Stars of ‘Tattooist of Auschwitz’ visit Holocaust Survivors Centre in Golders Green

The lead actors, director and executive producer of the upcoming Sky TV series met with Holocaust survivors on Thursday


Actors Jonah Hauer-King (Lali) and Anna Prochniak (Gita) met with Holocaust survivors at Jewish Care's Holocaust Survivors' Centre in Golders Green on 11 April 2024. (Photo: Adam Lawrence)

On Thursday, stars and producers of the upcoming Sky TV series The Tattooist of Auschwitz visited Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre (HSC) in Golders Green, where they shared a moving afternoon hearing the stories of survivors of the Shoah.

The TV series, based off the eponymous novel by Heather Morris, tells the real-life story of Slovakian Jewish prisoner Lali Sokolov, who was tasked with tattooing ID numbers on inmates at Auschwitz. Through interviews with Lali in his elder years, Morris tracked the central love story between Lali and fellow Jewish prisoner Gita Furman as they fought to keep one another alive.

Actors Jonah Hauer-King (Lali), Melanie Lynskey (Heather Morris), Anna Próchniak (Gita) and Jonas Nay (Officer Stefan Baretzki), along with executive producer Claire Mundell and director Tali Shalom-Ezer, heard the harrowing firsthand accounts of Holocaust survivors at the HSC ahead of the release of the six-part series on 2 May.

Ivor Weider, 92, shared traumatic memories from his time at Auschwitz, where he was deported from Romania at just 12 years old. Miram Freedman, 89, who survived the Holocaust by going into hiding as a child, shared with the cast that she also comes from Bratislava in Slovakia, where Lali came from, and felt a strong connection to his story.

Following the visit, Holocaust survivor and centre member, Ivor Perl BEM, 92, who was taken at the age of 12 from Hungary to Auschwitz-Birkenau, said: “After all these years and with all that’s happening in the world today regarding acceptance of other people, it’s been an honour to meet some of the actors, the director and producer and I wish them all the best of luck with this project.”

HSC outreach coordinator Sarah-Jane Burstein added: “It was our great privilege to host the cast and key creatives from the series. It was an incredibly memorable, moving and unique encounter for everyone involved. Survivors spoke openly about their deeply harrowing experiences in Auschwitz.

“The conversation and exchange were empowering for everyone involved, as we listened to the group of young actors who have taken on their roles in this production with such sensitivity and deep responsibility to ensure these stories are never forgotten.”

More than 250 Holocaust survivors and refugees are supported by Jewish Care at the HSC, which is the only centre in the UK devoted solely to the care of Holocaust survivors.

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