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.
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.)?