s a triumph.’ Jill Mansell
a sincere...moving attempt to speak the unspeakable * The Sunday Times * What an extraordinary and important book this is. We need as many memories of the Holocaust as we can retain, and this is a moving and ultimately uplifting story of love, loyalties and friendship amidst the horrors of war. I'm so glad Lale and Gita were eventually able to live long and happy lives together, and thankful that Heather Morris was moved to record their incredible story. It's a triumph * Jill Mansell * Extraordinary - moving, confronting and uplifting . . . a story about the extremes of human behaviour: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love. I recommend it unreservedly' * Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Project * Based on the true story of Lale Sokolov, who is forced to tattoo numbers on his fellow concentration camp detainees' arms. * The Bookseller * Nothing that I could possibly write here would be eloquent enough to convey to you how powerful and moving this book was. I could go on for pages telling you how well this is written, nothing is overdramatized...she just tell this tale that is at its bare bones a love story. I cried entire buckets of tears. Finally I will use the words of Lale "If you wake up in the morning, it is a good day" that it is. That it is * Netgalley Reviewer * What I loved so much about this book is that it actually made me stop and think; each and every one of those people, regardless of their number or rank within the system or whether they survived or didn't, had their own story. A quite unexpected story in fact of love, despite the odds, within the concentration camps. What's so beautiful about this book is not actually that it's true. Because it is both too beautiful and too ugly to really "enjoy" reading such an honest first hand account. What struck me the most was how quickly relationships, and very strong friendships almost akin to family, develop when times are so terrible. A hard-hitting, important book with love at it's core. A brave story shared with an author who delivers it perfectly for one man, and his love affair, who would not be defeated * Netgalley Reviewer * I don't like reading war time books because they get too depressing or too political. But this one was so different, it gave you hope, that even in the darkest of times if your willpower and faith is strong you can come out successful * Book Ninja * It is one of the rarer stories of the Holocaust, that dares to feature romance in such a place of misery, hopelessness and the dearth of birdsong. Love happened, and the unlikely, nay downright impossible, happened, and this heartfelt book is a very enjoyable presentation of that. * The Bookbag * A beautifully written harrowing story of one man's will to survive in Auschwitz...it is a story of hope and endurance and a beauty that emerges when all around is painted in black. As a reader you cannot help but be affected by this account the simplicity of the story telling only adds to the poignancy... * Library Thing * This is an outstanding read...An extremely powerful and absorbing read that had me in tears at the most surprising moments and it will be making an appearance in my Top Ten of 2017. It is due to be published in January 2018 and I hand on heart urge everyone to read it. * Batty About Books * Though very hard to read in places, this story is full of hope, love, courage and kindness. It made me cry a lot, but in places it also made me smile, as it shows humanity at its best in the worst of times. Lale had nothing but positivity and determination and, along with Gita and many of the other prisoners, is one of the bravest people you will ever read about. This review doesn't come close to doing The Tattooist of Auschwitz justice. It's such a heartbreaking, beautiful story and one I'm so glad Lale got to tell * Foreword Books * The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a very moving book, showing the survival of humanity in a brutal place. I love this story * The Reading Life * Lale Sokolov's story not only moving and heart-breaking, but also humbling and inspiring hope. I was so totally blown away by this book that I am really struggling to find words for the emotions it evoked in me. In her writing, Morris manages to convey the spirit of a young man trying to survive, but also hold on to his humanity the best he can. It was heart-breaking and humbling to see the strength of the human spirit in the face of death. What an amazing man. What an amazing story. Everyone should read this unforgettable book * But Books Are Better * I don't think I've ever felt happier about a love story than now. I really admired Lale from the very start of this novel, his positivity and his determination to survive shine through from the very beginning and it was wonderful to see how he tries to give Gita hope when she sees none. Heather Morris did a brilliant job writing Lale's personal story, and even though it was a very compelling testimony and there were still many sad moments to get through, the overruling feeling after I finished it is one of warmth and contentment for these two individuals. Lale and Gita's love story was a perfect counterweight for the predominant harshness of this novel. * The Belgian Reviewer * I absolutely loved this book and thought it was a powerful and emotional story of survival in such an awful time. Lale is such a wonderful, amazing man who uses his power as the tattooist to help others, he is truly an amazing man...This story is such an emotional one that I found myself really pacing through this book, I found it so difficult to put down. It was beautiful and inspiring and I hope others pick up this book when it is released next year. I highly recommend this * Life and Tea * This was such an emotional read, so many highs of Lale and Gita and then so many lows of friends lost along the way * Lozzi Book Reviews * I've always held a deep respect for books that remind us how terribly bad human nature can be if left unbridled, so it went without question that this book was a must-read. I very much enjoyed reading this, and I envy the author for the precious hours she was able to spend with such a forgiving, peaceful human being. It would be an honor to have met Lale Sokolov * Slightly Cracked Belle * 'Lale did what had to be done to survive, but he also boosted morale and saved inestimable lives by appropriating food and medical supplies from right under the noses of the SS Death's Head Units. He was naturally empathetic, well liked by his fellow prisoners and held out to the end with his dignity and integrity unblemished. More amazingly, perhaps, is that he developed a deep and enduring love for a women he had branded upon entering the camp. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is the remarkable, percipient, utterly unforgettable novel based on Lale's experiences as camp tatowierer * Book Jotter * Even when we think we've heard enough we will never be free of the stories of the Holocaust and we shouldn't be. As long as there is ink and paper the stories need to be told because there is always one we haven't heard. The Tattooist of Auschwitz was one of those for me...we know at the outset they survive but it's in the how that keeps us riveted and shaking our heads in amazement at the courage, the determination to survive and the love these two have for each other * WeeSied * The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a very powerful and emotional read. At times it is overwhelmingly harrowing, yet at the same time there is always a hint of hope. * Little Miss No Sleep * one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust: the love story of the tattooist of Auschwitz. * The Book Trail * The Tattooist of Auschwitz, is a tale that will live long in the minds of its readers.Morris weaves Lale's story into a mesmerising fictional narrative, that at times leaves the reader astonished not purely by what Lale witnesses and experiences, but the determination and resolve of this man. It is both a terrific oxymoron and a testimony of the triumph of love that the human capacity for affection and compassion can reveal itself in such an horrific setting, but it is also testament to these two individuals that they can foster love in the darkest of moments. This is a book whose story - not least because it is based on true events - couldn't fail to affect me. I longed for Lale and Gita's happiness and future, but I was also haunted by all those who didn't achieve either. For me, reading this book was a pleasure, a lesson and a reminder; I would recommend it to all readers. * Nudge Books, Bookhugger review 5/5* * I couldn't put this book down. Despite the horrors within its pages, this is also a tale of love, friendships, and hope. It's a story that made me stop and think about the individual stories of other prisoners in these camps, what they had to do to stay alive and who they lost along the way. Stories that we will never know but that we should never forget existed. This is a short novel but it packs a huge punch; the combination of Heather Morris' storytelling and Lale's unforgettable true story make this book impossible to put down. * Strupag book blog * The story broke my heart over and over, but also gave me hope. Out of something so awful, the love between Lale and Gita was born and managed to withstand and survive. It's something you need to read to believe because the tale is like something out of a movie. Of course, I gave this 5 stars. It is beautifully written and tells an incredible story that needed to be told. * Chloe Metzger * Somehow both Lale and Gita survive - this isn't a spoiler, this is a true story and so we know at the outset they survive but it's in the how that keeps us riveted and shaking our heads in amazement at the courage, the determination to survive and the love these two have for each other. I can only imagine a person could only survive if there was cunning and courage and caring involved. * Denice's Day * This is an important period in history, one that should never be forgotten or taken lightly. Heather has done a wonderful job in relating Lala's story. It is an emotional journey, and even now I still feel the emotion as I write this review, a few days after reading the book. * Me and My Books * This is not a comfortable read and nor should it be. What the Jews and other minority groups suffered at the hands of the Nazi's is something the world should never forget. The fact that this is a true story makes it all the more horrific, yet it has glimmers of hope and humour and ultimately love. * My Bookish Blogspot * Despite how much this book broke my heart, it also reassured me that things weren't all bad for all of the people stuck in concentration camps, & that some were able to find happiness in small doses. * Writing Wolves * I really did appreciate it was inspired by the true events of a couple; both humbling and heartbreaking, I was captivated by their love story. I felt like this point of view was incredibly original. Lale was not just a typical prisoner of Auschwitz concentration camp- he was the tattooist. I have never read any WWII fiction with this type of perspective and I was in awe of the atrocities he experienced were explained. The lengths that Lale goes through to protect Gita were astonishing and their will to survive was fascinating. * Clues and Reviews * This is definitely a book that will stay with me for a very long time. It also needs to be shared far and wide, to be read by all ages and all peoples, so that would happened is never forgotten, so that it never happens again. * Secret Library Book Blog * Out of one of the worst periods of human history comes an inspirational story of love, hope and survival... a beacon of light amidst the dark ruins of the Holocaust.Lale's harrowing but unforgettable story is one of beauty and brutality, life and death, humanity and inhumanity, but through it all the flame of hope never dies. It is the beacon that sees him through the very worst of times and gives light to the rest of his days. An extraordinary story of an extraordinary love... * Lancashire Evening Post * The story, the tale of Lale and Gita is so memorable * Much Ado About Books * This book is unmissable. It's a readable, sensitive, morally complicated and engrossing story * Those Precious Stolen Moments * The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a story of love against all the odds. It is beautifully written, desperately sad and at the same time triumphant. A must read WW2 novel * The Welsh Librarian * Would I recommend this story? A million times yes! This is a story that not only needs to be read, but it's one that we can not afford to forget. It is moving, emotional, gritty, and most importantly, real * Minimac Reviews * A fascinating insight in the life at Auschwitz and how the main character manages to survive by having given the task of tattooing the numbers on the arms of the prisoners of Auschwitz. You probably won't keep your eyes dry with this one! I can highly recommend The Tattooist Of Auschwitz to any fan of the genre * It's All About Books * This is a debut novel by Heather Morris, it is a true account of Lale Sokolov's time in Auschwitz. It's a harrowing read of the treatment the prisoners endured. This was a brutal and chilling read but also very emotive...this was sensitively written and compelling, I sometimes had step back for a moment to remind myself that this really happened and everything I was reading was a devastating and cruel reality. This is definitely a book that I recommend you pick up in 2018... * Louise Loves Books * The fact that this is a true story makes it all the more horrific, yet it has glimmers of hope and humour and ultimately love * My Bookish Blog Spot * I really did appreciate it was inspired by the true events of a couple; both humbling and heartbreaking, I was captivated by their love story * Clues and Reviews * Despite the ugliness and the gut wrenching setting there is beauty in this book, the resilience that Lale finds deep in himself, his courage and above all his strength of character shine through, as does his love for Gita. The author has done an incredible job of retelling Lale and his Gita's story, at times I felt I was there alongside him, I felt his despair, his pain and those moments when it would have been easier to have given up than live another day. I found the end of the book very emotional as the reader learns what happened to Lale and Gita in the years after Auschwitz. This is one book that will haunt me for a long time to come, but I think it's a book everyone should read. Highly recommended * The Book Review Cafe * It is a story full of horror but of hope and the strength of human spirit in the face of adversity and Lale and Gita were such an admirable, brave couple and I'm glad I got to read their story, as many stories were unable to be told * Books And Me * It is a story full of horror but of hope and the strength of human spirit in the face of adversity and Lale and Gita were such an admirable, brave couple and I'm glad I got to read their story, as many stories were unable to be told * Bookkaz * I fell just a bit more in love with Lale the more I read. * Sissi Reads * A powerful and deeply moving story of survival and also a remarkable love story * The Last Word * The Tattooist of Auschwitz is very much a story of survival. The Tattooist of Auschwitz isn't just about how Lale met and fell in love with Gita, but also about how courage, pride and stubbornness ensured they survived. It's beautifully written as fiction, even though it's a true story. I would say it's an 'easy read' but it's certainly not, due to the subject matter - instead, it's difficult and disturbing at times. This is an emotional book about the importance of hope and is thought provoking and inspiring. Lale and Gita's story will stay with me forever. * Off The Shelf Books * This is in my opinion another book that should be read in schools to teach about the Holocaust and how it affected the people then and how it should teach us lessons for the future. The survivors and those that lost their lives deserve for their stories to live on. One last thing I need to say, have the tissues at hand and be prepared to read late into the night and have this book take over your mind and thoughts from the very beginning to the very end. * Jeanz Book Read and Review * Lale's harrowing but unforgettable story is one of beauty and brutality, life and death, humanity and inhumanity, but through it all the flame of hope never dies. It is the beacon that sees him through the very worst of times and gives light to the rest of his days. An extraordinary story of an extraordinary love... * Chorley Guardian * My words here will never do justice to such an important subject. All I can do is to just ask you to read it for yourself. Lale's story will stay with me and those who have read The Tattooist of Auschwitz. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a powerful and deeply moving story of survival and also a remarkable love story. Both Lale and Gita's story will stay with me forever as these stories must be told for future generations to understand and to learn. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. * The Last Word Book Review * The romance and love between Gita and Lale was heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measures and proves that the human spirit can't be crushed by evil and that despite the horrors they witnessed and the violence they experienced during their 3 years at Auschwitz, they were able to help and provide comfort for many others. This book really needs to be read by EVERYONE as it's a wonderful reminder of survival, hope and love. * Compulsive Readers * Morris's sensitive and humane writing includes recognisable key events that have been covered in other stories about the Holocaust, anchoring the authenticity of Lale's tale, and here they resonate afresh as the devastating emotional impact of each event is renewed through his perspective. The Tattooist of Auschwitz features more than one story of courage under horrific conditions, this is a story that gives voice to the millions of lives that were lost. * Pam Reader * It tells an incredibly powerful story that so many people had to live through. It shows that even in such an awful circumstance, people can still put others before themselves. * Geeking Ginger * This story, full of beauty and hope, is based on years of interviews author Heather Morris conducted with real-life Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov. It is heart-wrenching, illuminating, and unforgettable. * Boovers * The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a very powerful and emotional read. This is a very emotive story of love and friendship in the most unlikely of places. I couldn't put this book down and ended up reading it in one three hour sitting last night. I had tears in my eyes while reading this, and by the time I reached the Author's Note and additional information I was properly crying. * Little Miss No Sleep * Hats off to the author who has been able to listen to so much pain from the mouth of the real Lale and has so much skill to make this book an incredible story, who kidnaps from the first line and intrudes overwhelmingly into our daily life, forcing us to continue to know what it will happen, what will happen to Lale and Gita. A story of impact, shocking and proving that true love can overcome any storm, any atrocity. There is always something more powerful than evil and bad. * The Shelter of Books * He was so brave and many people survived thanks to him. I'm so glad this book exists and I hope a lot of people read it. Never forget * A Song of Book and Coffee * One of the most life affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust: the love story of The Tattooist of Auschwitz * The Hunt Post * A moving true love story that also solves a historical puzzle about the tattooist's identity * Church Times * This is an important story and I am glad that Lale got the chance to tell it. It offers a unique perspective of the war that I hadn't encountered before * Noctua Review * Heather has done a wonderful job in relating Lale's story. It is an emotional journey, and even now I still feel the emotion as I write this review, a few days after reading the book * Vonnibee * This story, full of beauty and hope, is based on years of interviews author Heather Morris conducted with real-life Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov. It is heart-wrenching, illuminating, and unforgettable * Dressed To Read * This is a hugely involved and involving story of love in an impossible place...an inspiring story * Waterford Today * the stories of survivors need to be told, without them there is more chance we will repeat the past. Morris does that in a sensitive way, and she brings a little lightness to a very dark story. * MMCheryl * I am honestly finding it difficult to put into words how heart wrenching this book was. I generally would like to thank Lale Soklov for letting Heather Morris share his story of how he fought for his survival and for the one he loved. * Hannah Reads * Stories of the Holocaust will always be harrowing and shocking no matter how many have gone before, but the character of Lale Sokolov makes this one uniquely romantic, life-affirming and even funny in places. * The Literary Sofa * The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris was very bit as harrowing as I expected, and I could not put it down. It tells the true story of Lale Sokolov, a Jewish prisoner who had a secret love affair within the walls of the concentration camp. It's a beautiful, shocking, upsetting and uplifting story; I thoroughly recommend reading it * Panziereads * It took three years of thrice-weekly meetings between Lale Eisenberg and Heather Morris for the author to gain the survivor's trust. For that alone, readers should be indebted to Morris: Lale was a man of Herculean moral strength, and his Odyssean story of humanity, survival and eventual reunion with Gita, deserves a wide audience * Jewish Chronicle * I honestly didn't realise how emotionally invested in this book I was until I put it down and had tears streaming down my face. Whether you have an interest in WW2 fiction or not, this is a book you must add to your list because the love story shared between Lale and Gita is one that deserves to be read - and Heather Morris has done a beautiful job at crafting it * Louise Hudson * a touching and redemptive tale of love and selflessness * Times Literary Supplement * a beautiful story of survival and ultimate redemption * Sunday World, Eire * Haunting and unforgettable. 5/5 * Read Like Me * What is striking about Heather Morris' new book, based on the powerful and true story of "Lale" Sokolov, and focusing on his experience in the most appalling of the Nazi camps, is how very readable it is...That Lale and Gita both survived, and found each other, is miraculous. The close bond forged between author and protagonist in the three years preceding the latter's death in 2006 provides the text with the authenticity of a memoir. This is a remarkable achievement * The Tablet * Grim and distressing yet it shows, like Schindler's List, the power of humanity's bravery and compassion * Nudge Book * Despite the subject matter, I found this a very easy read. It's the true story of Lale Sokolov - how he survived the horrors of Auschwitz and found love along the way * This West London Life * A powerful evocation of the everyday horrors of life as a prisoner in a concentration camp . . . message of how true love can transcend even the most hellishly inhuman environments. This is a perfect novel for book clubs and readers of historical fiction * Publisher's Weekly * A gorgeous love story, based on a true relationship between two innocent, young Jewish captives. It's easy to read, though not an easy subject, and you will cry - but I can't recommend it enough * The Pool * Incredible... be ready to shed a tear or two -- Fabulous Daily * The Sun * Lale's harrowing but unforgettable story is one of beauty and brutality, life and death, humanity and inhumanity, but through it all the flame of hope never dies. It is the beacon that sees him through the very worst of times and gives light to the rest of his days * St Helen's Reporter * Life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable * Spalding Guardian * A compelling read that I couldn't put down... It is a light of hope among all the harrowing memories of the most awful period in human history - and a timely reminder that even in the depths of depravity, love can survive * My Weekly * One of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust * Belfast Telegraph * A moment of pure humanity amid unthinkable atrocity * The Independent * This book took me by surprise with its sheer beauty and raw honesty... it is real, it is moving, and you cannot read without feeling awe at the resilience and determination of the human spirit, and relief at the presence of love even in the unlikeliest places * Church Times * We need books that explain the horror of antisemitism, books to open minds and engage hearts. And the Tattooist of Auschwitz most definitely does that job * Jewish Chronicle * Lale and Gita's story is breathtakingly bittersweet and the anecdotes throughout contribute to understanding how even in the most brutal situations, hope, love and tiny moments of goodness continue to blossom. An absolute must-read * Daisy Butter *
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