This was a emotional and heartbreaking story based on the true story of Lale Sokolov a Jewish man who was taken in a cattle cart like many others in 1942 to Auschwitz-Birkenau. As the soul destroying sign above the entrance to Auschwitz goes “Arbeit Macht Frei” which mean “work makes you free”. Ha! Which if you think about it is a very sick joke… It was more like work or die or die because we feel like killing you because of your beliefs or sexual orientation … Gas chamber or rifle?
Lale was the “Tätowierer” which entailed tattooing the numbers on the left arms of all the new victims, that had the misfortune of stepping through those gates…
In his 3 years of being in Auschwitz-Birkenau he met a women when redoing her tattoo. Her name was Gita and in the mist of all the horrors that were going on around him, he still found joy in the world! He was determined to get out alive and make sure that Gita was with him!
Lale risked his life for a lot of things including smuggling jewels to pay outsiders for extra food, he saw things no human should ever see and helped his fellow prisoners!
The fact that this was based on a true story of a survoir made it even more terrifying, highlighting the true horrors of this part of human history!
I did think I would cry at some of the content but to be honest I was just shocked and lost for words at what this man saw…
I like the fact that at the end of the book Morris had pictures of Lale and Gita and there family after the horror was over! All the way through the book you were willing them to survive (you knew that Lale obviously did) but Gita it could of gone the other way! You really wanted the ending to be like a true fairy tail ending! Which when you read the end it is pretty damn close!
I have done a book review on the story teller by Jodi Picoult which was and had a pretty big rant about the Holocaust there so I will not do it again, I think I had said enough!
When I got to the end and was reading about what happened to some of the victims in the book I was shocked by one of the punishments that were given! A Jewish women did what she had to, to survive as she would have definitely been killed if she hadn’t! She received 15 years of hard labour in Siberia as they looked at it as Nazi conspirator. I did not agree with this, I can maybe see why they would think that, but maybe they should of put themselves in her shoes and maybe they would of done the same to survive. Not a lot of women could of done what she did and I for one thought it was extremely brave of her to do it! She also saved Lale’s life!
I don’t think enjoy is probably the right word considering the topic of the book but I did “enjoy” it! I definitely recommend that you read it! It truly is a love story forged by the need to survive! I don’t normally do soppy but in this case I’ll make an exception!
Lale and Gita passed on a far few years ago now but I do think this is a good book to remember them and the horror they went through!
One last thing I am going to leave you with is a quote that Lale’s mother use to say as I liked it “If you wake up in the morning, it is a good day”. Which I suppose in the case of holocaust victims was a good saying to go by because yes they would have had another day in hell….. But they had also survived to fight another day…
Thank you for reading!
On a side note I have set myself a challenge on Goodreads to read 40 books this year! I would love to achieve it so expect many more book reviews to come!
The book I have already dived into is Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult.