The Tattooist of Auschwitz, written by Heather Morris, is a testament to the strength that the human spirit can endure during times of tragedy. Lale Sokolov is an educated, multi-lingual, Jewish Slovakian man who loves his family. In 1942, he is told that if he wants to keep the rest of his family safe, he must board a train and head for a work camp. He would do anything for his family so he does as he is told and ends up in the concentration camp known as Auschwitz-Birkenau. He is immediately sent to work to help raise other buildings in the camp so that they can house more prisoners and eventually build crematoriums; however, once the guards find out he knows several languages he is ordered to become the tattooist and mark all the incoming prisoners with a series of numbers. This position weighs heavy on Lale, as he is forced to tattoo not only men, but also women and children. He has to do this in order to keep in the guards’ good graces. He has to remain mentally strong to survive and get back to his family and the woman he loves. This beautifully written book gives a true inside look into what the lives of the prisoners of the German Concentration Camps. The human spirit is amazingly strong even against unimaginable acts of hate.
Reviewed by Stephanie Dunn, Zauel Library