The tattooist of Auschwitz


Title: Auschwitz Tattoo

Author: Hedermoris

Translator: Sara Hosseini Moeini

Publisher: Backpack

Subject: English story

Age category: Adult

Cover: Paperback

Number of pages: 264 p

Language: Farsi



The tattooist of Auschwitz is a true, shocking and, of course, romantic story from World War II and, as its title suggests, takes place in the Auschwitz concentration camp. The book’s author, Heather Morris, visited Lali two or three times a week to write the book, which took three years.

Heather Morris, the author of the book, is from New Zealand and has worked and studied at Melbourne Public Hospital for many years. He, who also wrote the screenplay, met an old man in 2003 who “may have a story worth telling.” The book’s meeting with Heather Morris and Lali Sokolov and the author’s study of the details of the Holocaust led to the book.

Auschwitz tattoo book is the story of two ordinary people who lived in an unusual time. An era in which not only were they deprived of their liberty, but their dignity, name and identity were also taken away from them.

This book is a narration of what Lali did for her survival. During all the hardships, Lali continued to live with this slogan: If you wake up in the morning, it is a miracle.

The author of the book, who became close friends after many meetings with Lali and even their lives were intertwined, writes about the story of Lali’s life:

As the narrator of Lali’s story, what was important to me was to show how memories and history sometimes dance together and sometimes separate to provide not one lesson in history that is so exemplary, but a unique lesson in the world of humanity. Lali’s memoirs were very accurate and clear overall, and they were consistent with my research on people, dates, and places, and it relieved me.

Many books and novels have been written about World War II as well as life in concentration camps. The Auschwitz tattoo can be considered one of these simple but shocking books. In the meantime, the book If This Is Human is one of the best books that Primo Levy has written in this field.

Auschwitz tattoo book
In April 1942, in the midst of World War II, Lali’s sister, Sokolov, returned home with a poster that read: Every Jewish family must nominate one of their children over the age of 18 to work for the German government. If there are conditions or not, the whole family will be sent to a labor camp. As a result of this announcement, Lali is willing to surrender to save her family.

We soon realize the dire situation of Lali. Nothing is normal. In the carriage that takes them to an unknown place, fear waves and there is not even a place to sit.

After a while, they are unloaded at Auschwitz. Where on its iron gate is written this text: work liberates. And this is the only lesson for prisoners. They have to work hard to be free!

A dark pink brick building with large windows appears in the distance. Men move with difficulty. Around the entrance are trees full of spring blossoms.

As Lali walks through the iron gate, she raises her head and looks at the German words engraved on the iron: work frees. He does not know where he is or what he is going to do, but it would seem like a joke to release him.

At Auschwitz, Lali becomes responsible for tattooing identification numbers on the hands of newly arrived prisoners due to his ingenuity and survival instinct. The numbers in the camp take away the identity of each person and will henceforth be known only by the same number.

Being tattooed at Auschwitz provides him with more opportunities such as more rations and a more comfortable life, but Lali bravely shares his extra rations with other inmates and even provides them with medicine and food outside the camp to provide medicine and food. In a place full of fear, horror and darkness, become a beacon of hope.

But the story of the book is formed from the place where he meets the love of his life, Gita, in the same camp and experiences love very quickly. In fact, it was the power of love and hope for liberation that made them endure all those horrible events and survive.

Lali tries not to raise her head. He extends his hand, takes the piece of paper that the girl is holding towards him. A five-digit number is written on it that he must pass to the girl. There is already a number that has disappeared. He inserts the needle into the girl’s left hand and gently engraves the number 3.

Blood is coming out, but the needle has not yet sunk deep, so it has to pull on the number again. The girl suffers, but does not back down. Lali knows what pain he is inflicting on her. They have been warned: Do not say anything, do nothing. Lali cleans the blood and rubs green ink on the wound.

“Hurry up!” Whispers Pepan.

Lali has been around for a long time. It is one thing to tattoo a man’s hand, it is another to injure a girl’s body. Looking up, a man in a white coat walks slowly past the girls. Every few minutes, he stops to examine the face and body of a terrified young girl. It finally reaches Lali.

Lali held the girl’s hand as gently as she could. The man takes the girl’s face in his hand and violently turns it back and forth. Lali looks into the girl’s frightened eyes; The girl wants to say something, but Lali squeezes her hand tightly to stop her. The girl looks at him and Lali says, “Hush!” The man leaves the girl’s face and walks away.

Lali says to the girl under her breath: “Well done!” And he starts tattooing four more figures: 4902. When he is done, he holds her hand a little longer and looks into the girl’s eyes again. They smile at him faintly; The girl responds with a faint smile, though her eyes dance in front of Lali.

Looking into the girl’s eyes, it is as if Lali’s heart stops and for the first time it beats so hard, it beats as if it wants to come out of her chest at any moment. He looks down and the ground swings under his feet. Another piece of paper is stretched out towards him.

“Lali! Lani!” hurry up.”

When Lali raises her head, the girl is gone.

About his book Auschwitz Tattoo
The book is the story of Lali Sokolov, a Slovak Jew at the Auschwitz camp in 1942 during World War II, who falls in love with Gita, a newcomer to the camp. The story is based on the real life of Lali Sokolov and his wife Gita Forman and has received numerous reviews.

Lali Sokolov is one of thousands of detainees in the Auschwitz camp who are given the task of tattooing newcomers on their forearms. He suddenly looks at Gita, one of the hundreds of prisoners standing in line for a tattoo, and falls in love with her at a glance. [3]

Some audiences praised the author for his fascinating and influential story based on historical facts, but the Auschwitz Memorial Research Center criticized it for its inaccuracy, believing that historical narratives were misrepresented in the novel.

The novel has been one of the best-selling works of world literature and according to media reports, as of October 2019, it has sold more than three million copies worldwide.

The tattooist of Auschwitz novel falls into the genre of Holocaust fiction. Using simple and short sentences from a third person perspective, the author tries to narrate historical events in a narrative context. This novel also uses elements of the romantic genre.

Auschwitz tattoo also falls into the biographical genre. The novel is based on the real life events of Lali Sokolov and reflects the circumstances she and other characters in the story went through.

Lali, originally named Ludwig Eisenberg, was born on October 28, 1916 in Slovakia. He was transferred to Auschwitz on April 23, 1943, and had the number 32407 tattooed on his forearm.

Gita, originally known as Gizella (Forman), was born on March 11, 1925, in Vrano nad Teplio, Slovakia. He was transferred to Auschwitz on April 13, 1942, with the number 34902 tattooed on his forearm, and in July of that year, after being transferred from Auschwitz to Birkenau, he was tattooed again. Lali’s parents, Joseph and Irena Eisenberg, were transferred to Auschwitz on March 26, 1942 (when).

Investigations revealed that they never understood this. The case took place after Lali Wood Lali’s death from June 16 to July 10, 1944, in a prison unit and under torture by Jakob. No one survived or was rescued after entering the unit. Gita died on October 3, 2003 and Lali on October 31, 2006.

The tattooist of Auschwitz novel has been translated into 47 languages ​​by 2019. This work has been translated into Persian for the first time by Chatrang Publishing with the translation of Fereshteh Shayan. Other translations of this work by Mina Amiri and Soodabeh Qaisari have also been presented. Also one of these translations into Slovak is Lali’s mother tongue.

The Auschwitz tattoo is New Zealand author Heather Morris’s first novel. He had written the screenplay before creating the novel. The narrative formation process is also based on the author’s numerous conversations with the narrator and protagonist Lali Sokolov, and so numerous notes from the narrator’s memoirs eventually led to Auschwitz tattooed novel.

The story is based on historical narratives, but experts at the Auschwitz Memorial Center critique some of the claims and data presented in the narrative. A review published in the Australian Journal of Jewish Studies also states that the author’s full confidence in his conversations with Lali Sokolov has simplified Auschwitz and its catastrophes, limiting Auschwitz’s understanding of reality.

The author of the book explains in a note at the end of the book that Lali decides to write her life story after her husband’s death, and constantly warns Heather Morris that she wants to write faster because she does not have time! When Heather Morris asks Lally: How much time does she have and does she want to go somewhere? Lali answers: I have to go to Gita.

Auschwitz Tattoo is an overview of love, life, hope and sacrifice. A story full of love and compassion in a time full of sorrow, horror and human cruelty, which is also written in a simple and psychological way. Literally not a very good book (compared to other books in the field) but as Lali himself pointed out: it is a story that may be worth telling.

The text on the back cover of The tattooist of Auschwitz:

If they are young and healthy, they will be sent to forced labor, otherwise they will go to gas chambers and incinerators. During his two-and-a-half years in captivity at Auschwitz, Lali witnessed the most horrific atrocities and atrocities, as well as the courage of the people, who could face death at any moment. It is in this camp that he meets a girl named Gita and falls in love with her at first sight.

Excerpts from Heather Morris’s book
That night in Block 7, men gather in small groups to share what they have learned and ask each other questions. Some go to the bottom of the block to pray. This scene is difficult to understand.

Why do they pray: for their beliefs, for revenge, or for guidance? According to Lali, the body of a rabbi who guides them, each prays for what is most important to him. He comes to this conclusion; Everything is as it should be. Goes between groups and listens to them; But he does not participate in their discussions.

Lali has been around for a long time. It is one thing to tattoo a man’s hand, it is another to injure a girl’s body. Looking up, a man in a white coat walks slowly past the girls.

Every few minutes, he stops to examine the face and body of a terrified young girl. It finally reaches Lali. Lali held the girl’s hand as gently as she could.

The man takes the girl’s face in his hand and violently turns it back and forth. Lali looks into the girl’s frightened eyes; The girl wants to say something, but Lali squeezes her hand tightly to stop her. The girl looks at him and Lali says, “Hush!” The man leaves the girl’s face and walks away.

Although the area is buried in snow and mud and the air is biting cold, Lali is fresh. today is Sunday. Lali and Gita will be brave people who will walk in the yard hoping for a short meeting, verbal or hand touch.

He bends down slowly and picks the flower. Tomorrow he will find a way to give this flower to Gita. He returns to his room and, before falling into a deep, restful sleep, lays his precious flower on the bed, but when he wakes up the next morning, he sees that the petals have been plucked and have fallen beside the black center of the withered flower. Only death flows in this place.

The coming months will bring bad events. Prisoners die in a variety of ways: from illness, malnutrition, and frostbite; Several people committed suicide with electric fences, and some were shot dead by watchtowers before reaching the fences. Gas chambers and incinerators work non-stop. Lali and Leon tattoo parks are full of countless people being brought to Birkenau and Auschwitz.

Lali lasts until the next day. He does his job of collecting corpses and helping to transport one of the dead to the camp. He hates himself more than sympathizing with the dead man, thinking about the pain the body has caused him. What is happening to me?

Lali and her new companion spend three days and nights on ruined roads and bombed-out cities. When they reach the broken stairs, they inevitably fall into the water. They carry a lot of people on their journey. Lali saves on the diet they are given. He feels deep sorrow for his broken family. At the same time, he longs to see Gita, that is enough for him to have hope for the future. Must appear. Has promised him.

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