Friday, June 29, 2018

Staff Review - The Tattooist of Auschwitz

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris was a wonderful book, not because of the horrific cruelty suffered in Auschwitz and other prison camps but because of the way Heather Morris told Lale's story.  It is written in a simple conversational style, with out great elaboration, which is a relief, as Lale tells of the daily hardship, terror, brutality, heart break and fear that accompanied all those who found them selves in one of these camps. Lale wanted this story to be told so that no one would be allowed to forget what happened to so many in the hope that it would not be allowed to happen again.  I loved that this story was written from first hand conversations with Lale in Melbourne shortly before he passed away and that Heather became a friend to Lale.  In the book Lale has to make very hard decisions, decisions that could dictate whether he lived or died.  Unlike so many he never gave up hope of surviving and living a happy life with Gita, a fellow prisoner.  Lale used his privileged position in the prison camp as the tattooer to enable him to help others by smuggling jewellery taken from murdered Jews in exchange for extra food which he always shared with those around him. If he'd been caught he surely would have been killed.  Even though this story is terrible I found Lale's unwavering courage and love of life uplifting, he really demonstrated the power of the human spirit that refuses to give up.  It is also a great love story.  In the most unlikely and awful circumstances love blossoms between Lale and Gita and eventually they end up not only surviving but making their way to Melbourne and a new way of life. Lale never stopped loving Gita and it was only when Gita passed away that the burden of their story became too much for Lale to carry alone and he had to share it.  I would highly recommend this book.

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