BY Cheryl Till

Even though this book is classed as a historical fiction, Lale Sokolov’s true and harrowing story upon which Heather Morris based The Tattooist of Auschwitz is one which everyone needs to read.

When Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, first arrived at Auschwitz he made a vow to himself that he would survive it. Fluently skilled in multiple languages, he was given the terrible job of numbering prisoners marked for survival by scratching and inking an ineffaceable symbol of the Holocaust onto their arms.

Despite having extra rations for himself, Lale put his own life at risk to help others survive, using the freedoms of movement his role allowed him to exchange money and jewels of murdered Jews for food to share with his fellow prisoners. Many owe him their survival, including Gita, whom he falls in love with at first sight. Against all odds, Lale persists in his fight to survive.

While there is some creative license expressed to fill in small blanks in the story, the truth of it is evident and paints a compelling picture of a heart-rending history that speaks for itself. Even though the use of present tense can make a disconcerting read at times, this absolute page turner is impossible to put down and definitely a must read for all.

American Animals