The incredible story of the Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist and the woman he loved

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.

Watch the trailer

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.

Watch the trailer

Available in Paperback  |  1 February 2018  |  228pp

Heather Morris

Heather Morris is an Australian writer and social work administrator. For several years, while working in a large public hospital in Melbourne, she studied and wrote screenplays, one of which was optioned by an Academy Award-winning screenwriter in the US.

In 2003, Heather was introduced to an elderly man who ‘might just have a story worth telling’. The day she met Lale Sokolov changed both their lives, as their friendship grew and he embarked on a journey on self-scrutiny, entrusting the innermost details of his life during the Holocaust to her. Heather originally wrote Lale’s story as a screenplay – which ranked high in international competitions – before reshaping it into her debut novel, The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

WEBSITE: heathermorris.com.au

Extras

‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz has the quality of a dark fairytale. It is both simple and epic, shot through with compassion and love, but inescapably under the shadow of the most devouring monsters our civilisation has known. Everyone should read it.’

— Hugh Riminton – journalist, foreign correspondent, TV newsreader and author of Minefields

‘A powerful and redeeming love story set against a horrific background of unimaginable hate.’

— Pamela Wallace – Academy Award Winning screenwriter, Witness

‘Extraordinary – moving, confronting and uplifting… I recommend it unreservedly.’

— Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Project, The Rosie Effect, The Best of Adam Sharp, Two Steps Forward

‘Morris climbs into the dark miasma of war and emerges with an extraordinary tale of the power of love.’

— Leah Kaminsky, author of The Waiting Room

PROLOGUE

Lale tries not to look up. He reaches out to take the piece of paper being handed to him. He must transfer the five digits onto the girl who holds it. There is already a number there but it has faded. He pushes the needle into her left arm, making a 3, trying to be gentle. Blood oozes. But the needle hasn’t gone deep enough and he has to trace the number again. She doesn’t flinch at the pain Lale knows he’s inflicting. They’ve been warned – say nothing, do nothing.