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  • Location: Auschwitz, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Melbourne

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Why a Booktrail?

1942: “I tattooed a number on her arm. She tattooed her name on my heart.”

  • ISBN: 978-1785763649
  • Genre: Biography/memoirs

What you need to know before your trail

In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival – scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.

Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale – a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer – it was love at first sight. And he was determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure this woman, Gita, did, too.

So begins one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust: the love story of the tattooist of Auschwitz.

Travel Guide


This is one of the most remarkable true stories you will ever read

Ludwig “Lale” Eisenberg was born to Jewish parents in Slovakia in 1916 decided to share his story. He died in 2006 but before he died he wanted to tell this most remarkable of stories.

Lale was taken to Auschwitz and became prisoner 32407 . He was soon set to work and was set to work like many others, constructing new housing blocks and fixing roof tops as the concentration camp expanded. He got sick and was then taken into the care of Pepan – Pepan was the tattooist of the camp and Lale soon became his assistant. The two became good friends.

This new role gave Lale new privileges. He got extra food and a bed. He would spend his days branding each of the new prisoners who were forced into the camp. When he got to prisoner 34902 life changed for ever. This was the number of the woman who would steal his heart. He now began looking after her in the camp and despite the odds, their relationship blossomed.

In 1945, Gita was selected to leave the camp when the Nazis began emptying it and dispersing the prisoners before the camp was liberated.

Lale also left and returned to his hometown of Krompachy in Czechoslovakia. He never forgot Gita and would sit at the railway station at Bratislava for weeks. This was the point at which many survivors from the camp would pass through on their way home.

He found her

They never left each other’s sides from that moment on despite having to flee Europe and move to Australia. They are no longer on this earth but there are together in heaven and their story lives on.


Booktrailer Review

Susan: h@thebooktrailer

This is by far the hardest book I’ve ever had to review. I’ve put off reviewing it as I hadn’t the first idea of how I would even try to give this book justice. When I think about it again, the tears flow, when I realise this is a true story the tears never stop. It’s heartbreaking yet heartwarming. Prove that wherever evil exists, human love and humanity will always shine through. A remarkable couple whose story will stay with me for ever.

Booktrail Boarding Pass: The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Destination: Auschwitz  Author/Guide: Heather Morris     Departure Time: 1942 onwards

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