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Get personal with Heather Morris
Heather Morris' first screenplay was optioned by Academy Award winning writer Pamela Wallace (Witness). The Tattooist of Auschwitz was originally written as a screenplay. Inspired by competition readers, Heather embarked on a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to self-publish her story as a novel. From there she came to the attention of Bonnier Publishing in Australia.
Did you know?
The Tattooist of Auschwitz is being adapted into a television drama miniseries. The project is currently underway, with plans for the miniseries to be broadcast in January 2020 to line up with the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
1. How did you feel about Lale when he was first introduced, as he arrived in Auschwitz? How did your understanding of him change throughout the novel?
2. What qualities did Lale have that influenced the way he was treated in the camp? Where did those qualities come from?
3. Survival in the camp depended on people doing deeds of questionable morality. Lale became the tattooist, but how did Gita’s choices affect her survival? What about her friend who befriended a Nazi?
4. Inmates in the concentration camp had to make life-or-death decisions every day. Why did some make the "right" decisions and survive while others did not?
5. Discuss some of the small acts of humanity carried out by individuals in The Tattooist of Auschwitz. How did these small acts of kindness have greater implications? Did it make you reconsider what you believe to be brave or heroic? Did this make you think differently about the impact of your own everyday actions?
6. The Tattooist of Auschwitz makes clear that there were also non-Jewish prisoners in the camp. How did the treatment of Jews differ from that of non-Jews? How did differences manifest themselves?
7. Had Gita and Lale met in a more conventional way, would they have developed the same kind of relationship? How did their circumstances change the course of their romance?
8. In what ways were the relationships between Gita and her friends different from the usual friendships between teenage girls? In what ways were they similar?
9. In what ways was Lale a hero? In what ways was he an ordinary man?
10. Lale faced danger even after the camp was liberated. How did his experiences immediately after liberation prepare him for the rest of his life?
11. How does The Tattooist of Auschwitz change your perceptions about the Holocaust in particular, and war in general? What implications does The Tattooist of Auschwitzs this book hold for our own time?
(Questions issued by the publisher.)?
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The Tattooist of Auschwitz by
Publication Date: 2018-09-04
A beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage 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. 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 Wedding in Auschwitz by
Publication Date: 2010-04-01
This extraordinary novel is based on a true story of the love between Rudi and Marga. Rudi Friemel fights for the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. When the Republican Front collapses, he is interned in France. In 1941, the German prisoners are offered the choice of repatriation, which Rudi agrees to. He and Marga are briefly re-united, and a child is conceived, before he is taken to a Gestapo prison in Vienna, and then onto Auschwitz. Marga and Edi (their son) are left behind in southern Germany. In Auschwitz, Rudi Friemel is privileged. He's given work as a car mechanic, his days are spent servicing the vehicles of the SS. He petitions to be allowed to marry Marga and make his son legitimate. Eventually his petition is granted - no one knows why. Rudi's wife and child are brought to Auschwitz, his father and brother come from Vienna. The officials who normally spend all their time registering the deaths now register a marriage. And the camp band plays.
The Butterfly and the Violin by
Publication Date: 2014-07-15
Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl--a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes. In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover--the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul--who may be the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting's subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron. A darling of the Austrian aristocracy of 1942, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire. As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: the grim camps of Auschwitz and the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.
Lilac Girls by
Publication Date: 2016-04-05
New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline's world is forever changed when Hitler's army invades Poland in September 1939--and then sets its sights on France. An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement.One false move can have dire consequences. For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. But she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power. The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents--from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland--as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.