Reviewed by Erin N.
In 1938, a young and idealistic couple flee their home in Austria to escape the dominion of a madman named Adolf Hitler. Arriving as refugees in Paris, they believe that they have put the Nazi threat behind them, only to suffer the torments of war again when Germany invades France. Suffering and surviving poverty, bigotry, work camps and even concentration camps, these two spirited individuals hold onto their dream of the peace and prosperity found on the shores of America.
Fredl and Lizzi had only been married for a few years when Hitler strong armed Austria into merging with Germany. Even though they were Catholic, they feared the Nazis and opposed Hitler’s political agenda. When Fredl received a notice from the German government that he must report to a munitions factory in Berlin, he and Lizzi knew they had to leave their home and families or be forced into fighting for a cause they didn’t believe in.
In France, the young couple is constantly confused for being German and for being Jewish. Fredl, a victim of “foreigner fear,” (brought on by the Nazi invasion) is locked up in a work camp after work camp by the Free France Government. Lizzi, constantly on the move to stay ahead of the Nazi infiltration, makes many friends among the French and foreign refugees; many of these friends help her keep track of where her husband is incarcerated. Once all of France falls, Fredl finds himself in the custody of the Nazis while Lizzi befriends the French Resistance to help Fredl escape certain death in a concentration camp.
Lizzi & Fredl is the brave and true account of Dr. Stanford’s parents, their flight from Nazi persecution, and their eventual emigration to America. Dr. Stanford spent two years recording his parent’s stories, translating their letters, and verifying the historical context in order to present as an accurate memoir possible of events that are over 70 years old.
Erin fell in love with the written word as a small child and subsequently spent most of her life happily devouring literature. She works as a freelance news, marketing, and technical writer. Erin lives just outside of Cleveland, Ohio with her husband, children, and grandchildren.