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y separately published work icon The Tattooist of Auschwitz single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 The Tattooist of Auschwitz
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'The 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. ' (Publication summary)

Notes

  • Dedication: To the memory of Lale Sokolov. Thank you for trusting me to tell your and Gita's story.

  • Also shortlisted for the 2019 Glass Bell Award, presented by London bookshop Goldsboro Books.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Marylebone, London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Bonnier Zaffre ,
      2018 .
      image of person or book cover 5210022608610222639.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 272p.p.
      ISBN: 9781785763687, 1785763687
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      HarperCollins (United States) ,
      2018 .
      image of person or book cover 7622637531984238970.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 262p.p.
      ISBN: 9780062870674, 006287067X, 9780062797155, 0062797158
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Bonnier Zaffre ,
      2018 .
      image of person or book cover 8191931953114184960.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 270p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 4 October 2018
      ISBN: 9781785763670
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Hot Key Books ,
      2019 .
      image of person or book cover 8269478684129940652.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 285p.p.
      ISBN: 9781471408496, 1471408493
Alternative title: Otatuador de Auschwitz
Language: Portuguese
    • Sao Paulo,
      c
      Brazil,
      c
      South America, Americas,
      :
      Planeta ,
      2018 .
      image of person or book cover 8334367377310402083.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 234p.p.
      ISBN: 9788542212938, 8542212932

Other Formats

  • Also large print.
  • Sound recording.

Works about this Work

y separately published work icon The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris Khadija Caffoor , Melbourne : CAE Book Group , 2019 16682088 2019 single work criticism
Book Sales up Marginally in 2018; Five Australian Titles in Top 10 2019 single work column
— Appears in: Books + Publishing News , January 2019;

'Book sales grew marginally in Australia in 2018, with like-for-like growth up 1.3% in volume and 1.4% in value on the previous year, according to Nielsen BookScan.'

Fact-checking 'The Tattooist of Auschwitz' Wanda Witek-Malicka , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: Memoria , November no. 14 2018;
Assesses the accuracy of The Tattooist of Auschwitz's historical framework against the archival resources of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum: acknowledges that the work is fiction, but also notes that the account of an Auschwitz tattooist is unique, and argues for the need for a documentary approach to unique resources around the Holocaust.
Love and Survival Ellen Cregan , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: Kill Your Darlings [Online] , February 2018;

'Stories from the Holocaust are some of the most enduring of the past century. One of the reasons for this is that they are all incredible – the resilience, strength and survival of those targeted by the Nazi regime is remarkable and must never be forgotten. In The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris retells the story of one such survivor: Slovakian Jew Lale Solokov. Lale was a tattooist at Auschwitz-Birkenau from 1942 until 1945 and his is just one of the many remarkable stories to come from this period.' (Introduction)

'The Tattooist Of Auschwitz' by Heather Morris Tali Lavi , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , March no. 399 2018; (p. 35)

— Review of The Tattooist of Auschwitz Heather Morris , 2018 single work novel

'Early on in this book, the fictional Lale Sokolov, based on the real man of that name who survived Auschwitz and its horrors to eventually live in suburban Melbourne, has his arm tattooed. Aghast, he laments, ‘How can someone do this to another human being?’ He wonders if, ‘for the rest of his life, be it short or long, he will be defined by this moment, this irregular number: 32407’. The story that follows explores this first theme by exposing the nadir of human depravity as represented by the Holocaust’s perpetrators, and refutes his second thought. Although given the loathsome function of the tattooist, Lale lives in opposition to the Nazi fantasy that Jews, Gypsies, and others could thus be reduced to their withered husks; his gestures of kindness and sacrifice flow endlessly towards his fellow inmates and his lifelong love, Gita.' (Introduction)

'The Tattooist Of Auschwitz' by Heather Morris Tali Lavi , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , March no. 399 2018; (p. 35)

— Review of The Tattooist of Auschwitz Heather Morris , 2018 single work novel

'Early on in this book, the fictional Lale Sokolov, based on the real man of that name who survived Auschwitz and its horrors to eventually live in suburban Melbourne, has his arm tattooed. Aghast, he laments, ‘How can someone do this to another human being?’ He wonders if, ‘for the rest of his life, be it short or long, he will be defined by this moment, this irregular number: 32407’. The story that follows explores this first theme by exposing the nadir of human depravity as represented by the Holocaust’s perpetrators, and refutes his second thought. Although given the loathsome function of the tattooist, Lale lives in opposition to the Nazi fantasy that Jews, Gypsies, and others could thus be reduced to their withered husks; his gestures of kindness and sacrifice flow endlessly towards his fellow inmates and his lifelong love, Gita.' (Introduction)

Heather Morris : The Tattooist of Auschwitz FL , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 10-16 February 2018;

'The story of Lale Sokolov’s three years in Auschwitz-Birkenau was recounted by him to Heather Morris, in Melbourne, as he neared the age of 90. Gita, his wife of almost 60 years, had recently died and Lale was eager, before he joined her, to tell his story, so that “It would never happen again.” Morris was introduced as a potential biographer.' (Introduction)

Love and Survival Ellen Cregan , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: Kill Your Darlings [Online] , February 2018;

'Stories from the Holocaust are some of the most enduring of the past century. One of the reasons for this is that they are all incredible – the resilience, strength and survival of those targeted by the Nazi regime is remarkable and must never be forgotten. In The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris retells the story of one such survivor: Slovakian Jew Lale Solokov. Lale was a tattooist at Auschwitz-Birkenau from 1942 until 1945 and his is just one of the many remarkable stories to come from this period.' (Introduction)

Book Sales up Marginally in 2018; Five Australian Titles in Top 10 2019 single work column
— Appears in: Books + Publishing News , January 2019;

'Book sales grew marginally in Australia in 2018, with like-for-like growth up 1.3% in volume and 1.4% in value on the previous year, according to Nielsen BookScan.'

y separately published work icon The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris Khadija Caffoor , Melbourne : CAE Book Group , 2019 16682088 2019 single work criticism
Fact-checking 'The Tattooist of Auschwitz' Wanda Witek-Malicka , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: Memoria , November no. 14 2018;
Assesses the accuracy of The Tattooist of Auschwitz's historical framework against the archival resources of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum: acknowledges that the work is fiction, but also notes that the account of an Auschwitz tattooist is unique, and argues for the need for a documentary approach to unique resources around the Holocaust.
Last amended 12 Dec 2019 12:57:21
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