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No Woman's Land: A Holocaust Novel

(Women and the Holocaust #2)

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  551 ratings  ·  85 reviews
“It was very dangerous for him, and he knew it. But his love for me was stronger than fear.” - Ilse Stein

This novel is based on the inspiring and moving love story of Ilse Stein, a German Jew, and Willy Schultz, a Luftwaffe Captain in the Minsk ghetto, who risked his life to save the one he loved the most.

When the last of the Jews’ rights are stripped in 1941, Ilse’s
Kindle Edition, 277 pages
Published May 31st 2019
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Ellie Midwood Hi Aurora! Thank you so much for your question and I'm very sorry to hear about the tragic fate of your relatives. This book takes place in the Minsk…moreHi Aurora! Thank you so much for your question and I'm very sorry to hear about the tragic fate of your relatives. This book takes place in the Minsk ghetto, Belorussia, not Ukraine where the horrific massacre of Babi Yar took place, and tells a true story of a German Jew Ilse Stein who was deported there. But Ilse's best friend Liza Gutkovich is a Soviet Jew, just like most members of the underground with whom Ilse comes into contact (the ghetto was mostly Soviet, with a small section of a German Sonderghetto). So, even though the book doesn't deal with the tragedy of the Babi Yar, it does deal with the devastating destiny of the Soviet Jews and the partisan movement. (less)
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Amy Bruno
"We live together, or we die together"

Oh, my heart! No Woman's Land was another stellar historical from Ellie Midwood, who is fast becoming my go-to for WWII and Holocaust novels. This lady brings the past to life like no other - the good, the bad, and everything in between!

What endeared me most to this novel is that it's based on a true story of a Luftwaffe Officer that fell in love with a German Jew amidst the violence and terror at a Minsk ghetto. How one can find love in such a horrifying
What Ellie Midwood has done with one of humanity’s most painful times is turn the hopeless horrors of the Nazi war machine against the Jews into a tale of hope, and the power of love against all odds.

NO WOMAN’S LAND is a difficult read emotionally, between the slaughter of humans and the overall feeling of a grey and heavy atmosphere, a ray of forbidden light pierces through when a young Jewish teen finds an unlikely protector among the German soldiers, a man with enough power to shield her from
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a new to me author!!
I love this author's works and how she doesn't beat around the bush for this book!! This is after all, a story on the Holocaust and it's unusual love story.
But, while you are reading this book this author offers hope, love, trust ( even though that is hard to do in times like the Holocaust) and keeping the Faith no matter what happens!!
This is a very emotional read and I highly suggest a box of tissues beside you!
I like how this author can draw you into the book
Sarah 🍂 Books in Their Natural Habitat
No Woman’s Land is one of the few books that have left me reeling for days. Talk about having a book hangover!

I have read historical fiction books primarily around the World War II setting since I was in the third grade so to say the least, I’ve read a LOT of WWII books. There are so many perspectives of that time period to explore. The bravery, internal struggle and historical accuracy are what I find keep me reading more about WWII and are also telling signs of an outstanding book… all things
Allen M Werner
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've been a fan of Ellie Midwood's books for a few years now. Her dedication to the craft of writing and her ability to research and unearth interesting forgotten tales from World War 2, and present them as entertaining, educational fiction, is first rate.

No Woman's Land: A Holocaust Novel is a must read.

Ilse Stein is a young teen with all the hopes and dreams of any other teenage girl when Hitler's Germany begins its reign of terror, oppression's increasing, the curfews growing stricter, the SA
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Yes, let them kill me tomorrow; tomorrow, I will gladly die by their hand as long as they let me have today-here, with him.”

This novel is inspired by the true events and love between Ilse Stein , a German Jew, and Willy Schultz, a Luftwaffe Lieutenant in the Minsk ghetto, who despite all risk it posed to his own life, does all he can to save the life of the woman he loves.

In 1940 Germany's Jews have already begun feeling the clutches of hatred tighten around their otherwise peaceful existence.
Kellie Butler
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
‘Historical Fiction at Its Finest’

There is historical fiction, and then there’s Ellie Midwood. No Woman’s Land is a superb novel that brings the Minsk Ghetto to life in all of its harsh cruelty with a sense of hope and grace. Reading a story of the dour conditions of the Holocaust can be difficult on a reader, but Ms. Midwood has crafted a powerful story of the meaning of loyalty, friendship, and love in the bitterest of conditions.

One can’t help but cheer on ghetto occupants Ilse , Rivka, and
Bill Ward
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another great book from one of my favourite authors. I expected this book to be difficult to read given the main characters are Jewish and this is described as a Holocaust novel. However, I was surprisingly uplifted by the story. The author doesn't hide the barbaric crimes perpetuated against the Jewish people in the concentration camp but this is a love story and leaves you with a feeling of hope that love can conquer all obstacles. It is also a page turner as you become desperate to learn the ...more
Viga Boland
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When you flunk high school history, it’s a sure sign history isn’t your thing. But then, along comes an incredible book like No Woman’s Land, a novel based on the Holocaust by Ellie Midwood, and even a non-history fan like me is unable to put it down.

Midwood has succeeded where all my history teachers failed: she grabbed my attention and held it for 277 pages as she shared the love story of two people who were never supposed to love each other: Ilse Stern, a German Jew and Willy Schultz, a
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Nazi concentration camp is an unlikely place for two people to find love, however , more unlikely is the love between a Nazi officer and a Jewish girl. This is the story of Willie and Ilse. Willie is a reluctant Nazi in that he does not believe in the murdering of the Jewish people and abhors the SS in their terror tactics. He falls in love with Ilse and protects her, her two sisters Lilly and Lori and his 200 Jewish women workers under his command from being slaughtered by the SS.

Their love
Carissa Lynch
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
No Woman's Land is Midwood's best novel to date - I've said that before but I mean it: the writing is gorgeous, the story is atmospheric, and the characters feel so real, like I could reach out and touch them ... and as usual, Midwood's story has that "it-factor" that just sucks you right into the story from page one ...
This is the ultimate love story, and it comes with the heaviest price and the highest stakes.
"We live together, or we die together..." Oh, be still my heart! This was an
Kayla Krantz
“I didn’t want romance. I only wanted a normal life.”

I don’t think I could give this story enough praise!

Rich with historical accuracy and vivid emotions, this is a love story for the ages. With beautiful writing, Miss Midwood is able to create an atmosphere in her story that is both tragic and compelling. The characters are very real which makes the story even harder to put down.

Set in the era of World War II, the main character of this story is sent to live in a Minsk Ghetto. Life is hard and
Polly Krize
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Ellie Midwood is a new author to me, but I will definitely be searching out some of her other writing. The love between a German Jew and a Luftwaffe captain is poignantly explored, bringing all of the heartache that is expected during the Nazi regime. Haunting, and recommended.
Pamela Allegretto
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ellie Midwood has penned a beautiful, well-written, well-researched World War 2 drama. Her meticulous attention to detail is evident in her portrayal of the horrors and hardships: emotional and physical, suffered by the pragmatic and likeable protagonist. Ms. Midwood’s writing style and clever use of metaphors are to be applauded. What makes this exceptional story even more compelling is that it is based on real people. Highly recommended.
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ilse Stein and her family are Germans in 1941. That is, until the rights of the German Jews are stripped, leaving them without land, without a home. Ilse and her sisters are transported to the Minsk Ghetto. The trip was difficult and they are left with nothing in the Minsk winter. Determined that her and her sister will survive, Ilse works diligently at the tasks given to her by the people who took everything away. While in the Ghetto Ilse befriends Rivka, a member of the underground resistance. ...more
S.R. Mallery
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
***** The Kind of Bravery Not Always Talked About

Meticulously based on real facts, events, and characters, this fast became one of my favorites among Midwood’s novels. Starting out in 1943 and the spoken words, “We live together or we die together,” we get just a hint of a couple’s devotion, but don’t know who they are, how they came together, or what that powerful statement means. Instantly, I wanted to find out more.
Three years earlier, in 1940, we learn of Ilse Stein, a Jewish girl, living
Ellie Midwood
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
*** Reviewed By Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers’ Favorite ***

The first and most important thing to say about Ellie Midwood, and by extension her intensely appealing historical novel No Woman’s Land: A Holocaust Novel, is that this author’s fine writing skills are superbly well honed. Any seasoned reader will immediately recognize a master at her craft, one both naturally gifted and creatively experienced, while the deepest pleasure desired by any avid reader, that derived from fully inhabiting a
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Everyone needs to read this. This novel gives equal attention to the Holocaust horrors and the lifesaving love between the Nazi officer Willy and the Holocaust prisoner Ilse. Without discounting the atrocities and mass suffering, it highlights the slim glimmer of hope and optimism, no matter how dim, during one of the darkest times of history.

I found greater appreciation for this novel when I realized it was based on a true story. All the characters existed in history, and all events echoed the
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
No Woman’s Land: A Holocaust Novel was written by Ellie Midwood. She became interested in history, especially that of the Holocaust, due to the stories she was told by her Grandfather who had been a Junior Sergeant in the 2nd Guards Tank Army of the First Belorussian Front. After extensive research, she set out to tell the story if Ilse Stein and Willy Schultz. Their story is true and the background material of their childhoods is also true. Most of the people in the Minsk ghetto of importance ...more
Rachel Heil
As I expected, Ellie Midwood has once again given us a novel that is truly fantastic. Unlike her other works (or at least most of them) Ellie tells the true of Ilse Stein and Willy Schultz, a Jewish girl in the Minski ghetto and a Luftwaffe captain who fall in love despite their circumstances. One talent that Ms. Midwood has is that she is able to create romantic couples that are both realistic and ones that the reader cheers for. I thought she had achieved this the most with Ernst and Annalise ...more
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A new standalone novel taking place during the Holocaust.

In this story we follow Ilse who after a mostly carefree childhood is shipped off with her family to Minsk Ghetto. It shows the absolute horrors of life in the ghetto, but also that love and friendship spring and flourish in the most unexpected places.

Ilse is wonderful characters. Smart and strong. She dreams, but is also very practical and fierce to the people she loves.

War isn’t black and white, just as people aren’t either. There are
Ruby Papciak
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I bow to you Ms. Midwood for your ability to weave such an excellent story that has me riding an elevator that stops at different emotional floors. You have given these characters such a voice that it was easy to forget I was only reading. Now I say easy to forget I was reading, but that's not to say it was an easy read. Because that is so far from the truth. The subject matter is not an easy one, it's not a purely fictional setting, and it certainly is not a quick read. I have had to put it ...more
Marina Osipova
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A stunning tribute to love and life
“As long as you’re alive and I’m with you.” “Everything was dead to him; the family, the army, the loyalty.” This kind of love is in the center of this masterfully crafted book.
Based on real events and people, painfully moving, it tells the story of the Holocaust through the life of a young woman, Ilse Stein. Her emotions, worries, fears, and hopes are so vividly conveyed, I too suffered with her the oppression and dehumanization of victims of Nazism and
Cynthia Hilston
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: world-war-ii
This is the sixth book by Ellie Midwood I've had the pleasure to read. As always, she delivers a story with strong characters who persevere through one of the worst times in human history. This novel follows the journey of a young Jewish woman named Ilse Stein, based on a real person, and her survival in a brutal Jewish ghetto during World War II. Against all odds and the fear of death at every turn, Ilse finds love in the arms of an unlikely man, Luftwaffe Officer Willy Schultz (also based on a ...more
Jenny Q
Jul 26, 2019 marked it as to-check-out
Author Q&A @ Let Them Read Books!
Joey Paul
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have been a long time fan of Midwood's books and had to pick this one up when I came across it. It was beautifully told, a true love story for the ages. I found myself trapped between the pages, wishing to know more, wanting to see how it all worked out. Every single part of it was perfect. I adore Midwood's way with words, and her historical fiction is a hard one to beat. Highly recommended!
Leanne Penney
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loving The Author’s Writing!

This is my second, maybe third, book by Ellie Midwood. Her writing is incredibly descriptive and she has a way of captivating her readers.
David Huntley
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Once again, the author, Ellie Midwood brings us as only she can, a remarkable story of love transcending ethnicity, religion and surmounting unimaginable obstacles of the horrors of war.
Ilse Stein a German Jew, is deported to a Jewish ghetto in Minsk Byelorussia (now more formally known as Belarus), together with her two younger sisters. Her father died on the train on the way to Minsk and the SS threw his body out into the snow during one of the many stops along the way. Ise’s mother gets
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
No Woman's Land: A Holocaust Novel is the second in a three book series by Ellie Midwood. Like the first book this deals with the life and survival of a woman, Ilse Stein during the Holocaust and subsequent murder of millions of people. Ilse and her two sisters are interned in the Minsk Ghetto during WWII. They have already lost both their mother and father to the war and must find a way to live through the massacres and horrors taking place within the ghetto. She meets and befriends a local ...more
Sedona Hutton
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
No Woman’s Land by Ellie Midwood is a beautifully written, moving love story based on the real romance of a German Jew and a German AirForce (Luftwaffe) Officer. Ilse Stein and her family are forcibly relocated to a Minsk ghetto where Willy Schultz leads brigades of workers. As Jews are killed off relentlessly, Ilse and her sisters live in fear every moment.

Willy quickly becomes enamored with Ilse and shows her great kindness. There are touching scenes where he treats her as a human being and as
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Ellie Midwood is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning historical fiction author. She owes her interest in the history of the Second World War to her grandfather, Junior Sergeant in the 2nd Guards Tank Army of the First Belorussian Front, who began telling her about his experiences on the frontline when she was a young girl. Growing up, her interest in history only deepened and transformed ...more

Other books in the series

Women and the Holocaust (3 books)
  • Emilia: The Darkest Days in History of Nazi Germany Through a Woman's Eyes (Women and the Holocaust, #1)
  • Auschwitz Syndrome: A Holocaust Novel Based on a True Story (Women and the Holocaust, #3)
“They. His own superiors became “they” to him. The alien side, the hostile side. Somehow, in the middle of this war, he switched fronts without realizing it fully.” 0 likes
“Who would have thought that words could hold so much power, to stir so much hatred that it would eventually lead to genocide? I, for one, had always believed that we, the human race, were better than that.” 0 likes
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