From the Publishers:
In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.
One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.
A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.
There are many impactful and beautifully written stories about the Holocaust. This is one of them. Based on extensive interviews with Tatowierer Lale Sokolov, this is a gripping story about love for humanity, love for a woman and hope.
I used to watch these action movies and always think that I would probably be the first one to die because I am not sure I have the skills to not die in ultra violent situations of war, terrorism, random violence. But what struck me in this book is the amount of people, not just prisoners, but guards, who saw something in Mr. Sokolov and stepped forward for him, did favors for him and took care of him even though they knew they were probably not going to survive. He was smart. But he was also lucky. Although he was witness to the most horrific treatment of humans, he never stopped trying to live and trying to help people along the way. Perhaps through his story, trying to help other humans is a tool for survival and that is not about luck but about living.