“The Tattooist of Auschwitz” Book Review
Lale was only 25 years old when he was shipped off by the Nazi's to Auschwitz. His first night in the concentration camp he learns how unreasonably cruel the German soldiers could be. From that moment forward he decides that he is going to live, that he is more than this work camp that he has been placed in. He believes one day he will be free. Priorities for Lale shift, however, when one day while tattooing the latest shipment of prisoners the beautiful Gita rests her arm on his tattooing station. Lale is immediately infatuated with the girl and must meet her. It doesn't take long for Lale to get Gita's attention. From that moment forward, Lale is certain of her strength and beauty, and decides that he and Gita will make it out of Auschwitz alive.
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What I Loved About This Novel
An Inside Look of Auschwitz
Many books I have read in the past focus on the outside perspective of the concentration camps looking in. "The Tattooist of Auschwitz" is the complete opposite. The first moments of this story take place with Lale in a jammed cattle cart on a train, on its way to Auschwitz. Unsure of where he's going and what lies ahead, all Lale is thinking about is how he is going to survive where ever it is that he is headed. Then once at the camp, he is dipped into a cold harsh reality that no matter how hard he works and how low he keeps his head, there is no guarantee he will see tomorrow.
If you wake up in the morning it is a good day.— Lale - The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Reads Like A Journal
I honestly enjoyed how direct and to the point this story was. While reading every relevant part to Gita's and Lale's story was entered like an entry to a journal, not overly focused on the small detail's about grass an fences or how the food tastes like works of fiction would. "The Tattooist of Auschwitz" focuses on the facts of how the camp is run, peoples behaviors and the only time true emotion is felt by a character happens when Lale and Gita are together. They are the only emotional drive for the two people while in the concentration camp.
Lale's Growth as a Person
Lale enters the camp as a young man in his prime. He loves all woman, but has never fallen in love with any of the ones he's been with. When his story begins, he is a young man that thinks he can buy his way out of his problems, and if money can't fix it then a little charm and his handsome smile will surely do the trick. As the story progresses, Lale's focus changes from just worrying about himself, but to those around him. He naturally brings out the best in everyone around him, and while doing this he grows into a hero.
While Lale likes meeting all kinds of people, he particularly meeting women. He thinks them all beautiful regardless of their age, their appearance, how they are dressed.— The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Based On A True Story
Heather Morris is the author of "The Tattooist of Auschwitz" but in reality, she is more like a journalist reporting on a story that happened not so long ago. There may be embellishments here or there with a creative license, but the brutal reality is all based on facts and real people. When the reader keeps this in mind the story no longer feels like a work of fiction, but hits you in the core of your being. Every happy, sad or dangerous moment feels real because it was real.
More Than Just Jewish People Were Affected
When one talks about the World War II the first thing that comes to mind is how Jewish men, women, and children were kept in these camps. What many people do not know is that more than just the Jewish were affected by these places and "The Tattooist of Auschwitz" does an incredible job recognizing all the poor souls that found their ways into these camps. This is including, but not limited to soldiers caught fighting against Hitler, Gypsies, Polish people that aren't Jewish and any other persons of interest to Hitler. None of these people deserved to be there, but every story deserves to be recognized!
Photos of Lale and Gita
My One Complaint
I wish the ending had more happy moments of Lale and Gita's relationship post-war. I found the ending very abrupt and more summarizing the details of their life than telling their story. All-in-all the, the ending was good, but as a reader I spent so much time wanting to see the pair have a life together that even if it was just an extra 20 pages of emotional content I would have happily read it! Lale and Gita's relationship is so engaging I honestly could have read about their lives even beyond Auschwitz for years and years after. They are truly an inspiration and genuinely a story of real unapologetic love.
As a reader, you don't need any special occasion to pick up this book. The story is easy to follow, but effects one on a whole other emotional level. While reading it's not characters lives you are following but real people that lived the closest thing to hell on earth and survived. Lale and Gita are a real inspiration for those going through a hard time on how the right mentality and the support of those around you will help us all to survive. This is true even when facing the hardest of situations nothing is ever final. Love prevails. If you haven't already added this novel to your must-read list I advise you do it now. You won't be sorry you did it!