Camp Essig, Christoph Fischer, Dalum Lingen, displaced people, Elms Lager, Historical fiction, holocaust, Irena Gierz, Nazi Germany, Ostarbeiter, Poland, Polish Displaced People, preorder, Przedborów Poland, Westerstrasse Oldenburg, world war II, writer Christoph Fischer
Today I have another excerpt from “Ludwika: A Polish Woman’s Struggle To Survive In Nazi Germany” , which is now available for pre-order and will be released on Dec 14th
In order to present the book in London at the Kensington Christmas Book Fair in London, December 12th this year I have released the paperback version already.
Available at the CreateSpace eStore: https://www.createspace.com/5897536
The cover was once again designed by the talented Daz Smith.
Get the book at your Amazon store: http://bookShow.me/1519539118
I have ARC copies in pdf and mobi!
Blurb: 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.
Review (from an Advance Review Copy) by Lorna Lee, author of “Never Turn Back” and “How Was I Supposed To Know”:
“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.”
Get the book at your Amazon store: http://bookShow.me/1519539118
Here is another excerpt from the novel:
(Follow this link to a previous excerpt)
“You’ve got to wake up,” Irmingard said, shaking Ludwika. “We’re almost in Hamburg. I didn’t know where you had to get off. I thought you said you were going to Altona but my brain, I keep forgetting things. I was no longer sure.”
“Yes,” Ludwika said, coming to her senses. “Altona.”
“Thank God,” Irmingard said. “The next stop is the Central Station. We have to get out here. It was nice to meet you. Remember to give me a call if you are free. Even an afternoon would do wonders and give me the chance to have my hair cut without having to worry that the children are being chained to their chairs and locked away.” She laughed. “Best of luck in this wonderful city. You will love it.”
She turned to get her children to walk towards the exit. They didn’t want to go.
“See what I mean?” Irmingard said and pointed at them. All four were looking at Ludwika with disappointed faces.
“I’m afraid Ludwika has further to go. She needs to stay on the train until she gets to Altona,” Irmingard explained. “Hopefully, she will come and visit you while she’s here.”
The children cheered up and voiced their approval.
“Off you go now,” Irmingard said.
“Thank you,” Ludwika said and waved briefly at the children. Then she sank back down and didn’t look that way until the train had moved out of the station and the carriages had filled with new passengers.
When she got her suitcase from underneath the seat she found that Irmingard must have dropped her book and left it on the train. Ludwika picked it up and had a look at it. She took it and put it in her suitcase. She might as well use it for reading practise. She opened it where the bookmark stuck out. It wasn’t a bookmark as it turned out. Irmingard had left a note for her and a few Reichsmark.
“Thank you for being so kind to my children. Now that I have ‘lost’ my book on the train, you have an excuse to come and visit us. My father-in-law will love you if you come carrying that book and you will be welcomed with open arms.
The train inspector announced that they would shortly be arriving in Hamburg Altona, the final stop on this journey. Everyone gathered their belongings to get ready to disembark.
Ludwika put the book and the note away and instead took out Manfred’s hand-drawn map to help her find the way to her new residence. He had neat hand writing, she noticed. When the train stopped she stepped onto yet another clean station platform and braced herself for what was going to happen next. Her German adventure was about to begin and she hoped that it would be as good as it promised to be. All Ludwika could do was embrace the situation, ignore the ambiguity and dangers and hope for the best.
Manfred’s map of Altona was not as useful as the one he had made for her transfer in Berlin. The roads around the station were narrower, forked more often and many of the turns were not at right angles and got her confused. She kept getting lost. The first few times she simply went back on herself and found the right turn on the second attempt. Then she needed help. She approached a mother with two children who came her way. Ludwika felt safe whenever a child was around. The woman, however, stared with open disgust at the ‘P’ on Ludwika’s coat and rushed past her, dragging her children with her as if to protect them from an infectious disease.
Ludwika tried to find the way on her own again, staring at the map, helpless and increasingly worried that she might never find it. What would happen to her if she couldn’t re-unite with Manfred? She had almost no money and as she was wearing the nasty ‘P’ mark hostel staff might even refuse her business.
At last an old man stopped and took the map out of her hands. “You’re almost there,” he said laughing. “You confused Klopstockstrasse with Klopstockplatz. ‘St’ means street, ‘pl’ means platz. You were so close, you silly girl. Just turn back and you are on the Elbchaussee. I guess another two blocks and you’re there.”
“Danke,” Ludwika said and she wanted to hug her saviour. She wouldn’t have known what to do without him. She had lost all of her confidence to approach people after the way the woman earlier had treated her.
“Anytime,” the man said with a wink and moved on.
Elbchaussee was beautiful. The houses were magnificent: Villas or apartment buildings many storeys tall and all built in the wonderful architectural style that she had seen in Breslau and Dresden: white large bricks, some painted in other, bright colours, the windows were huge, often arched and everything looked so opulent. Trees lined both sides of the road and there was a park, too. This was a fine place. She wondered how she would fit in.