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The secret love story of a holocaust prisoner known as the 'Tattooist of Auschwitz' and his wife - a woman he was forced to ink at the horrific concentration camp - has been revealed for the first time in a new book.
Lale Sokolov - born Ludwig 'Lale' Eisenberg to Jewish parents in Slovakia in 1916 - met his wife Gita Fuhrmannova when he tattooed the identification number '34902' on her skin at Auschwitz in 1942.
Camp - Letters - SS - Guard - Meetings
While in the camp, they smuggled each other letters through an SS guard and had secret meetings by her block before they were separated upon release.
It wasn't until weeks later that they were reunited in Bratislava, where they wed in 1945 before fleeing to Australia to live out the rest of their lives.
Sokolov - Stories - Time - Auschwitz - Secret
Sokolov kept the stories of his time in Auschwitz secret for more than 50 years, until he told them to writer Helen Morris in the three years before he died in 2006.
Now, in the writer's new book, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Morris tells how Sokolov met wife, Gita, and how they came to live in Australia after World War II.
Sokolov - Auschwitz - Nazis - Death - Camp
Sokolov was taken to Auschwitz - the Nazis' biggest death camp - in 1942 when he was 26 years old.
He contracted typhoid shortly after his arrival and was taken care of by the man who had tattooed his camp number, 32407, on his arm.
Frenchman - Wing - Trade - Assistant
The Frenchman took him under his wing by teaching him the trade and made him into his assistant.
Eventually, Sokolov was made into the main tattooist, partly because he spoke several languages, including Slovakian, German, Russian, French, Hungarian and Polish.
Tattooist - Political - Wing - SS - Hundreds
As the tattooist, he worked in the Political Wing of the SS and tattooed hundreds of thousands of prisoners. A guard was assigned to look after him at all times.
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