The Tattooist of Auschwitz: Heather Morris


Heather Morris’ The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a fictionalization of the true story of survival, resilience, and love within the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration camp.

Content Warning

Please take caution while reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz if any of the following topics may trigger you:

  • Sexual assault
  • Abuse
  • Child abuse
  • Self-harm / suicide
  • Starvation
  • Violence
  • Death / dying
  • Blood
  • Racism
  • Antisemitism

My Thoughts

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is a harrowing story of survival, and of making the best of a horrible situation, and these are the aspects of the story that I gravitated toward. I very much appreciated knowing that this was (at least based on) a true story – that these people existed and survived and loved. The perspective of World War II from within a concentration camp was compelling.

While this is a fascinating story that I devoured – I read it in one day-, the writing really missed the mark for me. There was such little emotion in this story, in the writing, and in the relationships, trials, and tribulations. I was very surprised by this, as the setting and subject matter are some of the most emotion-inducing in history.

The writing just felt completely disjointed from the topic being written about. I would have loved a fuller story that really embraced the emotions that must have been running high in these peoples’ real lives. This felt more like a textbook, emotion-wise; it told the facts in a very no-nonsense way.

Other than the lack of emotion, I really did find this to be a compelling, interesting read. It was definitely worth the time it took to read, and if you’re particularly interested in World War II, this may resonate with you more. A solid story lacking an organic emotional connection, I liked The Tattooist of Auschwitz but can only imagine that there are far more heart-rending stories of the time period out there.

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts on The Tattooist of Auschwitz. I would love to hear your thoughts on the novel in the comments or at my Instagram, @bookmarkedbya!

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