Finding love amid the horror — Jewish Renaissance

Is it possible to create a believable love story in a setting as hellish as Auschwitz? Barney Pell Scholes talks to the team behind the drama The Tattooist of Auschwitz to find out…

Although Heather Morris’s book The Tattooist of Auschwitz was a huge international bestseller when it was published in 2018, debate continues to rumble over its historical accuracy. Now, a new television adaptation for Sky attempts to tackle this head-on. For director Tali Shalom Ezer, “perhaps more than anything else, the show is about memory”.

The drama, which will be shown over six episodes, is based on the memories of the real-life Lali Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew who was sent to Auschwitz. After becoming a camp tätowierer (tatooist) Lali fell in love with Gita, later his wife, when he tattooed her prisoner number onto her arm. The series depicts the recently widowed Lali, now in his 80s (played by Harvey Keitel) recounting his story to aspiring author Morris (Melanie Lynskey). “It was even more interesting how this story unfolds so many years later, when he’s sharing his stories,” says Shalom Ezer.

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