My favourite book: the tattooist of Auschwitz

I recommend this book to anyone that is old enough to have studied World War II at school. It isn’t a book for the weak hearted, I will warn you – but I think it is something that people should be aware of. Most people only know of the famous literary work: The Diary of Anne Frank. This book is from another person’s perspective. He is of a different age, gender and viewpoint entirely. The tattooist of Auschwitz really is a one of a kind. I found it so hard to believe that someone lived through these events, it was almost like a work of fiction. And the voice of the main character, Lale simply enthralled me. It was like I was being told a story from a family friend. The emotions, the knowledge the survival instincts. I am left full of respect for both the characters and the author.

I found it incredibly hard to pick a book for this article. ‘My favourite book’ is there even such a thing? Some books are better than others but the idea of one book trumping all others is too hard of a concept for me. It depends on my mood, my interests at the time, how my day has been, what I’m doing in my life. Some days my favourite book is a romance, other days a horror, it’s always changing. But ‘The tattooist of Auschwitz’, it hit home that’s for sure. It made me feel a range of emotions. It is something that I could read again and again and still each emotion will feel as heavy weighted as the first time I read the book. Maybe because it is based on real events, maybe because the author is incredibly talented or maybe because the idea of Lale being a real person is a thought that fills me with joy for the human race. This is a man that did what he had to do, and some of what he did is stuff that no one could ever be proud of, but he held his breath and pushed through and still helped as many as he could in the process. I think the main reason why I chose this book is because it shows you what it truly means to be human. It’s a shame that Lale discovered true humanity within himself under such horrible situations, but at the same time this book will help people understand and learn. It’s a way for past mistakes to never be repeated and it’s a way to acknowledge what we have done and also that not everything is in black and white.

The penmanship showed by the author is astounding, there is no over exaggeration, if anything I personally think the author under-exaggerated the horrors that Lale faced, but this just heightens the emotions. Knowing that the events were worse than what is written. It’s a very clever writing trick. Allowing my own knowledge of the events to add to the story. It’s hard to write about such sensitive topics, especially when writing on the behalf of someone else. I would like to recommend this book to everyone, for them to read it at some point in their lives, whenever they feel ready to fully understand one man’s desperate situation in a cruel world. It took me a day to read this book. A war that lasted for years took me a day to finish reading. That on its own, says a lot about how good this novel is. Don’t be intimidated. You won’t regret it.

 

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By: Natasha Blackmore
Natasha is a shy, small village girl who somehow found her way to living in Wuxi. While getting used to the sounds and experiences of life in a city she is also on a hunt for the best cup of tea China has to offer!