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The Tattooist of Auschwitz
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Previous BOMs - Authors; M - P > The Tattooist of Auschwitz, by Heather Morris (Adult Fiction BOM) ; Starts 22 July 2018

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Synopsis
he Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, two Slovakian Jews who survived Auschwitz and eventually made their home in Australia. In that terrible place, Lale was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival—literally scratching numbers into his fellow victims' arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust. Lale 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 many books about the Holocaust—and there will be many more. What makes this one so memorable is Lale Sokolov's incredible zest for life. He understood exactly what was in store for him and his fellow prisoners, and he was determined to survive—not just to survive but to leave the camp with his dignity and integrity intact, to live his life to the full. Terrible though this story is, it is also a story of hope and of courage. It is also—almost unbelievably—a love story. 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 determined not only to survive himself but to ensure that Gita did, too. His story—their story—will make you weep, but you will also find it uplifting. It shows the very best of humanity in the very worst of circumstances.

Like many survivors, Lale and Gita told few people their story after the war. They eventually made their way to Australia, where they raised a son and had a successful life. But when Gita died, Lale felt he could no longer carry the burden of their past alone. He chose to tell his story


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What is a BOM (Book of the Month)?

At NRBC we use a more structured approach to our BOMs. We have a discussion leader and a reading date is set to start the book. A reading schedule is posted prior to the start date and discussion questions are posted each day regarding that section of the book.

More info under spoiler
(view spoiler)


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Chapter Breakdown

Date Chapters Pages MPQDs

22&23 July Prologue-7 1-90 Lisa - Aussie Girl
24&25 July 8-14 91-144 Christina
26&27 July 15-end 145-end Snowtulip



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Ruby Coin Book of the Month ~ Ruby Coin Ruby Coin

How to Earn:
Ruby Coin 1 Ruby Coin for half DQ participation
Ruby Coin 1 Ruby Coin for Writing Disscussion Questions
Ruby Coin 1 Ruby Coin for completing ALL days DQs within month of BOM start
Example of ways to Earn Ruby Coins: (view spoiler)

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DQ Volunteers

Lisa Lovegood
Tina Tonks
Victoria Pomona
Michelle Draco
Elize
Anja Ginny
Snowtulip Bellatrix
Christina Lockhart
Daniella Tom Riddle



Back Up DQs

Sophie Pomona


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There were 10 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

Lisa Lovegood
Christina Lockhart
Snowtulip Bellatrix
Tina Tonks
Michelle Draco
Emma Newt
Elize
Daniella Tom Riddle
Victoria Pomona
Anja Ginny


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This book is not easily available in North America (it releases there in September). Before you volunteer to write discussion questions, please ensure you are able to get your hand on the book in time!


Lisa - (Aussie Girl) | 5337 comments I've seen it here already in our local book shop so I'll volunteer for DQ's. Team Luna Lovegood.


Tina ❣ (nutrinut) | 1907 comments I'm definitely in! I also nominate myself for DQ for anytime

(Team Tonks)


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Victoria | 1132 comments Pretty sure I’ve also seen this at my local bookstore, will volunteer for DQs - Team Pomona Sprout


message 11: by Sophie, The other one (last edited Jun 08, 2018 05:07AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sophie (drsophie) | 3949 comments Mod
I've just bought it on Kindle - happy to do DQ for Pomona Sprout as well

NBRC members seem to have a thing for fiction set in WWII! Would never normally read so many books on this era


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Michelle (govmarley) | 3115 comments I'm in. I have it and I volunteer for DQs for Team Draco.


Elize Russell (bookscookslooks) | 95 comments I am so excited for this! Just bought this book - Loving all the WWII historical fiction :)

I can do DQ's as well. I don't have a team.


message 14: by Anja (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anja Vuković | 106 comments This has just been translated so I'm in and can do DQ for team Ginny Weasley.


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Jammin Jenny (jamminjenny) | 4149 comments I hope to get it! I voted for it so hopefully I can find it here in North America!

ETA: Unfortunately it is not available where I am. I'll have to wait until the fall to read this book. Maybe I'll bump it to a BR?!?

ETA2: I have it now. Can't wait to start this one. Hopefully I'll be caught up with my BRs by then LOL


Snowtulip | 4553 comments I'm in for DQs, Bellatrix Lestrange :)


message 17: by Tati (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tati | 1173 comments I already got my hands on this, just waiting for the start date :)


Christina (chrissy__) | 1861 comments I can do DQs for Team Lockhart :)


Christina (chrissy__) | 1861 comments (July 22 is still soo faar though!)


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Cat (cat_uk) | 7518 comments Mod
Tattooist of Auschwitz is a UK Kindle Daily Deal today, 20 June - £0.98!


Vicki (goodreadscomboobooper49) | 1701 comments I love historical fiction and I'll read anything to do with the Holocaust so I'm in for Team Hermione Granger!


message 22: by Katherine (last edited Jul 06, 2018 03:57PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Katherine Hayward Pérez  | 149 comments I'm in- Team Reamus Lupin. Heard a lot about the book and fortunately managed to download it.This BOM event is at a good time for me because I'm quite busy with book critiques and blogging until about the middle of the month. This book has been on my TBR list for quite some time now and I'm looking forward to listening to it. Reviewed 2 historical fiction books recently- The Foyles Bookshop Girls The Foyles Bookshop Girls (The Foyles Girls #1) by Elaine Roberts and The Mistress of Pennington's: Can a woman succeed in a man's world? The Mistress of Pennington's Can a woman succeed in a man's world? by Rachel Brimble


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Sunny (sunnyisreading) | 340 comments Already got it and can't wait to start it! I've heard really good things about this one.


Vicki (goodreadscomboobooper49) | 1701 comments Jammin Jenny wrote: "I hope to get it! I voted for it so hopefully I can find it here in North America!

ETA: Unfortunately it is not available where I am. I'll have to wait until the fall to read this book. Maybe I'll..."


I'm in the same predicament. I can't get it until September but I'll do a BR with you then.


Karen Michele Burns (klibrary) I'm planning on participating. I purchased a copy. I'm team Draco Malfoy.


message 26: by Victoria (new)

Victoria | 1132 comments If I'm picked for DQs can I do the last set?

I'll be on holiday at the start of this and for some reason this doesn't scream 'beach read' to me :)


message 27: by Kami (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kami | 1 comments Ugh I'm so sad!!!! I love Holocaust literature and I want to be part of this so bad!!! But I am in North America and am unable to get my hands on a copy. 😩


Daniela Zekotic | 229 comments My copy is on the way! if you still need volunteers for DQs, I'm team Tom Riddle


message 29: by Suzanne (last edited Jul 17, 2018 12:53PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Suzanne | 4263 comments Aw - same Kami - I just looked and have no way to get this until September 4 :( Looks like a good future buddy read!


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Emma (M) | 1736 comments I’d like to nominate for DQs too, Team Newt Scamander


Snowtulip | 4553 comments This starts tomorrow, wondering when DQs will be announced?


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Apologies for the delay. Volunteers have now been randomised and posted above


message 33: by Lisa - (Aussie Girl) (last edited Jul 21, 2018 06:58PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa - (Aussie Girl) | 5337 comments DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - PROLOGUE - CHAPTER 7 . DAY 1

1. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a retelling of real life events that happened in one of the darkest periods of human history. Several well known Australians have recommended it including Graeme Simison, author of The Rosie Project who described it as "Extraordinary - moving, confronting and uplifting.. a story about extremes of human behaviour: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love." I find when I read about this subject I have to mentally prepare myself for a myriad of emotions including anger, indignation and heart wrenching sadness. What expectations do you have as you prepare to start this book?

2. The Prologue describes the first meeting of Lale and Gita. It is not the beginning of the story and is repeated further on. Why do you think the author starts with this scene?

3. Initial impressions of Lale - the life he had and the horror of where he is transported to?

4. This story has many examples of the best and worst of humanity. What do you think of Pepan's and then Lale's rationale of becoming tattooists? "If you don't take the job someone with less soul than you will and hurt these people more. Working for the Kapo is not the same as defiling hundreds of innocent people."

5. "To save one is to save the world." What is your interpretation of what this means and how important is it to the prisoners of Auschwitz?

6. What do you think happened to Pepan and how will this affect Lale going forward.?

7. First impressions of Gita? Why do you think her attitude is different from Lale?. Would she have survived if she hadn't met Lale?

8. Victor and Yuri paint an interesting picture of civilians caught up in war just trying to survive. Thoughts on their different attitudes to the situation and how they are trying to help Lale?



message 34: by Brigia (last edited Jul 22, 2018 06:26AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brigia | 105 comments DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - PROLOGUE - CHAPTER 7 . DAY 1

1. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a retelling of real life events that happened in one of the darkest periods of human history. Several well known Australians have recommended it including Graeme Simison, author of The Rosie Project who described it as "Extraordinary - moving, confronting and uplifting.. a story about extremes of human behaviour: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love." I find when I read about this subject I have to mentally prepare myself for a myriad of emotions including anger, indignation and heart wrenching sadness. What expectations do you have as you prepare to start this book?

I agree. It's such a tough subject. I always expect to be horrified, sad and feel the helplessness of the protagonists. I also expect to feel gret admiration for their courage.

2. The Prologue describes the first meeting of Lale and Gita. It is not the beginning of the story and is repeated further on. Why do you think the author starts with this scene?
I suppose because it is the real starting point of the story.

3. Initial impressions of Lale - the life he had and the horror of where he is transported to?
It seems like he could have had a completely normal life. Under the circumstances, he shows great strength of character. He seems to be a natural leader, someone other people rely on.

4. This story has many examples of the best and worst of humanity. What do you think of Pepan's and then Lale's rationale of becoming tattooists? "If you don't take the job someone with less soul than you will and hurt these people more. Working for the Kapo is not the same as defiling hundreds of innocent people."
I think he's right. They're not given a choice. No matter what they end up doing, all of it will be work for the Nazis.

5. "To save one is to save the world." What is your interpretation of what this means and how important is it to the prisoners of Auschwitz?
I think it means that you should do what you can. Every action can have many consequences and saving even just one person can make a huge difference.

6. What do you think happened to Pepan and how will this affect Lale going forward.?
I think he was killed. I don't know how it affects Lale. On the one hand, it could make him extra cautious; on the other hand, it might mean that every precaution in the world won't guarantee he's safe, so - seize the moment. It definitely proves that his new position is not without danger.

7. First impressions of Gita? Why do you think her attitude is different from Lale?. Would she have survived if she hadn't met Lale?
I think Gita is fierce in her own way, though she does rely on Lale for survival.

8. Victor and Yuri paint an interesting picture of civilians caught up in war just trying to survive. Thoughts on their different attitudes to the situation and how they are trying to help Lale?
I admire their generosity and I'm afraid for them. I'm not sure if they realize what kind of risk they're taking.


Mariana | 13 comments 1. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a retelling of real life events that happened in one of the darkest periods of human history. Several well known Australians have recommended it including Graeme Simison, author of The Rosie Project who described it as "Extraordinary - moving, confronting and uplifting.. a story about extremes of human behaviour: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love." I find when I read about this subject I have to mentally prepare myself for a myriad of emotions including anger, indignation and heart wrenching sadness. What expectations do you have as you prepare to start this book?

You know, as much as you hear about the Holocaust, or read about it, it's hard not be baffled every single time by the thought that all of these horrors and monstrosities actually happened. That actual humans beings have done this to others.

Do those making the decisions have a family, a wife, children, parents? They can't possibly.

Or one would think, and yet, it all has happened, and no matter how much you prepare, it never seizes to cause the same sadness and anger.

2. The Prologue describes the first meeting of Lale and Gita. It is not the beginning of the story and is repeated further on. Why do you think the author starts with this scene?

The book also doubles as a love story, so it makes sense having a glimpse of Gita right at the start, considering that her first appearance is further into the book.

3. Initial impressions of Lale - the life he had and the horror of where he is transported to?

So far, we have an overall view of Lale -- a normal young man, making the most of his life. He's taking his new, uh, surroundings, rather well, considering he's had, at least from what we know so far, a pretty easy life. He's willing to take risks for Gita's and his new friends' sake, which tells a lot about his character. I'm curious to read more about his life before Auschwitz.

4. This story has many examples of the best and worst of humanity. What do you think of Pepan's and then Lale's rationale of becoming tattooists? "If you don't take the job someone with less soul than you will and hurt these people more. Working for the Kapo is not the same as defiling hundreds of innocent people."

The kapo system was not only a way to minimize cost, it was also another ploy to seed fear and distrust by pitting the prisoners against each other; it's hard to trust a man who is presumably in the same boat, but he is obviously enjoying more privileges than you by submitting to and following orders, sometimes very brutal orders. However, Lale seems to be using his position to help his friends, not for his own personal gain. Still a very ingrate position, and one that doesn't necessarily shield him from all harm.

5. "To save one is to save the world." What is your interpretation of what this means and how important is it to the prisoners of Auschwitz?

If each of us saved one, we would all save the world. It's witnessing and being subject to brutality like this what brings the best in people, and we see Aron and the men in Block 7 saving Lale's life, and the women in Block 29 saving Gita's. How many more lives would've been lost there if it wasn't for the bravery and selflessness of people like them?

6. What do you think happened to Pepan and how will this affect Lale going forward.?

It just goes to show that, in fact, while seemingly at bay from many of the horrors that the other prisoners are subjected to, Lale will still have to face many dangers.

7. First impressions of Gita? Why do you think her attitude is different from Lale?. Would she have survived if she hadn't met Lale?

She seems to be defined mainly through Lale: she is loved by him and saved by him. We don’t know much about her previous life, and she herself seems to have renounced it completely, only defining herself by the number tattooed on her skin. Hopefully we will soon learn why her perspective is so much more bleak than Lale’s.

8. Victor and Yuri paint an interesting picture of civilians caught up in war just trying to survive. Thoughts on their different attitudes to the situation and how they are trying to help Lale?

Yuri, the son, seems to have not given much thought to why he’s doing what they’re doing; Victor, the father, is very much aware of the task they’re performing. Yes, he is working for the Nazis, but he is still able to offer compassion to a man in very much need of it.


Karen Michele Burns (klibrary) DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - PROLOGUE - CHAPTER 7 . DAY 1

1. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a retelling of real life events that happened in one of the darkest periods of human history. Several well known Australians have recommended it including Graeme Simison, author of The Rosie Project who described it as "Extraordinary - moving, confronting and uplifting.. a story about extremes of human behaviour: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love." I find when I read about this subject I have to mentally prepare myself for a myriad of emotions including anger, indignation and heart wrenching sadness. What expectations do you have as you prepare to start this book?

I always prepare for the subject matter by remembering the survivors. There was a wonderful librarian at an elementary school where I taught music who had come from Germany and her family had helped hide people at their home. She brought in survivors every year to tell their stories.

2. The Prologue describes the first meeting of Lale and Gita. It is not the beginning of the story and is repeated further on. Why do you think the author starts with this scene?

I really liked this device as it let me know that there would be something different about the book. i had never known or thought about who did the tattoos.

3. Initial impressions of Lale - the life he had and the horror of where he is transported to?

He is not so different from others I have read about, but definitely falls into the category of those who rise above their fears to help others.

4. This story has many examples of the best and worst of humanity. What do you think of Pepan's and then Lale's rationale of becoming tattooists? "If you don't take the job someone with less soul than you will and hurt these people more. Working for the Kapo is not the same as defiling hundreds of innocent people."

I felt that it was the truth and that someone with soul like Lale would be able to help the lives of others by taking the position. It was forced labor no matter what you did at the camps.

5. "To save one is to save the world." What is your interpretation of what this means and how important is it to the prisoners of Auschwitz?

It's crucial to believe that each life is worth saving and that humanity is saved through these acts, even if many do not survive.

6. What do you think happened to Pepan and how will this affect Lale going forward.?

I assume he was killed and considered too old to continue in the job, but I wasn't completely sure about why he disappeared.

7. First impressions of Gita? Why do you think her attitude is different from Lale?. Would she have survived if she hadn't met Lale?

I understood Gita to be in survival mode and that her way of coping was to ignore her past. I do not think she would havesurvived without Lale.

8. Victor and Yuri paint an interesting picture of civilians caught up in war just trying to survive. Thoughts on their different attitudes to the situation and how they are trying to help Lale?

I think they are quite brave. I hope that I don't have to find out if I am brave enough to help even if the consequences would be dire.


message 37: by Tina ❣ (last edited Jul 23, 2018 01:13AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tina ❣ (nutrinut) | 1907 comments DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - PROLOGUE - CHAPTER 7 . DAY 1

1. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a retelling of real life events that happened in one of the darkest periods of human history. Several well known Australians have recommended it including Graeme Simison, author of The Rosie Project who described it as "Extraordinary - moving, confronting and uplifting.. a story about extremes of human behaviour: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love." I find when I read about this subject I have to mentally prepare myself for a myriad of emotions including anger, indignation and heart wrenching sadness. What expectations do you have as you prepare to start this book?

As sad and angering as it is to read Holocaust books, I also find it educating. I read so I can learn about them and remember them and pass on their stories to those who I know.

2. The Prologue describes the first meeting of Lale and Gita. It is not the beginning of the story and is repeated further on. Why do you think the author starts with this scene?

To give a sense of what we are to expect?

3. Initial impressions of Lale - the life he had and the horror of where he is transported to?

I like Lale. I think it would have been wonderful to know him. It seems like he took in his surroundings quite well. I don't know how much he glimpsed at the concentration camp of the horrors that went one. I feel like now the story telling is about Lale and Gita. Fair enough. I am actually enjoying it. I haven't read many Holocaust books where there's a love interest that starts in a place like that

4. This story has many examples of the best and worst of humanity. What do you think of Pepan's and then Lale's rationale of becoming tattooists? "If you don't take the job someone with less soul than you will and hurt these people more. Working for the Kapo is not the same as defiling hundreds of innocent people."

I see where he is coming from. I definitely agree that it's better for Lale to do it than someone who is mean

5. "To save one is to save the world." What is your interpretation of what this means and how important is it to the prisoners of Auschwitz?

This is the first time I'm hearing the quote. I think it's referring to helping others can lead to a better world. I think it's a wonderful quote to know whilst being there. It's a thought that can give them hope and strength

6. What do you think happened to Pepan and how will this affect Lale going forward.?

I think he was murdered. It wasn't entirely clear. I think Lale moves on but still remembers Pepan.

7. First impressions of Gita? Why do you think her attitude is different from Lale?. Would she have survived if she hadn't met Lale?

She seems nice. You do what you can to survive in a place like that. I think you would have been lucky to have friends in high places. She definitely would have died.

8. Victor and Yuri paint an interesting picture of civilians caught up in war just trying to survive. Thoughts on their different attitudes to the situation and how they are trying to help Lale?

I think Yuri thought he was higher above the Jews but Victor could see past the picture and see what was happening. It was brave of them to sneak food and other things in. I hope they don't get caught.


Christina (chrissy__) | 1861 comments DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - PROLOGUE - CHAPTER 7 . DAY 1

1. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a retelling of real life events that happened in one of the darkest periods of human history. Several well known Australians have recommended it including Graeme Simison, author of The Rosie Project who described it as "Extraordinary - moving, confronting and uplifting.. a story about extremes of human behaviour: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love." I find when I read about this subject I have to mentally prepare myself for a myriad of emotions including anger, indignation and heart wrenching sadness. What expectations do you have as you prepare to start this book?

To be honest, except for The Book Thief and The Diary of Anne Frank I've never read books about that time period, but I think you do have to be in a certain mood to read these books. I have to admit I wasn't 'excited' to start The Tattooist of Auschwitz anymore, especially since work was crazy lately and I couldn't prepare for it and didn't even have time to think about it, let alone have expectations.
Now that I am 7 chapters into it I can say it is different than I initially thought it would be.

2. The Prologue describes the first meeting of Lale and Gita. It is not the beginning of the story and is repeated further on. Why do you think the author starts with this scene?
Hm. Maybe Heather Morris wants us to know before we even really get into it already that The Tattooist of Auschwitz isn't all bad, that there also were some positive things happening for a few people that no one expected.

3. Initial impressions of Lale - the life he had and the horror of where he is transported to?
I think it takes a strong character to be as calm about everything as he was. When we first meet him, he seems to be at peace with whatever's going on. He doesn't know where he's being taken, but he's okay with it and just let's it happen. He reassures the men who are with him which in my opinion seems to help them stay sane as well.
Lale's family obviously is important to him - I admire that he decided to go instead of his older brother who already has a family of his own.

4. This story has many examples of the best and worst of humanity. What do you think of Pepan's and then Lale's rationale of becoming tattooists? "If you don't take the job someone with less soul than you will and hurt these people more. Working for the Kapo is not the same as defiling hundreds of innocent people."
Pepan was probably right, and to me it is really hard to believe there even was someone who cared enough about a stranger to nurse them back to health and take them under their wings. Lale seems like a good guy, really appreciating what Pepan has done for him and continuing to do the same for someone else.

5. "To save one is to save the world." What is your interpretation of what this means and how important is it to the prisoners of Auschwitz?
I really don't know why Lale seemed so important to the other prisoners (it probably was his aura, yes), but I think they just needed someone to stay positive in one way or another, and he seemed like the right person to look up to.

6. What do you think happened to Pepan and how will this affect Lale going forward.?
To me it seems like they had Pepan killed, because why else would they have him replaced by Lale without Lale ever finding out what happened? I think Lale will forever treasure what Pepan has done for him and continue honoring him in doing the same.

7. First impressions of Gita? Why do you think her attitude is different from Lale?. Would she have survived if she hadn't met Lale?
Gita seems like a nice girl, judging from Lale's feelings for her. I myself don't think I know enough about her yet though.
I don't know if she generally would have survived Auschwitz without Lale (probably not), but definitely not Typhus.

8. Victor and Yuri paint an interesting picture of civilians caught up in war just trying to survive. Thoughts on their different attitudes to the situation and how they are trying to help Lale?
I honestly feel like when we first met Victor and Yuri, Yuri's attitude was just a cover up of him actually being terrified of getting in trouble with the SS for getting caught talking to a prisoner.
They are brave for trying to help Lale and I am worried for their life. Even if they are civilians working at the camps, I'm sure the SS could easily just keep them inside as prisoners or even worse if they get caught.


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

Tati | 1173 comments 1. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a retelling of real life events that happened in one of the darkest periods of human history. Several well known Australians have recommended it including Graeme Simison, author of The Rosie Project who described it as "Extraordinary - moving, confronting and uplifting.. a story about extremes of human behaviour: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love." I find when I read about this subject I have to mentally prepare myself for a myriad of emotions including anger, indignation and heart wrenching sadness. What expectations do you have as you prepare to start this book?

I have been to a concentration camp a few years ago, and it chilled me to the bone. It was just a haunted place. And the feeling I had then always comes back whenever I read a Holocaust book. I expect to wonder at how the human spirit manages to survive to such a horrible situation.

2. The Prologue describes the first meeting of Lale and Gita. It is not the beginning of the story and is repeated further on. Why do you think the author starts with this scene?

I'd guess that's because the author wants us to get an immediate glimpse of what is to come in the book. That, in the midst of all the horror, there is still hope and compassion.

3. Initial impressions of Lale - the life he had and the horror of where he is transported to?

On the train, he was extremely calm, and that is not a reaction I'd expect. I'd say he's had a pretty comfortable life before being sent to Auschwitz. He doesn't strike me as the strongest character I've met in a Holocaust book.

4. This story has many examples of the best and worst of humanity. What do you think of Pepan's and then Lale's rationale of becoming tattooists? "If you don't take the job someone with less soul than you will and hurt these people more. Working for the Kapo is not the same as defiling hundreds of innocent people."

I'd say that this was yet another example of refusing to give in to the horror of the situation they're in. That tenderness is still possible.

5. "To save one is to save the world." What is your interpretation of what this means and how important is it to the prisoners of Auschwitz?

This is actually a quotation from the Talmud, one of the most important books in Judaism, and, in this context, refers only to Jewish people. I take it to mean that, in saving a life, you give it a chance to reach its full potential, to have descendants, that, across the generations, can mean the whole world.

6. What do you think happened to Pepan and how will this affect Lale going forward.?

I think he was killed, and Lale will continue his legacy (as he already has, with Leon).

7. First impressions of Gita? Why do you think her attitude is different from Lale?. Would she have survived if she hadn't met Lale?

She has spent a longer time in concentration camps. And that seems to have worn her down, to have extinguished her hope of suriviving.

8. Victor and Yuri paint an interesting picture of civilians caught up in war just trying to survive. Thoughts on their different attitudes to the situation and how they are trying to help Lale?

It shows that not all Germans were fully on board with the Holocaust. It also shows that even in war, there is still room for compassion and solidarity. Yuri likely wasn't alive in the First Great War, so I gues that's why he is not compassionate as his father, who probably witnessed that war.


message 40: by Alex (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alex | 1018 comments I've just got my hands on it and started today, only up to chapter 2 but it's holding my attention so far! I'll get the rest of the first section finished and answer the DQs later today. Looking forward to discussing this one.


message 41: by Christina (last edited Jul 24, 2018 02:56AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Christina (chrissy__) | 1861 comments DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - Chapters 8-14 || Day 3

9. First of all, most of us probably have been taught about the Holocaust in school. Do you still remember how you felt when you first heard about it, did it even feel real or important to you at that time? Do you think it is still relevant to learn about today?

10. After first encountering Gita Lale couldn't stop thinking about her. He knew she was the one. What do you think has drawn the both of them to each other and why is it so easy for them to trust each other while not knowing what their future holds?

11. The Romani and Lale also seem to have been very quick to trust each other even though Lale has been worried about his 'treasures' when the Romani first were moved into their block. Why do you think they weren't more suspicious of each other? Should Lale generally be more careful about who to trust and what he's doing?

12. In the beginning of chapter 13 we get to see a couple of different perspectives, not just Lale's, and more of Gita's. Do you like the different perspectives or would you prefer only hearing from Lale's point of view?

13. It was to be suspected that Gita's family like so many others didn't make it. Lale went to the camp thinking he can protect his family that way. Do you think he already knows /has a feeling about what's actually going on, or does he still have hope that he was able to keep his family from getting taken away too?

14. Lale immediately felt uneasy around Doktor Mengele before even first properly meeting him. Even the doctor's whistling made him shudder. "A doctor, Lale suspects, who will cause more pain than he eases. (...) He must always be wary of this man whose soul is coulder than his scalpel."
Why do you think Lale knew right away that Doktor Mengele would be causing a threat to him? Did you think we would get to see Leon again?

15. Cilka still had this beautiful long hair when Gita first met her, while Gita's and all of the other girls' heads were being shaved regularly. After getting raped by the Senior Commandant Schwarzhuber Cilka's appearance has changed. Even Lale notices her pallor. Do you think anything else is going on?

16. After meeting Lale Sokolov in 2003, Heather Morris originally wrote The Tattooist of Auschwitz as a screenplay. She entered the screenplay into several international screenwriting competitions, winning the International Independent Film Awards competition in 2016 and highly placing in several others, including the ISA (International Screenwriters’ Association) and Final Draft competitions.
Would you have preferred or still like to see The Tattooist being made into a movie or come to our screens in one way or another?



message 42: by Em (new) - rated it 2 stars

Em (emmolga) DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - PROLOGUE - CHAPTER 7 . DAY 1

1. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a retelling of real life events that happened in one of the darkest periods of human history. Several well known Australians have recommended it including Graeme Simison, author of The Rosie Project who described it as "Extraordinary - moving, confronting and uplifting.. a story about extremes of human behaviour: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love." I find when I read about this subject I have to mentally prepare myself for a myriad of emotions including anger, indignation and heart wrenching sadness. What expectations do you have as you prepare to start this book?

to be honest, i try to have no expectation when i start this book because every story is different even when the background period is the same. everyone from that time period was fighting for the same thing (love, friends, family) yet they fought in very different ways, their circumstances were also varied. now that i've reached the 7th chapter, i think my expectation lies on how Lale's story would differ from the others i've read, and what i can learn from him.


2. The Prologue describes the first meeting of Lale and Gita. It is not the beginning of the story and is repeated further on. Why do you think the author starts with this scene?

i think it acts as the emphasis that their relationship is the element that moves the story. Gita gave Lale a purpose, and he tried hard to do whatever he can to make sure they survived together until the end. she gave him a fighting spirit.


3. Initial impressions of Lale - the life he had and the horror of where he is transported to?

i envy him his calm. how can anyone stay calm at that sort of situation? it makes you wonder what sort of life he had before everything turned for the worst. i love how he also kept his cool even when there are some people who felt aggravated by his comments even though he only meant to soothe.


4. This story has many examples of the best and worst of humanity. What do you think of Pepan's and then Lale's rationale of becoming tattooists? "If you don't take the job someone with less soul than you will and hurt these people more. Working for the Kapo is not the same as defiling hundreds of innocent people."

the tattoo has been regarded as one of the most sinister parts of the period. it reduces you and your identity to a mere row of ordinary numbers. you answer to that sequence and nothing else. it is defilement in more sense than one. Pepan knew this, and he might think that perhaps, if he couldn't prevent that from happening anyway, he could at least make sure that the burden can be lessened physically. he could make sure the job was on the hand of someone who cared. Even if they should be regarded as collaborators.


5. "To save one is to save the world." What is your interpretation of what this means and how important is it to the prisoners of Auschwitz?

every person matters and every action has its own consequences.


6. What do you think happened to Pepan and how will this affect Lale going forward.?

this is a bit pessimist but i think he's been taken away. this, in turn, will make Lale more careful about those who are close to him. he will make sure everyone is safe under him, just like he was under Pepan.


7. First impressions of Gita? Why do you think her attitude is different from Lale?. Would she have survived if she hadn't met Lale?

i think it's a bit early to form an opinion of her, since we rarely got to see things that happened around her and nothing yet on her real views of things. when she first refused to tell her name, i think it was more of a survival instinct telling her to stay down and speak nothing. she had stayed a bit longer than Lale at Auschwitz, so it's quite understandable being wary of a stranger trying to get close to you. i don't think she'd survive Typhus without Lale, though.


8. Victor and Yuri paint an interesting picture of civilians caught up in war just trying to survive. Thoughts on their different attitudes to the situation and how they are trying to help Lale?

they are so, so brave. they make me contemplate if i even have half the compassion they must've had to do what they did, otherwise whatever else can move them to do such dangerous things? they are helping in any way they can, small as it is, and hoping for nothing in return. even if Lale didn't have anything to compensate them, i am sure they'd still continue helping him in the way they can.


message 43: by Tina ❣ (last edited Jul 24, 2018 01:00AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tina ❣ (nutrinut) | 1907 comments DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - Chapters 7-14 || Day 3

9. First of all, most of us probably have been taught about the Holocaust in school. Do you still remember how you felt when you first heard about it, did it even feel real or important to you at that time? Do you think it is still relevant to learn about today?

My first Holocaust book was Elli: Coming of Age in the Holocaust read in year 8. It was a challenging book. The Holocaust will always be relevant. History will always be relevant.

10. After first encountering Gita Lale couldn't stop thinking about her. He knew she was the one. What do you think has drawn the both of them to each other and why is it so easy for them to trust each other while not knowing what their future holds?

I have no idea what drew them together. Maybe I missed it - I miss things when I'm driving and listening to an audiobook. I think faith and hope held it together for them. Also Gita's friends.

11. The Romani and Lale also seem to have been very quick to trust each other even though Lale has been worried about his 'treasures' when the Romani first were moved into their block. Why do you think they weren't more suspicious of each other? Should Lale generally be more careful about who to trust and what he's doing?

They were all prisoners in the camp. Better to trust each other than the SS. I thought Lale was pretty careful

12. In the beginning of chapter 13 we get to see a couple of different perspectives, not just Lale's, and more of Gita's. Do you like the different perspectives or would you prefer only hearing from Lale's point of view?

I do like the different perspectives. I would have been fine with just Lale's but I'm glad we got to see the others too. I think it was balanced well.

13. It was to be suspected that Gita's family like so many others didn't make it. Lale went to the camp thinking he can protect his family that way. Do you think he already knows/has a feeling about what's actually going on, or does he still have hope that he was able to keep his family from getting taken away too?

I think he had some hope but knew what was most likely to happen

14. Lale immediately felt uneasy around Doktor Mengele before even first properly meeting him. Even the doctor's whistling made him shudder. "A doctor, Lale suspects, who will cause more pain than he eases. (...) He must always be wary of this man whose soul is colder than his scalpel."
Why do you think Lale knew right away that Doktor Mengele would be causing a threat to him? Did you think we would get to see Leon again?


Sometimes you just get a vibe that someone isn't right. That they're bad to you. I think we might

15. Cilka still had this beautiful long hair when Gita first met her, while Gita's and all of the other girls' heads were being shaved regularly. After getting raped by the Senior Commandant Schwarzhuber Cilka's appearance has changed. Even Lale notices her pallor. Do you think anything else is going on?

I was thinking she was pregnant. But she wouldn't be healthy enough to carry. I think it's the trauma

16. After meeting Lale Sokolov in 2003, Heather Morris originally wrote The Tattooist of Auschwitz as a screenplay. She entered the screenplay into several international screenwriting competitions, winning the International Independent Film Awards competition in 2016 and highly placing in several others, including the ISA (International Screenwriters’ Association) and Final Draft competitions.
Would you have preferred or still like to see The Tattooist being made into a movie or come to our screens in one way or another?


I didn't know that! It's pretty interesting. Movies are always good. I haven't been to many plays, so I'm not sure


Lisa - (Aussie Girl) | 5337 comments DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - Chapters 7-14 || Day 3

9. First of all, most of us probably have been taught about the Holocaust in school. Do you still remember how you felt when you first heard about it, did it even feel real or important to you at that time? Do you think it is still relevant to learn about today?

I've always known about it as I've met some Holocaust survivors when I was younger. Living in such a great country it's hard to believe the evil that people can do to each other. That old saying "Those that don't learn from history are destined to repeat it" is so relevant and why this period must never be forgotten.

10. After first encountering Gita Lale couldn't stop thinking about her. He knew she was the one. What do you think has drawn the both of them to each other and why is it so easy for them to trust each other while not knowing what their future holds?

It is one of life's great mysteries attraction between two people. Their relationship is probably intensified as neither of them know if they will survive. Hope is the only thing they have.

11. The Romani and Lale also seem to have been very quick to trust each other even though Lale has been worried about his 'treasures' when the Romani first were moved into their block. Why do you think they weren't more suspicious of each other? Should Lale generally be more careful about who to trust and what he's doing?

I think it's just who Lale is.. and probably knowing they have a common enemy in the despicable Nazis brings them together where at another time in Lale's life he probably would be more careful or even have nothing to do with them.

12. In the beginning of chapter 13 we get to see a couple of different perspectives, not just Lale's, and more of Gita's. Do you like the different perspectives or would you prefer only hearing from Lale's point of view?

Definitely the reader gets a more balanced viewpoint from multiple points of view. Even though it is horrible I would like to see what is actual going on in the head of some one like Baretski if there is any shred of humanity within him. Is a soldier like him just following orders, really believes in the propaganda of the Third Reich or if he is a psychopath.

13. It was to be suspected that Gita's family like so many others didn't make it. Lale went to the camp thinking he can protect his family that way. Do you think he already knows /has a feeling about what's actually going on, or does he still have hope that he was able to keep his family from getting taken away too?


Lale seems to be a an optimist but a realist. He may hope his family survives but he would know the truth that's it's probably not likely

14. Lale immediately felt uneasy around Doktor Mengele before even first properly meeting him. Even the doctor's whistling made him shudder. "A doctor, Lale suspects, who will cause more pain than he eases. (...) He must always be wary of this man whose soul is coulder than his scalpel."
Why do you think Lale knew right away that Doktor Mengele would be causing a threat to him? Did you think we would get to see Leon again?

Sometimes you just get vibes off people. Amazing that Leon has so far survived but what a terrible thing has happened to him.

15. Cilka still had this beautiful long hair when Gita first met her, while Gita's and all of the other girls' heads were being shaved regularly. After getting raped by the Senior Commandant Schwarzhuber Cilka's appearance has changed. Even Lale notices her pallor. Do you think anything else is going on?

She could be pregnant or the horror of what she is experiencing is no doubt causing her pallor.

16. After meeting Lale Sokolov in 2003, Heather Morris originally wrote The Tattooist of Auschwitz as a screenplay. She entered the screenplay into several international screenwriting competitions, winning the International Independent Film Awards competition in 2016 and highly placing in several others, including the ISA (International Screenwriters’ Association) and Final Draft competitions.
Would you have preferred or still like to see The Tattooist being made into a movie or come to our screens in one way or another?

It would make an intense movie but the book is a challenging experience also. I am glad I am reading it because as I mentioned these times should never be forgotten. The written word can be just as powerful as a dramatization.


message 45: by Em (new) - rated it 2 stars

Em (emmolga) DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - Chapters 7-14 || Day 3

9. First of all, most of us probably have been taught about the Holocaust in school. Do you still remember how you felt when you first heard about it, did it even feel real or important to you at that time? Do you think it is still relevant to learn about today?

the first thing i remember feeling when i heard about Holocaust is disbelief. i was only an elementary student, and my small brain just couldn't comprehend that people actually did that sort of thing to one another. i think it will never be irrelevant, given where we are as humanity today, even with all the exhaustive studies on WWII out there.


10. After first encountering Gita Lale couldn't stop thinking about her. He knew she was the one. What do you think has drawn the both of them to each other and why is it so easy for them to trust each other while not knowing what their future holds?

oh, this is a hard one... even in the best of times we rarely have a clue how attraction works, much less in that sort of situation. it may be instinct that drives them to trust each other. after all, it is always much easier to have someone by your side when you're facing hardship.


11. The Romani and Lale also seem to have been very quick to trust each other even though Lale has been worried about his 'treasures' when the Romani first were moved into their block. Why do you think they weren't more suspicious of each other? Should Lale generally be more careful about who to trust and what he's doing?

probably because they have common enemies. why should they try to deceive one another when they are trapped in the same circumstances? also, Lale is quite a judge of character, he hasn't been wrong before so i'm sure he'd be aware if a person is trustworthy or not.. and act accordingly.


12. In the beginning of chapter 13 we get to see a couple of different perspectives, not just Lale's, and more of Gita's. Do you like the different perspectives or would you prefer only hearing from Lale's point of view?

yes, definitely! i've been wondering about Gita, i'm curious as to what sort of person she actually is, i want to see how she is not only from Lale's POV, who loves her quite a lot thus have a chance to be a bit biased.


13. It was to be suspected that Gita's family like so many others didn't make it. Lale went to the camp thinking he can protect his family that way. Do you think he already knows /has a feeling about what's actually going on, or does he still have hope that he was able to keep his family from getting taken away too?

i think he knows, deep down, that he cannot protect his family. that's why he has a breakdown. that's why he 'sees' his family on other prisones, and vows to protect them however he can.


14. Lale immediately felt uneasy around Doktor Mengele before even first properly meeting him. Even the doctor's whistling made him shudder. "A doctor, Lale suspects, who will cause more pain than he eases. (...) He must always be wary of this man whose soul is coulder than his scalpel."
Why do you think Lale knew right away that Doktor Mengele would be causing a threat to him? Did you think we would get to see Leon again?

i did say that Lale is quite a proficient judge of character, but sometimes you don't even have to have the talent to recognize flaunted wickedness. the man just exudes evil, i cannot even imagine how it feels to stare at such person in the eye.


15. Cilka still had this beautiful long hair when Gita first met her, while Gita's and all of the other girls' heads were being shaved regularly. After getting raped by the Senior Commandant Schwarzhuber Cilka's appearance has changed. Even Lale notices her pallor. Do you think anything else is going on?

oh, another hard one. i cannot help but think Cilka was being let to grow her hair because she was primed for... that nefarious purpose.


16. After meeting Lale Sokolov in 2003, Heather Morris originally wrote The Tattooist of Auschwitz as a screenplay. She entered the screenplay into several international screenwriting competitions, winning the International Independent Film Awards competition in 2016 and highly placing in several others, including the ISA (International Screenwriters’ Association) and Final Draft competitions.
Would you have preferred or still like to see The Tattooist being made into a movie or come to our screens in one way or another?

sure. the different mediums of interpretation to Lale's story will (hopefully) enrich one another.


message 46: by Alex (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alex | 1018 comments DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - PROLOGUE - CHAPTER 7 . DAY 1

1. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a retelling of real life events that happened in one of the darkest periods of human history. Several well known Australians have recommended it including Graeme Simison, author of The Rosie Project who described it as "Extraordinary - moving, confronting and uplifting.. a story about extremes of human behaviour: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love." I find when I read about this subject I have to mentally prepare myself for a myriad of emotions including anger, indignation and heart wrenching sadness. What expectations do you have as you prepare to start this book?

I feel like I'll enjoy it but it'll be harrowing. I've read a couple of other books set in concentration camps - Rose Under Fire is one that springs to mind which I adored. I like it when a book provokes strong emotions in me and I'm hoping this one does just that.

2. The Prologue describes the first meeting of Lale and Gita. It is not the beginning of the story and is repeated further on. Why do you think the author starts with this scene?
I think because it's important to remember through all the horrors that we're going to read about that there is a light at the end of the tunnel which is the love story.

3. Initial impressions of Lale - the life he had and the horror of where he is transported to?
I struggled to get an impression of him initially as the book is written in an extremely simplistic style which doesn't leave much room for interpretation. It tells us everything. He does seem to be very strong and level headed to keep his cool during the journey and the settling in period. He's obviously very intelligent and intuitive too.

4. This story has many examples of the best and worst of humanity. What do you think of Pepan's and then Lale's rationale of becoming tattooists? "If you don't take the job someone with less soul than you will and hurt these people more. Working for the Kapo is not the same as defiling hundreds of innocent people."
I can see the appeal in the job, if it carries a level of protection and allows them to help others. The tattooist is probably one of the first people the new arrivals see who isn't SS so you wouldn't want someone heartless in that role.

5. "To save one is to save the world." What is your interpretation of what this means and how important is it to the prisoners of Auschwitz?
Although not everyone in Auschwitz can be saved, someone who is can then go on to save others. I think that's very important in terms of keeping spirits up and maintaining hope.

6. What do you think happened to Pepan and how will this affect Lale going forward.?
Surely if he's disappeared then there's only one thing that can have happened. Lale seems very pragmatic though in not allowing it to affect him too much, I liked that he immediately took on a helper.

7. First impressions of Gita? Why do you think her attitude is different from Lale?. Would she have survived if she hadn't met Lale?
She seems more wary than Lale but she obviously has right to be as she doesn't have the protection that he has. Although she's been in the camp longer she seems to still have a good spirit which is maintained by her friendships.

8. Victor and Yuri paint an interesting picture of civilians caught up in war just trying to survive. Thoughts on their different attitudes to the situation and how they are trying to help Lale?
Either they're very brave or they're not aware of how much danger they're putting themselves in. I wasn't aware that local citizens would have worked in the concentration camps as a job, I suppose there aren't many other options available to them. I do hope they don't get caught giving Lale food.


Karen Michele Burns (klibrary) 9. First of all, most of us probably have been taught about the Holocaust in school. Do you still remember how you felt when you first heard about it, did it even feel real or important to you at that time? Do you think it is still relevant to learn about today?

I remember being both horrified and devastated when I first read and heard about the Holocaust. It did feel important, especially the "never again" idea behind learning a lot about this terrible time. I think it is indeed relevant today, especially right now.

10. After first encountering Gita Lale couldn't stop thinking about her. He knew she was the one. What do you think has drawn the both of them to each other and why is it so easy for them to trust each other while not knowing what their future holds?

I think their mutual situations drew them together, plus just the spark of attraction they felt.

11. The Romani and Lale also seem to have been very quick to trust each other even though Lale has been worried about his 'treasures' when the Romani first were moved into their block. Why do you think they weren't more suspicious of each other? Should Lale generally be more careful about who to trust and what he's doing?

I do think Lale should be more careful, but I think "being in the same boat" leads to trust among the camp inmates.

12. In the beginning of chapter 13 we get to see a couple of different perspectives, not just Lale's, and more of Gita's. Do you like the different perspectives or would you prefer only hearing from Lale's point of view?

I like different points of view.

13. It was to be suspected that Gita's family like so many others didn't make it. Lale went to the camp thinking he can protect his family that way. Do you think he already knows /has a feeling about what's actually going on, or does he still have hope that he was able to keep his family from getting taken away too?

I think part of his will to survive comes from keeping his hope alive, but that he is also realistic and has some feeling that the odds are against them.

14. Lale immediately felt uneasy around Doktor Mengele before even first properly meeting him. Even the doctor's whistling made him shudder. "A doctor, Lale suspects, who will cause more pain than he eases. (...) He must always be wary of this man whose soul is coulder than his scalpel."
Why do you think Lale knew right away that Doktor Mengele would be causing a threat to him? Did you think we would get to see Leon again?

I actually thought the author overdid this and if she was going by real memories, it was still hindsight on the part of Lale as he told the author about it. I did not think Leon would show up again.

15. Cilka still had this beautiful long hair when Gita first met her, while Gita's and all of the other girls' heads were being shaved regularly. After getting raped by the Senior Commandant Schwarzhuber Cilka's appearance has changed. Even Lale notices her pallor. Do you think anything else is going on?

I think the rape and possibly ongoing abuse are taking a toll on her.

16. After meeting Lale Sokolov in 2003, Heather Morris originally wrote The Tattooist of Auschwitz as a screenplay. She entered the screenplay into several international screenwriting competitions, winning the International Independent Film Awards competition in 2016 and highly placing in several others, including the ISA (International Screenwriters’ Association) and Final Draft competitions.
Would you have preferred or still like to see The Tattooist being made into a movie or come to our screens in one way or another?

Yes, I would. I think it would be a good addition to Holocaust films. The writing is not as in depth as I prefer, so the fact that it was a screenplay first makes sense.


message 48: by Tati (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tati | 1173 comments DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - Chapters 8-14 || Day 3

9. First of all, most of us probably have been taught about the Holocaust in school. Do you still remember how you felt when you first heard about it, did it even feel real or important to you at that time? Do you think it is still relevant to learn about today?


To be honest, I don't remember the first time I learned about it. But it must have felt, as it still does today, horrifying.

10. After first encountering Gita Lale couldn't stop thinking about her. He knew she was the one. What do you think has drawn the both of them to each other and why is it so easy for them to trust each other while not knowing what their future holds?

I guess they were just meant to be.

11. The Romani and Lale also seem to have been very quick to trust each other even though Lale has been worried about his 'treasures' when the Romani first were moved into their block. Why do you think they weren't more suspicious of each other? Should Lale generally be more careful about who to trust and what he's doing?

I guess that in a normal situation, yes he should be more careful. But I figure that, going through what they are going through, there is not much of choice, as trust is key to surviving.

12. In the beginning of chapter 13 we get to see a couple of different perspectives, not just Lale's, and more of Gita's. Do you like the different perspectives or would you prefer only hearing from Lale's point of view?

I like the different perspectives, as they give us a broader vision of what is going on in the camp. Lale's perspective is relatively sheltered, as he has extra food and his work is not as physically taxing as the others.

13. It was to be suspected that Gita's family like so many others didn't make it. Lale went to the camp thinking he can protect his family that way. Do you think he already knows /has a feeling about what's actually going on, or does he still have hope that he was able to keep his family from getting taken away too?

I think deep down he knows that it's very likely his family was taken away as well.

14. Lale immediately felt uneasy around Doktor Mengele before even first properly meeting him. Even the doctor's whistling made him shudder. "A doctor, Lale suspects, who will cause more pain than he eases. (...) He must always be wary of this man whose soul is coulder than his scalpel."
Why do you think Lale knew right away that Doktor Mengele would be causing a threat to him? Did you think we would get to see Leon again?


Who whistles in a camp like that? Someone that is very creepy. And no, I didn't think we'd ever get to see Leon again.

15. Cilka still had this beautiful long hair when Gita first met her, while Gita's and all of the other girls' heads were being shaved regularly. After getting raped by the Senior Commandant Schwarzhuber Cilka's appearance has changed. Even Lale notices her pallor. Do you think anything else is going on?

I think she's either pregnant or has some STD. It could also be trauma.

16. After meeting Lale Sokolov in 2003, Heather Morris originally wrote The Tattooist of Auschwitz as a screenplay. She entered the screenplay into several international screenwriting competitions, winning the International Independent Film Awards competition in 2016 and highly placing in several others, including the ISA (International Screenwriters’ Association) and Final Draft competitions.
Would you have preferred or still like to see The Tattooist being made into a movie or come to our screens in one way or another?


Yes, I'd like to see this made into a movie. We need to keep the memory alive, so that this never happens again.


Mariana | 13 comments DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - Chapters 8-14 || Day 3

9. First of all, most of us probably have been taught about the Holocaust in school. Do you still remember how you felt when you first heard about it, did it even feel real or important to you at that time? Do you think it is still relevant to learn about today?

I don’t remember the first time I’ve heard about the Holocaust; even now, it never feels real, no matter how often you hear about it, it still seems impossible that it’s happened.

As for relevancy, yes, definitely.

10. After first encountering Gita Lale couldn't stop thinking about her. He knew she was the one. What do you think has drawn the both of them to each other and why is it so easy for them to trust each other while not knowing what their future holds?

I guess in situations like that, you just have to put your faith in someone. Lale has proven himself to be strong and reliable, he has helped Gita (and the others); as for his sudden attraction to Gita, things like that can’t really be explained, they just happen.

11. The Romani and Lale also seem to have been very quick to trust each other even though Lale has been worried about his 'treasures' when the Romani first were moved into their block. Why do you think they weren't more suspicious of each other? Should Lale generally be more careful about who to trust and what he's doing?

It’s a given, what he’s doing is very dangerous, it’s important that he’s careful about who he trusts. And it goes both ways, he’s in a very ingrate position, enjoying certain privileges that others don’t, even though he does help his friends, as we’ve seen.

12. In the beginning of chapter 13 we get to see a couple of different perspectives, not just Lale's, and more of Gita's. Do you like the different perspectives or would you prefer only hearing from Lale's point of view?

I like the different perspectives.

13. It was to be suspected that Gita's family like so many others didn't make it. Lale went to the camp thinking he can protect his family that way. Do you think he already knows /has a feeling about what's actually going on, or does he still have hope that he was able to keep his family from getting taken away too?

In the beginning, he definitely thought he’s protecting his family this way. Now that he knows firsthand how many people end up in the camps, elders and children alike, he may, subconsciously or not, avoid considering the possibility that his family will end being taken as well.

14. Lale immediately felt uneasy around Doktor Mengele before even first properly meeting him. Even the doctor's whistling made him shudder. "A doctor, Lale suspects, who will cause more pain than he eases. (...) He must always be wary of this man whose soul is coulder than his scalpel."
Why do you think Lale knew right away that Doktor Mengele would be causing a threat to him? Did you think we would get to see Leon again?


Uh, I’m thinking it might be more of a writing device to introduce Mengele; it’s a name everyone recognizes, so it makes sense to write him like this.

As for Leon, I thought most likely he was killed, didn’t expect to see him again.

15. Cilka still had this beautiful long hair when Gita first met her, while Gita's and all of the other girls' heads were being shaved regularly. After getting raped by the Senior Commandant Schwarzhuber Cilka's appearance has changed. Even Lale notices her pallor. Do you think anything else is going on?

I can’t help but think that Cilka and maybe other girls as well were allowed to keep their long hair, maybe also given easier jobs, just for this purpose. Being raped on a regular basis seems plenty reason for the changes in her appearance and behavior.

16. After meeting Lale Sokolov in 2003, Heather Morris originally wrote The Tattooist of Auschwitz as a screenplay. She entered the screenplay into several international screenwriting competitions, winning the International Independent Film Awards competition in 2016 and highly placing in several others, including the ISA (International Screenwriters’ Association) and Final Draft competitions.
Would you have preferred or still like to see The Tattooist being made into a movie or come to our screens in one way or another?


It would be good if they do decide to make it into a movie as well, I would watch it. So far I am enjoying the book, even though the writing could use more depth. Some things however work best when kept simple, for example, I thought the scene with the men peacefully sharing the sausage after Lale mentions the football match, where one of the men offers his share to Big Joel, just speaks for itself, and is a prime example of humanity in such a rotten environment.


Stacey (boydsmom) | 1228 comments DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - PROLOGUE - CHAPTER 7 . DAY 1

1. The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a retelling of real life events that happened in one of the darkest periods of human history. Several well known Australians have recommended it including Graeme Simison, author of The Rosie Project who described it as "Extraordinary - moving, confronting and uplifting.. a story about extremes of human behaviour: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love." I find when I read about this subject I have to mentally prepare myself for a myriad of emotions including anger, indignation and heart wrenching sadness. What expectations do you have as you prepare to start this book?
I try to limit myself to a smaller number of pages a day when I read one of these books so I don't get too overwhelmed. I'm sure it will be heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time.

2. The Prologue describes the first meeting of Lale and Gita. It is not the beginning of the story and is repeated further on. Why do you think the author starts with this scene? It's their first meeting. I think their story drives the book, so its good to get an insight on how things started.

3. Initial impressions of Lale - the life he had and the horror of where he is transported to? I'm amazed at how he seems to be able to adjust and adapt to whatever happens to him. Many people would just shut down in any of those situations, but he seems to be able to just keep his head down and keep going.

4. This story has many examples of the best and worst of humanity. What do you think of Pepan's and then Lale's rationale of becoming tattooists? "If you don't take the job someone with less soul than you will and hurt these people more. Working for the Kapo is not the same as defiling hundreds of innocent people." I can see both sides of the argument, and how this situation offers you no good choices if you want to stay alive. I think to take the job and attempt to limit the suffering is noble, but at the same time to actively participate in the process would be a tough thing to live with.

5. "To save one is to save the world." What is your interpretation of what this means and how important is it to the prisoners of Auschwitz? I think they are so surrounded by death, that each life becomes even more meaningful. It also gives them a purpose and a reason to keep going if they are attempting to help those around them make it through as well.

6. What do you think happened to Pepan and how will this affect Lale going forward.? I'm frightened about what happened to Pepan, because how will Lale know if he makes the same mistake? I'm guessing since we know he makes it through, it all works out, but the fact that he just disappeared would make me hesitant to take his job.

7. First impressions of Gita? Why do you think her attitude is different from Lale?. Would she have survived if she hadn't met Lale? She's not coping as well as Lale, but she's managing, I think. She probably wouldn't have survived without Lale, just for the typhoid incident, but I'm not sure if she would have made it mentally if not for him either. I'll see as we go along what she's made of.

8. Victor and Yuri paint an interesting picture of civilians caught up in war just trying to survive. Thoughts on their different attitudes to the situation and how they are trying to help Lale? That situation frightens me as well. I think its great that they are trying to make a difference as they probably feel pretty helpless as well. And I'm surprised Lale has as much freedom to just wander around unhindered as he seems to, but I guess the tattoo bag makes people not pay much attention to him.


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