Ludwig ("Lale") Sokolov was sent to Auschwitz-Berkinau in April of 1942, and after his facility with languages was apparent he was set to work as a "Tatowierer" for the Nazis tattooing numbers on new arrivals at the camps. Shortly thereafter, he met Gita, another prisoner who worked in the administration building. Doing whatever they could to survive, Lale and Gita helped other prisoners by smuggling food and medicine, all the while realizing they could be killed at any moment by the guards. As the years went by and the Russians approached, the camp became more and more chaotic, with the Germans frantically trying to cover what atrocities they had been a part of. Heather Morris, a screenwriter, met the real Lale who wanted to tell his story to the world after his beloved Gita died. This fictionalized novel brings the characters to life, even the chilling Dr. Mengele, and the horrors faced daily by those imprisoned who did whatever they had to to survive.