What I Learned - The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
This beautifully written book based on a true story left me in tears and with a physical ache in my heart. The imagery is powerful and it really brings the horrors we have all learned about to life in a very human way. Ash rain. That will stay with me. I hadn't ever really thought about it before but when they were outside it rained ash from the crematorium fires on them. People murdered who did nothing wrong. This book is a must read and will stay with you forever.
What I Learned:
I'm fascinated by the Romani and their way of life, and I find it really hard to imagine these nomadic families being thrown into a place like Auschwitz and how they coped with that...and also how they were interacted with by the other camps. I will definitely be reading more about this.
This actually made me stop and catch my breath. People looking for, and finding, four leaf clovers within the fences of the concentration camps. Stop and really think about that.
One sentence that helps sum up so much horror.
Just so powerful. All he needed was that something to hang on to, to keep him going day after day after day. Maybe this is a good life lesson for us all.
None of us know for sure how long our "forever" is and we should really remember this more and make an effort to grab every moment with both hands and live every second of our lives.
These people were all heroes. Every single last one of them. The horrors were unimaginable and to keep going through all that, to want to keep going. I can't help but think it would of been easier to give up and give in to the seemingly inevitable. The bravery is indescribable.
Such a sweet passage. I love that Lale is remembering this interaction with his mother in amongst all the horror's happening around him.
Just crying. Powerful.
Again this is something else that fascinates me about the Romani ways. That real sense of community. And respect. If you've read this blog before you will know I have a fascination with the First Nations & Native American ways too, and this reflects that. I think it's something that the rest of is have lost somewhere along the way.
Just another powerful wee phrase that really makes you stop and think about everything that was lives through every single day for years in these camps.
I still think people don't fully appreciate everything that happened during this period in history. We know the stories on an intellectual level but do we really understand. I realised I didn't until I read this book and it made it real to me.
This reminds me of an incident with my daughter. They were learning about 9/11 in school and the atrocities of that particular day. We were talking about it and it suddenly dawned on me that she knew the facts but wasn't really "getting" it. The true horror of the day, of how it unfolded, of the people who were lost. So I made a decision. We sat and watch 102 Minutes that Changed America, a documentary shown in real time using news footage, mobile phone footage, and showing events as they happened, and as I remember watching them unfold on the day. It made it real. Not just a story. And she never thought about it in the same way again.
The survivors went through the horrific, came out the other side and could teach us a thing or two about how we should be living our lives, grateful for everything we have.
My Goodreads Review:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This life-changing one of a kind book gives a very human voice to the unimaginable brutalities that happened at Auschwitz and left me with a physical ache in my heart. Beautifully written with a gorgeous flow, but brutally difficult to read in places. It's not often I have to stop because I can't see the page for tears but it happened several times with this book.
This book should be on the curriculum as it really brings to life what happened on a day to day basis in that most barbaric of places. We all know the statistics but do we really understand it all until we read this book.
A must read for everyone.
Find Heather Morris online at:
My copy of The Tattooist of Auschwitz was published by Zaffre Publishing. Find them online at:
Thank you so much for checking out this review - if you enjoyed it please have a look at my complete list of What I Learned reviews.