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The World War II story of a Jewish man forced to tattoo fellow prisoners in Auschwitz was brought to life by author Heather Morris when she visited Beaconhills College students this week.
Ms Morris’ debut book The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on the life of Slovakian Jew Lale Sokolov, who met and fell in love with his future wife Gita amidst the horrors of the Holocaust.
Speaking to Year 11 History students at the Pakenham Campus, Ms Morris said interviewing Lale over three years was often confronting – particularly when he spoke of his direct dealings with the infamous Auschwitz doctor Josef Mengele. Mengele, aka the ‘Angel of Death’, was known for performing deadly human experiments on prisoners.
“There were so many horrifying facts and figures, but I wanted to distil the story down to two people,” Ms Morris said.” Lale and Gita were two ordinary people living in an extraordinary time.” The couple survived Auschwitz and eventually moved to Australia. Gita died in 2003, followed by Lale in 2006.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz is published by Bonnier Publishing. Ms Morris is now working on a sequel.
Heather Morris (right) signs her book for Beaconhills staff member Fiona O’Callaghan
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Vale Nigel Creese, AM
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Gate C, Syme Rd, Pakenham VIC 3810