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24   138

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris – Survival, trauma and selfishness

I love reading, I always have. I was read to as a little girl all the time and its something I’ll forever treasure as over the years I’ve learnt to love the characters and the stories within these cherished books I read. This year I’m focusing on reading my book collection which I have established to quite a big and powerful one at that, instead of investing in the latest release. Although I can’t lie and say I won’t take a sneak peek. However, I will try my best and I now in 2019 want to share my thoughts on every book I read, whether that be a bad or good review. Why shouldn’t I write about something I love so dearly.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz was one I was recommended by a lot of people I know. I have always loved history and whilst I didn’t take history for GCSE in the end, due to my teachers disappointment (sorry miss) I have always loved to learn about history and its time. With a huge understanding of the Holocaust and what happened due to endless history lessons which I stuck my nerdy little nose in to and a visit from a Holocaust surviver in school which moved me to tears, I was extremely looking forward to reading this book. It did not disappoint.


The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on the true story (prepare to be heart broken) behind one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust – the blue numbers tattooed on prisoner’s arms. When Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, was given the job of ‘Tatowierer’ in the camp – forced literally to scratch numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink – he used the infinitesimal freedom of movement that this position awarded him to exchange jewels and money taken from murdered Jews for food to keep others alive. If he had been caught he would have been killed; many owed him their survival. There have been countless books about the Holocaust, but none quite like this. Lale Sokolov understood exactly what was in store for him and his fellow prisoners and he was determined not just to survive, but to live his life to the full. Terrible though his story is, it is also one of hope and courage. And, incredibly, it is a love story. (One that will leave you even more heart broken if you weren’t already). Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. (EEEE) For Lale – a jack the lad (not seen as a good thing we all know that) – it was love at first sight. His and Gita’s story, a fact-checked against all available documentary evidence (cry me a river) endorsed by the son they never thought they would have and untold for over seventy years, will make you weep (correct), but it will also uplift you (strangely it does).

My thoughts

First of all its a beautifully written book, 274 pages of pure honesty and reality that you will never want to experience but feel so deeply in the time you read it. Reading it will make you understand to an extent the fear but bravery Lale went through to not only survive for himself but for others (as you will never, ever in your lifetime fully feel or know what it was ever like to exist in that moment in history as a Jew). This book had my heart breaking every step of the way, not once did I want to put it down but in needs of sleeping, eating and peeing I did. I’m so glad Heather Morris had the chance to write this honest story as she made Lale and Gita’s love story come to life once again. Out of 10, I would rate this a 9/10 because I never wanted it to end. I wanted to know so much more about Lale and Gita. Other then that I can’t slate it one bit.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts?

Sophie Joan xo


  1. Lisa
    January 18, 2019 / 8:53 pm

    Luv this review. Sophie you need to pass the book on to me.!!

  2. January 18, 2019 / 9:18 pm

    I loved History at school, I was also interested in visiting history museums – especially the Imperial War Museums in Manchester. So this book sounds like something I would be interested in reading, even if it does mean it will make me cry!

    Jess xx || littlepinkduckblog.blogspot.co.uk

    • Sophie Joan
      January 21, 2019 / 11:33 pm

      Yeah you would deffo enjoy it then! xx

  3. January 27, 2019 / 1:04 am

    The Tattooist Of Auschwitz by Heather Morris is a Harrowing, Heartbreaking, Extremely Emotional and wonderful.
    I know what your thinking ‘wonderful what she on about’ I found it to be wonderful due to the fact that these two people were able to make friendships and fall in love at the most horrendous time of their lives and to fight for it until their end of days.
    I found there were many moments in this book (most of it) where I had to take a deep breath,wipe a tear or tears whilst thinking my god and one of those moments was just by reading the author’s notes (which I think you should read to)
    This book is not overly descriptive when these terrible things are being spoken about but your mind and heart feels in the blanks for you.
    Would I recommend this book? yes I would and I’m sorry for the sad heart you feel when reading this book but it’s worth reading

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