The publishers blurb really doesn’t give you the feel of this book. The sheer determination of Lale to survive the horrors of Auschwitz. He saw men, women and children murdered by ‘soldiers’, sometimes just for looking at them. He witnessed the ovens and the slaughter of thousands, and suffered beatings and starvation himself.
Lale was told he would be the assistant to the tattooist, the man who etched the numbers into everyone. When he ‘disappeared’, Lale took over and this earned him some privileges, such as they were. He managed to sneak jewellery to some locals not in the camp, for food and he shared this with his fellow captives. He must have kept so many more alive doing this at great risk to himself.
He met Gita and amidst all that horror, they fell in love and somehow they both managed to survive.
This is a harrowing read, more so because it’s based on a true story, but the humanity of those imprisoned, shows there is still love and kindness in the darkest of times and it will prevail. It gives hope to us all. A fascinating and heartbreaking read.