Ahoy there me mateys! Though this log’s focus is on sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult, this Captain does have broader reading tastes. So occasionally I will share some novels that I enjoyed that are off the charts (a non sci-fi, fantasy, or young adult novel), as it were. I received this non-fiction eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .
the tattooist of auschwitz (Heather Morris)
Title: the tattooist of auschwitz
Author: Heather Morris
Publisher: Bonnier Publishing Australia / Echo
Publication Date: Available Now! (hardback/ebook)
In 2016, according to this Time magazine article, there were about 100,000 Holocaust survivors still alive. In 2014, there were 500,000. So how many are there in 2018? I couldn’t find the numbers. But what I do know is that we will soon be in an era where there are no first person witnesses. That is why books like this continue to be important and why I continue to read them. To keep the memories alive and honor the victims of the tragedy. When there are ridiculous people trying to deny the impact of the Holocaust or say it never happened with living proof, I shudder to think what will happen when all the survivors are gone.
Also with many survivor’s reticence to talk about their Holocaust stories, every one is precious. With each one that is told there are millions that have that have been lost. Within these true stories ye get to see human ingenuity, human kindness, and above all, love in horrible situations. Some people do break. Some survive. All matter.
This novel details the experiences of Lale Sokolov who was a tattooist at Auschwitz, found love in the camps, and survived to make a life outside afterwards He only chose to tell this story after the loss of his beloved wife in 2003. I won’t say much about the plot because me words don’t do it justice. But this book is important that I am honored and humbled that Lale shared his story.
So lastly . . .
Thank you Bonnier Publishing Australia / Echo!
Side note:much thanks to Inge @ thebelgianreviewer for making me aware of this book’s existence. Check out her review here!
EDIT as of 2/12/19: Kate @ booksaremyfavouriteandbest discussed how there have been some dispute about the accuracy of this “true” story. To read the aritcle by the Auschwitz Memorial Research Center click here!
Netgalley’s website has this to say about the novel:
Lale Sokolov is well-dressed, a charmer, a ladies’ man. He is also a Jew. On the first transport from Slovakia to Auschwitz in 1942, Lale immediately stands out to his fellow prisoners. In the camp, he is looked up to, looked out for, and put to work in the privileged position of Tätowierer- the tattooist- to mark his fellow prisoners, forever. One of them is a young woman, Gita, who steals his heart at first glance.
His life given new purpose, Lale does his best through the struggle and suffering to use his position for good.
This story, full of beauty and hope, is based on years of interviews author Heather Morris conducted with real-life Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz- Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov. It is heart-wrenching, illuminating, and unforgettable.
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