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The Tattooist of Auschwitz: A Novel

Unabridged Audio Book

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Richard Armitage

7 Hours 26 Minutes

HarperCollins Publishers

September 2018

Audio Book Summary

This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.

“The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an extraordinary document, a story about the extremes of human behavior existing side by side: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love. I find it hard to imagine anyone who would not be drawn in, confronted and moved. I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone, whether they’d read a hundred Holocaust stories or none.”—Graeme Simsion, internationally-bestselling author of The Rosie Project

In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.

Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.

One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.

A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.

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  • Ria P.

    Excellent story and narration.

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  • Alyssa P.

    Beautiful story. Captivating. I enjoyed the narrator as well.

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  • Tammy H.

    Wonderfully written and narrated story of love, struggle, brutality of war, human survival and miracles. The narrator was marvelous.

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  • Anonymous

    Book was engaging from beginning to ending! Hope and love in the midst of the most vile and evil. Great reminder of the things we should be thankful for on a daily basis!

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  • JILL V.

    Highly recommended

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  • Richard F.

    I loved the story from its opening chapter to the ending which was so moving and memorable. I did not know this was SPOIL ALERT this was a true story until the Author’s notes were read to me at the tail end of this novel. Now I feel even more for all those men and women that suffered and died in the concentration camps revealed in this audio book. I have always had a problem realizing how all humanity could be stripped away in a period when the world seemed to go mad and has now seemed to want to forget. This book tugs at your heart but gives the reader a greater understanding of how much pain these people endured. I give it five stars. I was never bored but clung to each chapter. I hope others will listen to this book and come away as moved as I did.

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  • Debbie J.

    Couldn’t quit listening. What a captivating, but eye opening story.

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  • Lgower2003

    This book is amazing! Such and incredible story. I loved it!!

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  • Anonymous


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  • Kathleen T.

    Unbelievable story of survival and love. Narration was amazing - variety of accents and voices making it feel like you were really listening to each character

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