Lizzi & Fredl

A Perilous Journey of Love and Faith

Non-Fiction - Biography
444 Pages
Reviewed on 12/01/2010
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boiling for Readers' Favorite

The setting is 1938, Austria. Fear swelled throughout Europe as the darkness of Nazism spread. Fredl and Lizzi were a successful young Catholic couple. He was a jeweler and she was a dressmaker. They did not welcome Hitler’s rule and knew they must leave Austria. They made the dangerous journey to France. Fredl was captured by Nazi followers and sent to a labor camp. Lizzi eluded capture and searched for her beloved husband. Numerous times Fredl was arrested; his health was poorand he wrestled with death.

To this day, I cannot understand why people followed a monster like Hitler. How could good people stand back and let the atrocities happen. I cried a lot reading Lizzi & Fredl. We need to be reminded of the terror, the cruelty, the torture and the deaths. We must never let this happen again.

Dr. William B. Stanford shares his parent’s poignant story with readers. Mr. Stanford reminds readers of the atrocities Hitler rained upon Europe. This is also a tribute to the courageous people willing to die to help and hide others.


What an inspiring and unbelievably well written book! I wish there more than the 400 plus pages to read. I didn't want it to end. If you're proud to be an American this is a must read! Every school child of middle school or high school should be required to read this. We as Americans don't and can't comprehend what immigrants had to go through to reach our wonderful country. I cried so many times that I had to stop reading to dry my eyes to keep reading. It is so well written that you don't even know that you have been reading for hours until your husband checks in on you. One of the best books I ever read. I read about 20 books a year and over the last tweny five years this is now in my top three. Michener's Hawaii, Tolsoy's War and Peace and now Lizzi & Fredl, and not in that particular order. I've read it twice and found new things the second time around. Perhaps I was too emotional the first time around. The roller coaster ride is a white knuckler for sure. One of the reviews on Barnes & Noble said this has to be made into a movie. I couldn't agree more. I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that this one day will win a best picture on the Academy Awards. I can't wait for the movie to come out and I can't wait to read another book by this author. Does anyone who he is or if he's writing anything else. His writing style is melodius and so easy to read. If I could have given this a 6 star rating I would have. Thanks readers favorite for the review.


Quite simply, this is the next "Schindler's List", or at least it should be if Hollywood has any brains left. I was captivated from page one, experiencing for myself all the emotions that these two special people must have felt through their harrowing experiences fleeing the Nazis through World War II Europe. This is the story that so many parents, grandparents, and great grandparents were unable to speak about after escaping the Holocaust. My compliments to Dr. Stanford for not only convincing his parents to share their memories, but also for doing such thorough research and penning such a well-written work. There were points where I literally could not read fast enough to keep my pulse from racing. Other times I found myself crying, cheering, even praying for their safety. I cannot recommend this book strongly enough, and I'm certain that somewhere, Lizzi and Fredl are very proud of their son.

Ms Librarian

The events of the years leading up to and during WWII are a fascination with historians and history buffs still today. It is a sort of morbid curiosity; how could such evil ever exist and how could whole nations fall under its sway? In truth, many people in the occupied countries did not agree with Hitler and they had no choice but to run for their lives. This book tells of two such people. Alfred and Alice Steiner, Fredl and Lizzi, were living normal lives in Vienna, Austria when the Nazis came and destroyed everything. Fredl was a master jeweller and Lizzi was a talented seamstress and their life had been going well. When Fredl received orders to report to a Nazi factory to help build timing devices for their bombs, they knew they had to leave. They would never assist the Nazis but there was another issue. Lizzi's family was Jewish. They didn't practice their faith, but that didn't matter to Hitler. In the end, Fredl and Lizzi along with his two brothers and their wives fled Austria. However, they didn't run far enough. They made it to France, but it was taken by the Nazis as well. For the next seven years, Fredl was kept in various work camps as Lizzi struggled to free him. There was always danger, the Nazis were hunting down people who had fled the occupation in other countries to force them back to be interrogated and killed. Many times Fredl and Lizzi almost died and were saved in the last moments. This is a wonderful blend of novel and history book rolled into one. It is an accurate account of the trials of this couple as they fought for survival and not at all fiction. But; it is not at all dry. Stanford creates the real life characters of his parents with such vibrance and tenderness that the reader can not help but become as involved with these two as they become with the couple of a well-written fiction. As a historical account it is very detailed. Here is not a general focus of what battles happened at what time. Instead, readers are given an account of the daily life of people caught in the middle of the hell. Everyday issues like having to register at every address change, learning a foreign language while keeping your true nationality secret, and continually walking past soldiers that could send you to die in a concentration camp are explained. Often historical accounts leave out the life of the common man but this story is centred not on the war but on the survival of two determined people. This wonderful book gives readers a chance to relive the bravery of people caught in this hell. They are not called `The Greatest Generation' lightly, it is a honor they earned.


Most of the stories that we read about the Holocaust are about the Jews that died or survived under Hitler. There were others as well who suffered greatly but there are few accounts of what they went through. In this book we meet Lizzi and Fredl Steiner, Catholics, who fell victims to the horrors of World War II.
The setting is Oradour-Sur-Glane, a place where some of the most horrible atrocities of the Nazi regime occurred. The town was destroyed by a Nazi Panzer division and the citizens were exterminated. No one has ever learned nor understood why. Fredl was the father of the author and an eye-witness to what happened and somehow he managed to escape. He was an accomplished master jeweler at 27 and his wife, Lizzi, 26, was a dressmaker. He received orders to report to Munich to serve the Nazi Party and the couple realized that they had no choice but to leave Austria and traveled to France which held no safety for them. Fredl was captured by Nazi sympathizers and had to find a way to get through the concentration and labor camps. Lizzi managed to evade arrest and began to search for Fredl. Here began a seven year journey to Paris which included Fredl's rescue from a Nazi death train.
What a story this is! It reads like a movie. Stanford interviewed his parents when they were in their mid-80's and from that he produced this book. The story is told in a way that the reader feels that he is right there. The description is amazing and Stanford has taken his parent's memories and given us an excellent look at the horrors that they suffered. This is a powerful book that will not easily be forgotten. It is a "tour de force" in the way the subject is handled and the way the author brings everything together is remarkable.