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The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Author:Heather Morris
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi
Tags: Australia, Sydney, Melbourne, Holocaust, Auschwitz, Birkenau, Jew, Jewish, Nazi, Germany, Second World War, World War II, gas chamber, crematorium, tattoo, tattooist, Slovakia, Poland, Final Solution, Mengele
ISBN: urn:ean:9781760403171
Publisher: Bonnier Publishing Australia
Published: 2017-11-27T06:06:36+00:00


Chapter 15

Lale walks determinedly from his block and across the compound. Two SS officers approach him, rifles at the ready. Without breaking step, he holds up his bag.

‘Politische Abteilung!’

The rifles lower and he passes without another word. Lale enters the women’s camp and heads immediately to Block 29, where he is met by the kapo, who leans against the building, looking bored. Her charges are away working. She doesn’t bother to move as he approaches her and takes from his bag a large block of chocolate. Having been warned by Baretski not to interfere in the relationship between the Tätowierer and prisoner 34902, she accepts the bribe.

‘Please bring Gita to me. I’ll wait inside.’

Stuffing the chocolate down her ample bosom and shrugging her shoulders, the kapo sets off to the administration building. Lale goes inside the barracks block, shutting the door behind him. He doesn’t have to wait long. A flash of sunlight – the door opens – tells him she has arrived. Gita sees him standing in the semi-dark, his head bowed.

‘You!’

Lale takes a step towards her. She steps back, hard up against the shut door, clearly distressed.

‘Are you all right? Gita, it’s me.’

He takes one step closer, and is shocked by her visible trembling.

‘Say something, Gita.’

‘You … you …’ she repeats.

‘Yes, it’s me, Lale.’ He takes hold of her two wrists and tries to hold them tightly.

‘Have you any idea what goes through your head when the SS come for you? Any idea at all?’

‘Gita …’

‘How could you? How could you let the SS take me?’

Lale is dumbfounded. He relaxes his grip on her wrists and she pulls free and turns away.

‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to frighten you. I just asked your kapo to have you brought here. I needed to see you.’

‘When someone is taken away by the SS, they are never seen again. Do you understand? I thought I was being taken to die, and all I could think of was you. Not that I might never see my friends again, not Cilka who watched me go and who must be so upset, but that I would never see you. And here you are.’

Lale is ashamed. His selfish need has caused his beloved this distress. Suddenly she runs at him with her fists raised. He reaches out to her as she crashes into him. She strikes him in the chest and tears stream down her face. Lale takes the hits until they subside. Then, slowly, he lifts her face, wiping away tears with his hand and attempting to kiss her. As their lips meet, Gita pulls away, glaring at him. He holds out his arms for her to come back to him. Seeing her reluctance, he lowers them. She runs at him again, this time knocking him back against a wall as she tries to tear his shirt off. Stunned, Lale holds her at arm’s length, but she will have none of it and pushes herself hard against him, kissing him violently. He lifts



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