The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

"The Tattooist of Auschwitz" is a historical fiction novel written by Heather Morris and published in 2018. The book is based on the true story of Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew who was forced to work as the tattooist of identification numbers on fellow prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II.

Plot Overview:

The novel follows the harrowing journey of Lale Sokolov, a young man who is transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau along with thousands of others. While imprisoned, Lale is given the grim task of tattooing identification numbers on the arms of new arrivals. Despite the dire circumstances, Lale uses his position to assist and protect his fellow prisoners whenever he can.

During his time at the camp, Lale meets Gita, a fellow prisoner, and the two form a deep and enduring bond. Lale's determination to survive and protect Gita becomes a driving force in the face of unimaginable cruelty and suffering.

The story chronicles Lale's experiences at the camp, his relationship with Gita, and his efforts to maintain his humanity in a place where compassion and kindness are scarce. Despite the horrors around them, Lale and Gita find moments of hope, resilience, and love.


1. Survival and Resilience: The novel explores the lengths people will go to survive in the most brutal and dehumanizing circumstances.

2. Love and Connection: Lale and Gita's relationship serves as a testament to the power of love and human connection even in the darkest of times.

3. Morality and Ethics: Lale grapples with the moral dilemmas of his role in the camp and the choices he makes to help others while also ensuring his own survival.

4. Humanity Amidst Inhumanity: The novel highlights the small acts of compassion and kindness that individuals can show even in the face of extreme cruelty.

5. Historical Memory: "The Tattooist of Auschwitz" sheds light on the atrocities of the Holocaust and the importance of remembering and honoring those who endured and suffered.


"The Tattooist of Auschwitz" is inspired by the true story of Lale Sokolov, and while it is categorized as historical fiction, it draws from his real experiences. The novel has been praised for its portrayal of resilience, love, and the indomitable human spirit in the face of horror. It has resonated with readers and serves as a poignant reminder of the atrocities of the Holocaust while also celebrating the capacity for compassion and hope. The book has sparked discussions about memory, survival, and the importance of bearing witness to history.

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