Monday, July 27, 2009

Lizzi & Fredl

A Perilous Journey of Love and Faith: A Memoir

Holocaust accounts usually revolve around the persecution and eradication of the Jewish people, but there are others who also suffered greatly under Hitler's tyranny; however, their sacrifices and experiences have seldom been chronicled in World War II accounts until now. Lizzi and Fredl Steiner were Catholics who did not escape the horrors of the war while Fredl's account finally answers why the atrocity of the massacres at Oradour-Sur-Glane occurred.

World War II scholarly books could only speculate why a Nazi Panzer division destroyed the town of Oradour-Sur-Glane by exterminating its citizens, including women and children, and for years the reason has remained a relative mystery. Fredl, however, in sharing the story with his son and author Dr. William B. Stanford, was given an account by an eye-witness who managed to escape and share the horrors of what had been done to his town.

Awarded both Editor's Choice and Publisher's Choice by iUniverse, Lizzi & Fredl is a story elucidating that France had concentration, internment and labor camps thought mostly to exist in Germany. This memoir is also a love story of unconditional devotion and resilience between a happily married couple whose lives were disrupted by a seven-year nightmare. It took many years for Dr. Stanford to get his parents to share their stories, and once they did, it was apparent to him that they had not even revealed their individual horrors to each other over the years. From a long, arduous journey to Paris to Fredl's unbelievable rescue from a train bound for a Nazi death camp, Lizzi & Fredl delivers a remarkable true story of courage, faith, and overwhelming love.

About the Author
Dr. William B. Stanford is a practicing optometrist in California. He has been married to his wife, Janice, for thirty-eight years and has two daughters, Wendy and Christine. Lizzi & Fredl is the biography of Stanford's parents, Lizzi and Fredl Steiner. In 1998, when his parents were in their late eighties, he encouraged them to tell the story of what they had gone through during the war, a subject they had never wanted to discuss. Two years of recordings and note taking resulted in a jigsaw puzzle of 10,000 pieces which required nine years for Dr. Stanford to put together into his parents' remarkable story. Fredl passed away in 2001 at the age of 90, and Lizzi died three years later at the age of 92.

This book interested me because it was about a Catholic couple and the horrors they encountered in Europe during WWII. It is a very different story than that told in It Happened In Italy. I am thankful to William Stanford for nudging his parents to tell their stories before they died so that we can know more about this horrific chapter in our world's history.
Lizzi & Fredl is a well written book. Stanford's use of alternating chapters between Lizzi and Fredl's accounts worked well to tell a unified story even when they were living apart which was much of the seven years described. I loved this book and am thankful to Bostick Communications for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.


Anonymous said...

This sounds wonderful. I am fascinated by the Holocaust and by the "logic" behind it. We need to understand it so that it never, ever happens again.

Cynthia said...

Interesting. So this was about a Catholic couple not a Jewish couple? And, were they being persecuted? I'll have to see if our library has it. I just finished It Happened In Italy thanks to your review. I inquired about it at our library and they purchase it! YEA!

Renee said...

Lizzi and Fredl was a better written book than It Happened In Italy. It is about a Catholic couple who suffered a great deal although not exterminated in a death camp - but still many horrors. What a wonderful library you have