”Tattooist in Auschwitz”
Trans. Tomas Håkanson
Nona, 270 pages
There will still be new testimony from the second world war, concentration camps, and among the more quirky is the ”Tattooist in Auschwitz”, who made a success in the English speaking part of the world. It is about Lale Sokolov, a man who has long kept quiet about his background, because he was afraid of how the surroundings would react. In Auschwitz, he had been the one who tattooed in the numbers on prisoners ' arms, thus one of those who collaborated with the nazis.
It was then, when he tattooed the prisoners, as he met his future wife, Gita. He tattooed her, and was immediately in love. An unlikely love story with a happy ending, when the couple survived and moved to Australia after the war. Finally told Sokolov to its history for Heather Morris, who thought to make his story into a screenplay, but for different reasons instead, and wrote a novel.
the story, even if it is easily readable, concrete and konstlöst narrated in the present tense. Lale Sokolov is a charmer who is deported to Auschwitz and find a way to survive as a tattoo artist. Soon he begins to even smuggle in food, which he buys by the poles. He pays with jewelry and jewels lägerfångarna been forced to disgorge and distribute the food to those who need it, particularly of course to Gita and her friends. When one of them becomes ill, he manages to obtain penicillin.
it sounds a little strange. Penicillin? So early?? In Sweden were treated for the first time, someone with the penicillin first, in 1944. It sounds even stranger to Heather Morris, who interviewed Lali Sokolov during the three years, consistently spells his name wrong in the book. He was named Lali, is not the Lale. Gitas lägernummer, which is mentioned time and again, doesn't seem to match the reality.
For all the part. Memory plays tricks on us, and probably particularly in such a vulnerable position. In addition, was he Ludwig Eisenberg at the time, Lali Sokolov, which changed its name after the war.
to his smuggling in Auschwitz would have led to death, if he had been discovered. The fear of being found out must have continued after the war, collaborators were sentenced hard. A friend of his wife spent several years in prison after the war, because she had to be mistress to a German officer in the camp.
this makes ”the Tattooist in Auschwitz,” interesting, and deepens the image of the camps by telling the story of those who devoted themselves to correct questionable activities. The image of the Lale Sokolov changing all the time: he seems to have earned good on all of its shops, but also have done a lot of good for other prisoners, Lali/Lale. Or was he just a skilled fellow, who managed to keep well with both sides?