Heather Morris’ novel based on a true story, “The Tattooist of Auschwitz,” was many things: a horrifying thriller, a romantic love story, a heroic tale of survival, and a commentary on a time in history when a leader and a nation attacked a people group as other, less-than, and inferior as justification for their extermination.
The story follows Lale and Gita, two Slovakian Jews, who find one another in Auschwitz-Birkenau, fall in love, and make a promise to survive, one day at a time, until the end of the war. Morris details the ugly atrocities committed by the Nazis and the SS. While it is both shocking and disturbing, Ms. Morris’ book is an important one to remember what happens when another human being, and in this case, an entire people group is degraded and viewed as less than human. There is no limit to the evil that the mind can devise to harm, kill and eliminate other people when it feels its justification is acceptable, or even moral.
I couldn’t put this book down. I found myself oftentimes weeping as I read. The book is both heartbreaking and triumphant in that despite the utter wickedness and hate and evil unleashed, there were survivors. Some people did make it. Some still overcame all of the horror of this place and time.
Ms. Morris’ writing was superb and her story was engaging. The character development and stream of consciousness from one person’s backstory to the other was done very well. I definitely recommend this to everyone. It is an important read to understand history and the human condition.