Is The Tattooist of Auschwitz based on a true story?

The Tattooist of Auschwitz premieres on Peacock in May 2024. We know this series is based on a book, but is it based on a true story as well?

Harvey Keitel as Lali Sokolov seen in his apartment in Melbourne.
Harvey Keitel as Lali Sokolov seen in his apartment in Melbourne. /
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There are many shows and books set during World War II. Many of them are works of fiction based around a few true events. Is that the case for The Tattooist of Auschwitz?

The series is based on a book by Heather Morris. It will be released on Peacock as a binge-watch release in May, and those who are ready to see the series want to know if there is any truth to this story. After all, it’s important that we keep the Holocaust memory alive to avoid repeating it, and the best way to do that is through the retelling of true events.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz book is classed as fiction

The story itself is classed as fiction. However, Heather Morris makes it clear that she wrote the story based on interviews she had with Lale Solokov before his death at the age of 90 in 2006. He was able to share his story with her after the death of his wife, Gita, in 2003.

Lale and Gita are the main characters in The Tattooist of Auschwitz. Lale was sent to the concentration camp under the Nazi regime and was forced to tattoo the new inmates. Everyone was given a number instead of a name as a way to remove their identities. It was there that he met Gita, and the two ended up falling in love.

Lale tells the story to Morris about how the two defied the odds at the concentration camp. They looked out for each other to make sure neither was sent to their deaths. After the War, they were able to be together and they married and lived full lives until Gita’s death in 2003.

There are elements of the story that aren’t real, and Morris has explained this. The events that aren’t real are more for an emotional part of the story rather than to twist the facts. One of the moments she explains is that Lale and Gita weren’t together when the American planes flew over the concentration camp, but she puts them together in the book. A good 95% of the book is based on true events.

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz premieres on Peacock on Thursday, May 4.