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Ludwika: A Polish Woman's Struggle To Survive In Nazi Germany

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  921 ratings  ·  121 reviews
It’s World War II and Ludwika Gierz, a young Polish woman, is forced to leave her family and go to Nazi Germany to work for an SS officer. There, she must walk a tightrope, learning to live as a second-class citizen in a world where one wrong word could spell disaster and every day could be her last. Based on real events, this is a story of hope amid despair, of love amid ...more
Paperback, 242 pages
Published December 2nd 2015 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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Bill Ward
Dec 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There is no doubt that the second world war provides a backdrop for an author to tell a great story. This author uses the war to tell the story of Ludwika and her family. Ludwika is Polish and has a very tough experience throughout the war. What I loved about this book was that the author manages to convey the terrible events and tragedy of the war not by describing huge battles or the big political decisions but by focusing on this one woman and her personal experiences. Through Ludwika we unde ...more
Ludwika: A Polish Woman's Struggle To Survive In Nazi Germany is a historical novel written by Christoph Fischer. The author based this novel on the actual life and experiences of Ludwika Gierz. This is a touching narrative that pulls on your heartstrings. It is realistic and entirely gripping throughout. I wasn't sure what this book was about but it had me hooked from the beginning with the author's style of writing. Mr. Fischer manages to share a different angle of World War II and this specif ...more
Grant Leishman
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2016
I have been wanting to read a Christoph Fischer for quite some time now as I was aware of the positive buzz his books had received in Social Media. I was thrilled to have the chance to read his latest offering; Ludwika.

Based on the true life of a Polish woman struggling to survive in Nazi Germany, Ludwika is touching and at times heart-rending. Although there is little doubt that Ludwika had a much easier war than many other refugees or internees of the Nazi war machine, it was certainly not a w
Erin Riley
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This is the first Christoph Fischer book I've read, and it completely blew me away. Ludwika is a young Polish woman living on a farm on the cusp of WWII, doing her best to keep her mother, sister, and daughter safe while awaiting her father's return. Her beauty attracts the attention of a German soldier, leading to a proposal with far-reaching consequences: he wants Ludwika to come with him to Germany in exchange for the continued safety of her family in Poland. She makes the decision she f ...more
Mark Tilbury
Although some parts of this book are fictional, it tells the story of Ludwika, a woman whose life during and after WW2 is used to base the story on. It tells a different perspective of wartime events and people, but ultimately is a excellently written tale of survival and hope.

The decisions made by Ludwika and their consequences are well explained. The author obviously put a lot of time and effort into researching the factual elements of the book. The fictional parts also blended in the facts se
Robbie Cheadle
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ludwika was a fascinating story of a Polish woman’s journey from her home on a farm in rural Poland to various places in Germany. It is based on a real person and includes many well researched details about her life.

I did not know that much about the plight of the Polish people when Germany invaded Poland in October 1939. It was quite an eye opener for me to discover how difficult it was for the Poles during the war. Previous WWII literature I have read has largely either been factual in its nat
General Market
Content: Indiscriminate sex, alcohol use

"Worrying has never done anyone any good. When something awful happens you have to deal with it."

"The world was scary one minute and then exciting and full of possibilities the very next."

"Once you have a certain reputation, it is impossible to get rid of it."

This book was an interesting factual account. I believe it may originally been written in either Polish or German, and this was an English translation as sometimes the wording was a bit
Carol Kean
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lots of accurate historical detail make this a rich story, educational as well, showing us better than any history book can what it was like to be a woman, a Jew, an unwed mother, a Polish farm girl, an Italian/Dutch prisoner, a Russian soldier -- whoever is caught up in the forces of war and history.
The opening pages show us life before Germany invaded Poland. "Ludwika Gierz should have been looking after the livestock, followed closely around by her five-year-old daughter Irena and maybe some
Brenda Perlin
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“Ludwika” is another suspenseful historical novel written by Christoph Fischer. It’s a unique story about a Polish woman in Germany during World War II. The author has the keen ability to reach you no matter what topic he is writing about. There is a great sense of urgency to tell the tales. This one is no exception. This might be what he does best though his other novels are all filled with a unique passion.

This is an emotional narrative that pulls on your heartstrings. Realistic and entirely g
This historical fiction novel follows Ludwika, a young Polish woman during WW2. She is loosely based off of a real everyday woman, whom you can see on the cover art. Living on her farm with her young child, mom, & sister, she catches the eye of a German Nazi soldier and goes to live with him in Germany, hoping it will help her family keep safe. This leads her to many random situations. I liked reading about a regular, everyday person, and seeing the war from the point of view of a person who was ...more
D.G. Kaye
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In keeping with historical fiction of World War II, Fischer takes us on a journey of one woman's life in Poland, living on a farm in a small town, where the Germans are beginning to occupy. She is faced with a decision to go to Germany with a German officer who has taken a shining to her in exchange for safety, and the safety of her family who are to remain on their farm. Her biggest fear is having to leave her daughter behind, a heart tugging decision, which reminds me a lot about the book Soph ...more
Max Power
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
To begin with I am a self-confessed Christoph Fischer fan. In the last year I have read several of his books and they are without question some of my favourite all time reads. So to get the negative out of the way, Ludwika suffers perhaps by comparison to his other work that I have read and I will stop the negativity right there. This is a harrowing tale set in a tragic time and the central Character Ludwika has to endure would be hard to believe or imagine as possible where it not for what we k ...more
Ronesa Aveela
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
WWII novels evoke a lot of emotions, regardless of what perspective the author is writing from. This book is no exception. It's about a young woman (non-Jewish) named Ludwika who makes a difficult decision to leave Poland and go to Germany with a Nazi officer. She leaves her daughter behind, but hopes her leaving means her family will continue to be safe and taken care of.

Ludwika seems to be symbolic of how the rest of the world viewed the Nazi invasions and atrocities. She is naive and doesn't
Murielle Cyr
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In this World War II novel, Ludwika Gierz, a young beautiful Polish woman, suffers the loss of all the men in her life. She is still in mourning of her brother, Franz, who has drowned two years earlier when her father goes missing in action in the beginning of the war. Her mother, her sister Stacia and her young daughter Irena are left to fend for themselves on the farm while the German invaders force their neighbours off their land. Manfred, a handsome SS German officer, falls in love with Ludw ...more
This was such a different view from the usual Holocaust books I read. To have a bit of an insight of what other races must have gone through during this war is a little more educational. Even though the polish were not jewish and got treated far better, there was still some pain and loss. Ludwika had endured so much through this war, first for her own survival and those of her family she was viewed as a collaborator because of the better treatment. Then she befell to people like Inmergran who wa ...more
Michael Zumwalt
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting read, not because of its thrilling nature, but because of an almost everyday character of it. It was merely the story of a woman who moved through the drama of Hitler's evil and how that evil touched her stories.
Chris Gregory
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written fiction about a serious topic

This is a well written, well researched fiction based on actual events. I'm a little ambivalent about this type of writing. The subject of Nazi treatment of Jews is perhaps too weighty a topic to address in a fiction. I hope these types of fictions don't detract from the reality that these horrors actually occurred.

Ludwiga is a young Polish Jew who struggle to survive and even consorted with a Nazi in order to make it through the next day, week, and mo
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-book
Ludwika is beautiful Polish girl. When the Germans invade she is favored by one German officer and is given the opportunity to go be his maid, (with the hope she will prove her German ancestry and marry him) in exchange for keeping her family safe- which includes her young daughter she leaves behind.

While I liked the premise and the overall story of a woman who is just trying to figure out where she fits in a turbulent world where war is prevalent, it felt a little forced to me. Ludwika acted m
Lucinda Clarke
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve read several other books by this author, and this is my second favourite after Time To Let Go. This book moved more quickly and Ludwika was an engaging heroine. It added extra interest that the story was based on real life. It also opened a window on the Second World War from the Polish point of view which I found fascinating. I learned a lot from this book, as well as enjoying the read. I shall be reading more by Christoph Fischer in the future.
Janice Richardson
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-rated
Well written partially fictionalized account of Ludwika's journey through WWII and beyond. The reality of the war and it's horror is hard to read about. A historical account of the past is something we should all read once in a while.
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Clearly the author did his research. And I admire the imagination that went into filling the gaps in the facts he had about the real Ludwika (we learn the facts in his epilogue). Unfortunately, the fictional Ludwika is not well developed. She comes across as shallow and lacking in common sense. For example, she puts her life in jeopardy for sexual gratification (resulting in several pregnancies at a time when adequate nourishment is far from assured) and for the dubious goal of getting her hair ...more
This was an historical fiction book based on the true story of Ludwika Gierz and her struggle to survive the Nazi occupation of her Polish homeland. While the book is fiction, Ludwika was a real person and only a few things were added to the story that really did not occur. Her struggle includes leaving her family, including her daughter to become the housekeeper of a Nazi officer. When he is killed she is taken in by another official to take care of his children. Circumstances lead her to be se ...more
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would give it a high 3 stars. It is a true story, so that makes it much more valuable as a historic fiction novel. Also, the author told us the facts and the liberties the author took in the not knowing. He tells us the fictional components. I really like how the author is helping the family through his book search for other family members etc. that were displaced during this time. I truly hope that they find one another. There are so many books out there about the Nazis and how the Jews were ...more
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good story, probably because it’s based on a real person that the author apparently knew. It’s also interesting because it gives you a feel for how difficult it was under the German occupation, even for non-Jews. Poland was caught between the Germans and the Russians, and even after the war, many Polish people felt that they had no place to go back to. The Eastern part of the country was incorporated into the Soviet Union, while the Western part became a Soviet satellite. Since many pe ...more
Annabelle Franklin
'Ludwika' is a well-written fictionalized account of a Polish woman's real-life experiences of WW2 and its aftereffects. 'She felt like a beggar... small and unimportant, exactly as she sometimes felt here in the camp, too: waiting for politicians and countries to make up their minds and allow her an existence.' This sums up the helplessness and paranoia felt by Ludwika and others living in Nazi Germany who didn't fit in with the ideals of the Reich. She survived by following her father's advice ...more
Janet Gogerty
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was attracted by the themes of the story and as other reviewers have said, we are able to look inside World War Two without dwelling on the fighting and the war crimes. I've lived in Australia and we knew that many Displaced Persons were taken in after the war, without really understanding what being displaced means. People lost their families and even their homelands. Through Ludwika we have a glimpse into the sheer scale of the war machine; moving and categorising people. We also see the peo ...more
Neil Harmon
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book walked a fine line between fact and fiction as it dramatized a real women's life based on limited information. I think that was done quite well and found the book to be very engaging. I listened to the Audible version of the book and thought the narrator and performance was fine. The story itself is compelling. The author presented the drama and yet resisted the temptation to go overboard and sensationalize an already dramatic story. There were so many stories from WW-II. Many will be ...more
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based on a true story, this was an interesting perspective of WWII as it wasn't from a Jew surviving the concentration camps. Ludwika was a polish woman who left her farm and family to serve a SS officer in Germany. She did so to keep her family, including her 5-year-old daughter on their farm. So began her journey through Germany throughout the war. She wasn't jewish but she was still a second class citizen at best. Very interesting and historically informative.
Et Noctem
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always loved watching programs about WWII on Yesterday Channel so it came to no surprise that I loved reading this book too. Christoph did a good job telling Ludwika's story, it is well written for someone whose English is the second language. I am amazed how the author is able to capture the inner voice of a woman who lived in a different time under much different situation, therefore, give this book five stars!
Becky Hanne
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enduring heartbreak and overcoming the wartime disappointments

I like that this book was based on a real person even though some of the story was made up. She had so many struggles throughout her life. I can’t even imagine what it was like to have to depend on people you didn’t know and just hope and pray that they would do what they said they would do. I know it was very scary times for so many people.
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Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a smal ...more

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