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‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’s’ Jonah Hauer-King on the drama’s timeless message

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A heart-wrenching love story is at the center of the new limited series The Tattooist of Auschwitz, which tells the true story of a man and woman who managed to find love in one of the bleakest places on earth. All six episodes are out Thursday, May 2.


Jonah Hauer-King stars as title character of the series — one of several projects over the past year exploring various stories of the Holocaust — and tells ABC Audio these stories are “fertile ground for an examination of humanity, and we have so much to learn from it.”

“I don’t think we’ll ever truly process it or make sense of it. And I think that’s why there are all of these different responses to it,” he says.

“I don’t think there will be … an exhaustive retelling or a definitive retelling, because there are too many people involved. There are too many people that suffered and were affected,” he adds. “And so that’s going to spin off in a million different ways.”

Hauer-King hopes the series “[shines] a light on what can happen when humanity leaves us. And so I hope that it can be an advocate for love, and for humanity and ultimately for peace.”

Going to work every day in a recreated concentration camp was unsettling and surreal for Hauer-King, who says, “When you have these sets meticulously recreated and are looming over you and that’s your workplace every day, it would be ludicrous to suggest that it’s not going to have this really profound effect on you, because it is frightening and the associations of that — and it’s a very iconic, you know, frighteningly iconic image.”

The Tattooist of Auschwitz also stars Harvey Keitel and Melanie Lynskey.

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