Angela M's Reviews > The Tattooist of Auschwitz

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather   Morris
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it was amazing
bookshelves: netgalley-reviews


Right after I started reading this book there was a story on the local news about a new exhibit at the Jewish Community Center in our area. The exhibit highlights the Holocaust survivors from this area. At kiosks you can click on a name, read a bio but what struck me the most was that you can also see a video of the survivor telling their story. The utmost importance of these stories is reflected at the beginning of this book by author Graeme Simsion: "It reminds us that every one of the unimaginably large number of Holocaust victims was an individual with a unique story...." . It's really not possible to know what it was like in Auschwitz or the other camps no matter how much we read about the Holocaust, but it is through the stories of the survivors that we can try to understand, even if only a little . Heather Morris has retold the story of Lale Sokolov, a Jewish prisoner at Auschwitz who becomes the camp tattooist and while there finds the love of his life, Gita. This stared out as a screenplay she wrote as Lale told her his story and has been developed into this "novel".

Lale from the first day he arrives in Auschwitz by cattle car, makes a vow to himself that he would survive this and after falling in love with Gita, he makes a promise to her that they will have a life together when they are out . That he can speak multiple languages saves Lale multiple times as well as connections made with other people imprisoned, with workers from the outside and even a German guard. With jewelry and cash gotten from the women who work in the building where belongings are sorted, Lale with his savvy, his courage and with some luck barters for time with Gita for the price of chocolate, a piece of sausage , a hunk of bread, a diamond or ruby. But he also provides as much food as he can to others. He helps many people along the way putting himself in danger each day as each day he tattoos numbers onto the arms of the new inhabitants. He does seem to have an existence in some ways better than most in the camp and better than when he first arrived until he is caught with the jewels. It is obvious that he survives, so there's no spoiler here that Lale continues to have the capacity for hope and love that seems impossible as he endures.

This is a story told with love about courage in the face of the horrors of the camps and loss of family, courage sustained by the strength of the human spirit and it's a love story that I'll never forget. There is not much more I can say other than what Lale himself tells Morris - that he wanted his story recorded so "It would never happen again."

I received an advanced copy of this book from Bonnie Zaffre through NetGalley.
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Reading Progress

October 8, 2017 – Shelved
October 8, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
October 27, 2017 – Started Reading
October 29, 2017 – Shelved as: netgalley-reviews
October 29, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 96 (96 new)


message 1: by Erin (new) - added it

Erin Clemence Awesome review, Angela. Sounds like a great exhibit too! I wish we had more of them. They are so educational and profound. Sounds like a great novel.


Angela M Erin , thanks so much . I hope to get to that exhibit one of these days.


Paula Bardell-Hedley Excellent review, Angela. Totally agree!


Diane S ☔ Terrific review, Angela. Missed this one!


B the BookAddict Wonderful review, Angela. Another one for my tbr, courtesy of Angela M:)


message 6: by ☮Karen (new) - added it

☮Karen Ditto what B said. Added it.


Angela M Thanks , Paula, Diane , Bette and Karen. Difficult in some ways to say about a Holocaust story but it’s a beautiful story in spite of the horrific.


message 8: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen Great review, Angela. I look forward to another emotional read.


Marialyce Can't wait to read this book. Wonderful review!


message 10: by Violet (new)

Violet wells Excellent review, Angela. I'm jealous of you guys who get to read books before they come out.


Angela M Jen, Marialyce and Violet, thanks very much .
Violet, I feel fortunate to be able to read these advanced copies of books . It’s expected that you will write a review and for me that’s not a problem since I’ve been writing them for almost everything I read for the last several years . I have always loved reading new releases so I definitely enjoy the opportunity.


message 12: by Lynn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lynn Beautiful review.


message 13: by Svetlana (new)

Svetlana Beautiful review Angela! I think I want to add this one. My heart breaks for these people and though I find it difficult at times to read such books, I think they're so worthwhile


Angela M Lynn , thank you and also for your friend request which I just accepted:)


Angela M Svetlana, thanks ! Definitely heartbreaking but since this is the story of a survivor, it is has hope. I find that Holocaust stories are difficult yet important to read .


message 16: by TamElaine (new) - added it

TamElaine Great review! Looking so forward to this one.


Angela M Hi Tam! Thanks. I hope you love it . Hope you are well. Let’s catch up soon !


Karen Oh, I definitely must add this! Thank you Angela, beautiful review!!


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

really nice review for a horrible subject. glad you experienced the local exhibit (whether you went or at least saw the story).


message 20: by Jaline (new) - added it

Jaline Outstanding review, Angela! Reading your words touched me and I knew right away this is a "must read" for me! Thank you! :)


message 21: by Sue (new)

Sue Great review, Angela. I have this and will try to read it soon. I have read a couple of Holocaust-related books through NetGalley that have been excellent, fiction and nonfiction. I'm very glad that such works are being created continually as the world and the U.S. need theses reminders.


Holly  B Sounds amazing Angela!


Angela M Karen, thanks so much . I think you will love it .
paulie, thanks . I have not seen the exhibit yet , just saw it on the news but it’s definitely something I would like to see .

Jaline, thanks so much . Definitely one to read .
Sue , thanks . I agree . I’ve found several on NetGalley as well and I’m glad too . I read something in one of the books , a while ago saying how important it was because soon there will be no more survivors as time passes.


Angela M Holly ,it is an amazing story and I definitely recommended it .


message 25: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Great review, Angela!!


Wendy Great review Angela! I can hardly wait to read this.


Angela M Wendy , thank you. I’ll be interested in what you think .

Deanna, thank you !


message 28: by Jennifer (new) - added it

Jennifer Masterson I'm adding this. Phenomenal review, Angela!


message 29: by Laysee (new)

Laysee Another splendid review of a Holocaust survivor story, Angela. Such stories are very hard to read but also very inspiring when one encounters the courage of these men and women in the death camps.


message 30: by Esil (new) - rated it 4 stars

Esil Great review, Angela. The exhibit sounds excellent. Telling the stories of people in the community is a great way to raise awareness.


Angela M Jennifer, Laysee and Esil , thanks very much . Yes , Esil , I agree . I’ve got to get there one of these days .


message 32: by Connie (new) - added it

Connie Excellent! Added


message 33: by Carole (new) - added it

Carole Great review Angela. I’m adding it too!


message 34: by Crumb (new) - added it

Crumb Beautiful review.


Cheri Exceptional, compelling review, Angela. I was debating this, but am adding it now!


message 36: by Tim (new) - added it

Tim Fabulous review as always, Angela. Another one for my tbr list.


Angela M Connie , Crumb, Cheri and Tim , thanks very much . Definitely worth reading.


Elyse Walters Thanks for your wonderful review Angela... I had read Fran’s review awhile back - and instantly pre-ordered it. I paid for it... bought the audiobook...
thank you. I’ll
receive my copy in January.
Thank you - ( just in case) - for making sure I didn’t miss seeing this book.


message 39: by BAM (new) - rated it 3 stars

BAM The Bibliomaniac Ooo there’s an audio book!!


Angela M Thanks , Elyse ! Glad you are getting. Of course it’s a tough read but a beautiful love story.


message 41: by JudiAnne (last edited Oct 30, 2017 08:17PM) (new) - added it

JudiAnne I hope they show the exhibit in our city. I'd sworn off of WWII stories for a while because I'd read so many but your review was so stunning I have to read this book. I put it on my TR list and I'm moving it to the top! (I just noticed I have to wait until it comes out 1/07/2018. ☹️ )


Angela M Judi, thanks . If I had a paper copy I'd send it to you !


message 43: by JudiAnne (new) - added it

JudiAnne Aw, thanks Angela. I put in on a preorder and am excited to read it!


message 44: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Outstanding review, Angela! Thank you for sharing. I'm adding...


Angela M Pamela , thanks very much !


message 46: by Violet (new)

Violet wells Angela M wrote: "Jen, Marialyce and Violet, thanks very much .
Violet, I feel fortunate to be able to read these advanced copies of books . It’s expected that you will write a review and for me that’s not a problem..."


I'm still to ever read a book on a kindle. I don't know why I'm so obstinate! Especially knowing I could get free books. Perhaps this should be my new year's resolution!


Angela M Violet, I’ve been using a kindle for about 10 years now , although I do read an occasional paper copy . It really didn’t take me much time to get used to it all . The first time I tried to turn the page as if it were a physical book I knew it was fine . I love the portability of it and that I can highlight passages which I can go back and look at when writing a review. Getting the advanced copies is also a plus.


message 48: by Mike (last edited Oct 31, 2017 08:47AM) (new) - added it

Mike Just a wonderful review, Angela. Looks like I've no choice but to add this to Mount TBR as well.


Angela M Mike , thanks! A good one to add !


message 50: by Snooty1 (new) - added it

Snooty1 Thanks for this review; really wonderful.


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