#Bookreview – Ludwika by Christoph Fischer

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

What Amazon says

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 loss . . . ultimately, it’s one woman’s story of survival.
Editorial Review:

“This is the best kind of fiction—it’s based on the real life. Ludwika’s story highlights the magnitude of human suffering caused by WWII, transcending multiple generations and many nations.

WWII left no one unscarred, and Ludwika’s life illustrates this tragic fact. But she also reminds us how bright the human spirit can shine when darkness falls in that unrelenting way it does during wartime.

This book was a rollercoaster ride of action and emotion, skilfully told by Mr. Fischer, who brought something fresh and new to a topic about which thousands of stories have already been told.”

My review

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 nature or focused on the horrors experienced by Jewish people.

Right from the beginning of the book, Ludwika shows herself to be a woman of innovation and resilience. She is the one whom her father has left in charge of his farm, her mother and her sibling, when he left to help defend Poland against the German army.

It is also quickly apparent that Ludwika is a woman of unusual beauty and who quickly attracts the interest of men. Soon after the arrival of the German soldiers, Ludwika catches the eye of Manfred, an SS officer. His interest results in a measure of protection for Ludwika’s family and in order to maintain this protection, and do what she believes to be in the best interests of her family, Ludwika agrees to move to Hamburg as Manfred’s housekeeper. This moves requires that she leave her young daughter, Irena, behind her. I thought Ludwika’s anguish at leaving her family and emotion turmoil as to what would be best for them all was very well expressed.

Ludwika is very popular with children and they learn to love her quickly. During her journey to Hamburg she meets up with a young and wealthy German woman with four children. Ludwika helps to keep the children occupied during the train journey and befriends the mother, who has strong Nazi ties. This relationship changes the course of her life.

As things deteriorate in Germany as the war progresses and the lives of Poles and other foreigners become much difficult and precarious, Ludwika finds her situation in Germany becoming more and more difficult.

There are a number of love interests and relationships in the book which make the reader all the more aware of Ludwika’s desperate and vulnerable position. Despite its themes, I found Ludwika to be a positive reading experience which emphasized how, despite difficult circumstances outside of her control, Ludwika’s hard working and resilient nature and kind and generous spirit prevail and help to open doors for her that would otherwise have been closed.

I rated Ludwika five out of five stars.

Purchase Ludwika


69 thoughts on “#Bookreview – Ludwika by Christoph Fischer

  1. Robbie, a superb review of Christoph’s book – I think it is even more heartfelt as this is based on real events. It’s good to know that you found the book positive despite the subject matter and Ludwika’s strong personality shines through. Have a lovely weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve enjoyed the books I’ve read so far by this author and I know he has a particular interest in historical subjects and this was a labour of love for him. Great review, Robbie!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Poland was affected by the war in many ways. When the Jews were forced from their homes the Poles moved in. And many refused to move out when the survivors returned. Warsaw was left totally flattened by the Germans. The destruction was awful. My grandfather was born in Germany but after the war the area he was born was handed to Poland as repatriation. I’m not sure if my grandfather ever returned to the city of his birth. When he died my mom, dad and my mom’s sister went to explore the city.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never knew about the Poles moving into the homes of the Jews, Tandy. I do know that after the Warsaw uprising, all the Jewish people were sent to concentration camps. Such a shocking tragedy. One of my friends recently visited a concentration camp during a tour of Germany. I don’t think I could do it. It would be far to disturbing.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your review about Ludwika and the truth of it all. Women have always had to do things to survive and her intuitive ability of what had to be done is what helped her along way. Your review of this book is so heartfelt, so beautifully written, that I can actually envision this real event story. Wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I can’t even imagine what is was like to leave a child behind. Anguish unending. I don’t think I will ever forget her name and what she endured. Thank you for that insightful review, because it really it home. Truth always does. Karen 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree, Karen. I don’t watch movies much but I did watch Sophie’s choice a few years ago and I have never forgotten it. I just don’t know how you could make a choice like that; I would also go mad.


  5. Excellent review Robbie, of an excellent book. I think it’s my favorite so far of Christoph’s books. If you enjoyed this book I think you’d enjoy Marina’s book I reviewed today, sort of parallel lives. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My maternal grandmother immigrated to the U.S. from Poland with her mother. I need to read this book. I think it will explain a lot about my grandmother’s character and behavior. Great review, Robbie ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There was every indication that my great grandmother was raped by a Nazi soldier, but she never would admit it. She had my grandmother out of wedlock, married, and had six more children after immigrating. I like to think I inherited her strength ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent review, Robbie. I definitely want to read the book over the summer. This book must have been particularly interesting to you as you finish writing your WWII book, based on your mother (which I can’t wait to read!). Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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