The Luck of the Weissensteiners

The Luck of the Weissensteiners MOBI ✓ of the



10 thoughts on “The Luck of the Weissensteiners

  1. Jeffrey Keeten Jeffrey Keeten says:

    In the end we are all gambling with our lives in this war Killed by the Germans, raped by the Russians or shot by friendly fire The luck of the Weissensteiners is certainly better than most, but when the world goes mad even the best of luck can become tattered and frayed The Weissensteiners are Jewish, not practicing Jewish They even occasionally finding themselves sitting with the congregation of the Catholic Church They are weavers, but Jonah is muchthan an artisan making rugs He In the end we are all gambling with our lives in this war Killed by the Germans, raped by the Russians or shot by friendly fire The luck of the Weissensteiners is certainly better than most, but when the world goes mad even the best of luck can become tattered and frayed The Weissensteiners are Jewish, not practicing Jewish They even occasionally finding themselves sitting with the congregation of the Catholic Church They are weavers, but Jonah is muchthan an artisan making rugs He is an artist creating masterpieces It turns out to be the very thing that buys him someluck Bookstores in my opinion are the best place to meet your next girlfriend or boyfriend Dorothy Malone and Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep Don t let those glasses fool you There is a passionate tiger lurking behind those window panes.The story begins in 1933 in a bookshop in Bratislava when Greta Weissensteiner begins buying books from the bookstore in which Wilhelm Winkelmeier is working Wilhelm is a rather good looking young man, well aware of his attractiveness to the female species, but he has never met a girl quite like Greta She not only reads, but she reads literature and philosophy She reads the authors he reads The pursuit is on By 1935 they are married and their son Karl has been born Everybody is watching with various degrees of trepidation and in some cases jubilation at the rise of the Nazi party There are a lot of German nationalists living in Slovakia and the Winkelmeier family are among them Asandpropaganda makes its way from Germany it begins to have an affect not only on the Germans living in countries outside of Germany, but also on Wilhelm Suddenly his beautiful wife who was a feather in his cap becomes a detriment to his future He sees her as corrupted genetically and he is thankful that Karl looks as Aryan as he does People start to make decisions about how to best position themselves properly for the upcoming war Some Germans move back to Germany and Wilhelm is no exception He doesn t take his tainted wife who is now pregnant with their second son Ernst when he arrives shows the mixed heritage His grandmother in particular has a hard time with itTo many people this strange combination seemed cute or adorable but to her it was a littleunsettling and disgusting To see the handsome Winkelmeier features disfigured in such an ugly way was too much for herJews from Slovakia being sent to their deaths in 1942.Until the rise of Nazism looking Jewish was not something anyone thought about Now it was all anyone thought about Egon, Greta s brother joins the army in an attempt to protect his parents, but they needthan that Fortunately Jonah has a benefactor in the Countess She has bought many of his works of art and helped commission manywith her friends When the Germans insist on lists of Jews they can use in the work camps the Weissensteiner luck holds once againJonah s names was listed but a friendly, corrupt and heavily bribed pen crossed the Weissensteiners off all lists Many Jews try to convert, but the Catholic church in many cases is unsympatheticThe conversion of opportunistic Jews who just wanted to escape the persecution which they deserved in his eyes was out of the questionAndrej Hlinka You might be asking yourself if that is a Catholic Priest collar, yes indeed it is.The Hlinka Guards named after Andrej Hlinka was formed in 1938, trained by the SS in Germany, and in charge of deporting Jews from Slovakia to Auschwitz starting in 1942 This was really just a state sponsored shake down They stripped the Jews of all their money, jewels, and other valuables before sending them off to die There was over 15,000 Jews in Bratislava alone and most did not survive the war Hlinka Guard well trained by the SS.How long can the Weissensteiner luck prevail So Christoph Fischer follows these two families the Weissensteiners and the Winkelmeier families and how the changing winds of political favor affects each family The Winkelmeier s do very well early on in the war acquiringandland that used to belong to Jews, but what happens when the war starts turning against the Axis Powers What happens if the Czechs take the area back over How about the Russians The Weissensteiners purchase German documentation made by one of the numerous blackmarket artists disenfranchised by the war which of course works fine as long as the Germans maintain control As the Russians and the Americans advance everyone including the once secure Germans are unsure of what to do Where to go to be safe Ideally they want to land in the hands of the Americans The Russians are like a raging pestilence, killing and raping everybody who is unfortunate enough to fall in their path Even people like the Countess whose money has insulated them from the ravages of war finds herself in the wind with no safety net The roads are choked with refugees for mile after mile Food is scarce Tempers are frayed.These are conditions where good people find themselves becoming someone they don t want to be in order to survive Some of thefragile go crazy The stress and strain on everyone is tremendous People who used to own farms and businesses suddenly find themselves refugees People are shot for some unknown reason or no reason at all There are no distinctions between Jews, Germans, Czechs, Hungarians, Austrians or Slovakians now that the whole region is destabilized Civilians are caught in a vortex of uncontrolled violence There are no rules Death doesn t play favorites It is stalking everyone I had no idea that Slovenia provided troops to the German army One of the many historical facts that Fischer liberally doses this novel with His writing style is going to drive some people crazy As a reader you feel like you are reading a historical nonfiction book for some sections and then your Slovakian great aunt s diary in the next moment As the tension mounts, and I was starting to wonder how anyone lived to reproduce in Central Europe, I became the relative in America waiting for that letter that so matter of factly tells me that Great Uncle Jonah didn t make it or Greta was sent to a camp in Germany Luck plays such a factor in who survived and who died Yes, some people are naturallyferal and have an increased chance of surviving the war, but frankly there is no way to predict that things would get this bad or that you d suddenly be up to your eyeballs in pissed off Russian troops or desperate Germans In many ways it showed the worst of humanity, but there are also those moments when someone does the unexpected and reaches out a hand when someone needs it most People who when living in a sane world would never even consider hurting another human being or demeaning themselves for a piece of bread are forced to be killers, beggars, and whores This book reinforced for me the absolute need to maintain civilization It is the only chance we have to continue to evolve intobenevolent and peaceful creatures This is the first of The Three Nations Trilogy The second one is Sebastian and the third one is the The Black Eagle Inn I m in for a penny and in for a pound If you wish to seeof my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at


  2. Alan Wynzel Alan Wynzel says:

    Christoph Fischer makes his mark with The Luck Of The Weissensteiners , an intensely woven family drama driven by the twin tides of history and politics His story revolves around the Weissensteiners, a non religious Jewish family leading their lives in Bratislava, Slovakia, before and throughout WWII Fischer demonstrates a masterly grip on history, politics, and the constant ebb and flow of human relationships Multiple intertwined dramas unfold in the story as Europe marches toward war, Hitl Christoph Fischer makes his mark with The Luck Of The Weissensteiners , an intensely woven family drama driven by the twin tides of history and politics His story revolves around the Weissensteiners, a non religious Jewish family leading their lives in Bratislava, Slovakia, before and throughout WWII Fischer demonstrates a masterly grip on history, politics, and the constant ebb and flow of human relationships Multiple intertwined dramas unfold in the story as Europe marches toward war, Hitler annexes Czechoslovakia, allows the establishment of a free Slovak Republic, and the Nazi s Jewish policies are gradually imposed upon the new nation Throughout these events, the Weissensteiner family struggles to survive, and fate and luck leads them down a winding path of human drama Fischer s historical knowledge and keen insight into human conflict make for a dramatic and intense read


  3. Katy O& Katy O& says:

    It s not often that you read a book about the time just prior to, during and just after the Second World War that is based outside of either Britain or America That s the first thing about The Luck of the Weissensteiners it is unlike any other WWII fiction I have ever read, based on the experiences of a Jewish and Catholic family from Eastern Europe and the friends they make along the way.This is an absolutely riveting read from Christoph Fischer, one in fact that I lost sleep over because I It s not often that you read a book about the time just prior to, during and just after the Second World War that is based outside of either Britain or America That s the first thing about The Luck of the Weissensteiners it is unlike any other WWII fiction I have ever read, based on the experiences of a Jewish and Catholic family from Eastern Europe and the friends they make along the way.This is an absolutely riveting read from Christoph Fischer, one in fact that I lost sleep over because I just couldn t put it down It all starts with a young Jewish girl, Greta, falling in love over books with the store clerk Wilhelm and turns into the most excellently told story about what happens to them and their loved ones.Fischer does not to go into the full horrors of Holocaust Europe, and he surely should be applauded for that, but there is enough there to put the reader firmly in mind and place, glimpsing the evil that men and women carried out To have written it in such a way seems somehowpowerful, packsof a punch to the emotions and senses.Rich in plot, with vibrant characters and wonderful storytelling, I really enjoyed this book and would certainly pick up another from the author


  4. Jenny Lloyd Jenny Lloyd says:

    This story takes an original angle in depicting a Jewish family who were lucky enough to escape the death camps Their luck came via their connections with a few, rare, non Jewish people who refused to be blinkered by the anti Semitic propaganda of the time and the fact that they were non practicing Jews meant their Jewishness went unnoticed by local people prior to the escalation of Nazi propaganda All through this story, while the Weissensteiner family were saved from arrest on different occ This story takes an original angle in depicting a Jewish family who were lucky enough to escape the death camps Their luck came via their connections with a few, rare, non Jewish people who refused to be blinkered by the anti Semitic propaganda of the time and the fact that they were non practicing Jews meant their Jewishness went unnoticed by local people prior to the escalation of Nazi propaganda All through this story, while the Weissensteiner family were saved from arrest on different occasions, I found myself thinking of all those who were not so lucky The author powerfully portrays the insidious, corrosive influence of the dehumanizing Nazi propaganda, showing how it manipulated people s deepest fears The story begins with an ordinary love story between Greta, a young, Jewish, Slovakian girl who is the daughter of a weaver and a young, German bookseller, Wilhelm They had their hopes and dreams for the future but, like millions of others, their lives were torn asunder by Hitler s rise to power The propaganda was so relentless and all pervading that, sadly for Greta, even Wilhelm s mind is turned by it, with tragic consequences for her and their young son As a writer, I am always interested in the choices other author s make Outside of Greta s immediate family, there is a large cast of characters woven through the fragile fabric of their lives Often, when there is a large cast of characters in a book, we don t get to know any of them well enough to become emotionally engaged This book is quite unique in that the detached, omniscient narrative style combined with dialogue and realistic, detailed portrayals of the main characters led me to feel I was reading a biographical account of a real family s tribulations rather than a work of fiction Added to the above mix was an outstanding and extraordinary amount of detailed information regarding the events happening outside the death camps at that time The author also explores, in detail, the aftermath of the war and the immense difficulties faced by the surviving Jewish families, including the displacement of refugees the pervasive mistrust between both sides and the reprisals and revenge wreaked on those who had been collaborators or who had any German connections There is one issue with this book which for me meant the difference between 4 and 5 stars This is a long book and it has approximately twenty five pages per chapter with no scene breaks within those chapters This makes for very long blocks of unbroken text which some readers will find off putting and hard going at times It is, however, a worthwhile read and it has greatly broadened my knowledge of this tragic and devastating time in history The extensive research undertaken by the author is second to none and admirable A recommended read


  5. Matthew Gough Matthew Gough says:

    I was recommended this book by a close friend whose judgment in these matters I trust completely I m not a fan of dry fact laden historical novels, but I can say that this book does not fall into this category so please don t be put off by any preconceptions you may have towards this genre I m certainly glad I followed my friend s advice, and was richly rewarded by the author s complex and multifaceted characters, his deft use of prose, and his clean and clear writing style.It would be easy to I was recommended this book by a close friend whose judgment in these matters I trust completely I m not a fan of dry fact laden historical novels, but I can say that this book does not fall into this category so please don t be put off by any preconceptions you may have towards this genre I m certainly glad I followed my friend s advice, and was richly rewarded by the author s complex and multifaceted characters, his deft use of prose, and his clean and clear writing style.It would be easy to fall into the trap of melodramatic and hysterical writing when dealing with the horrors of war and human suffering the author never takes this easy option, he maintains that clear and concise style throughout the novel allowing his characters to tell their own stories.Having the standard English schoolboy knowledge of both World Wars, I thought I new with crushing inevitability the ultimate outcome that would befall the characters A naive ignorance had got the better of me, and as I read I was swept up in a story and a world I realised I new nothing about It was a humbling and quite profound experience, learning and understanding details of the lives that people like these were living and struggling with on a day to day basis throughout the war years, and it s a testament to the author s skill that even now, some weeks after finishing the book, the characters are alive in my mind and almost feel like family.This is not a light fluffy read it s a deeply engaging and complex story, sections of which I had to read several times to get the maximum benefit I can highly recommend this book, both for fans of the genre and also for those who like solid well written novel, regardless of genre


  6. Margitte Margitte says:

    Have you ever traveled a long, winding and seemingly endless road such as the Eyre Highway in Australia It is one of the longest straight roads in the world, covering a monotonous landscape of nonstop hot, harsh, dry, scenery for a few thousand kilometers All the traveler does is drive, stop for fuel, sleep, drive, stop for fuel and drive until it finally comes to an end, if you are lucky to survive at all with no brain damage This is the tone of this book Sadly What could have been a power Have you ever traveled a long, winding and seemingly endless road such as the Eyre Highway in Australia It is one of the longest straight roads in the world, covering a monotonous landscape of nonstop hot, harsh, dry, scenery for a few thousand kilometers All the traveler does is drive, stop for fuel, sleep, drive, stop for fuel and drive until it finally comes to an end, if you are lucky to survive at all with no brain damage This is the tone of this book Sadly What could have been a powerful, dramatic, tale, turned out to be a linear, monotonous journey beginning in Bratislavia in 1933 and going through to 1945 The story is about a Jewish family trying to survive the fascist developments in European countries and the cruel conditions surrounding the holocaust in all its ugliness Long, uninterrupted paragraphs of a biographical memoir are thrown together with no highs or lows, no change of pace, no emotional interruptions, no nothing new Yet, all the elements are there that could have made this story as memorable as , and I am only going to mention but a few of the latest offerings in the millions of books in the Holocaust Fiction genre Schindler s List Thomas Keneally The Boy in the Striped Pajamas John Boyne The Book Thief Markus Zusak Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum Blessings on the Moon Joseph Skibell The Kommandant s Girl Pam Jenoff The Devil s Arithmetic Jane Yolen Someone Named Eva Joan M Wolf Thousands of heart wrenching, profoundly shocking, and deeply disturbing tales of an event that ripped the heart out of the world forever are exposed in these books Writing a book in this genre has become a challenge for any author There are literary millions of books, with a few hundred best sellers to top it of, which must be competed with Not only for sales, but also for uniqueness, plot and style.That makes me wonder how a book such as The Luck of the Weissensteiners will be able to survive when excellence were claimed by too many predecessors Was this book a memoir, yet not officially declared as such, and thus not to be compared to other prose in this genre What was the purpose of the book I imagine this writing style suitable when a person would like to write down a life story for future generations It is the kind of writing style to be expected when an old aunt s diaries are discovered in the attic If a dear Annie was added, it could have been a perfect epistolary tale Much tell with little show and keeping to the basics A story of hatred and hardships, of family cruelty, of political madness, and psychological mayhem mixed into one cocktail of death and destruction A cocktail, yes, prepared for the refined, the suaved, the controlled, the mediocre It is not a barrel of beer for the boisterous, for the overly excited and the emotionally unstable where tempers could fly, furniture could be thrown around, guns could be pulled and shot off into the ceiling and testosterone could burst open the latent Neanderthal bubble in the brain No, The Luck of the Weissensteiners does not do that It just tells a story of Greta Weissensteiner who fell in love with a bookshop assistant, Wilhelm Winkelmeierfrom Berlin, who relocated to Czechoslovakia just when the winds of war started ripping through the Eurasian landscape and how the two families had to cope with a hostile environment It is an already well known tale told to an audience who probably already walked this long roadthan once before in other books But to stay on the road of this story required lots of sleeping in between and persistence to finish It is not a romantic tale It is not a fantasy It is an ugly, almost too clinical reality that once again commemorate the horror of WWII on people The historical information is valuable The bad family relationships with the cruelty and meanness of Johanna Winkelmeier, in particular, and her family in general, towards the young, inexperienced Jewish woman Greta Weissensteiner, the betrayal and lies, the dangerous political milieu and everything else that is needed to make this a great book, is filling up the pages, yet, the bang just did not happen for me I was constantly wondering when the hell ever was this book going to end and should I keep driving this long tedious road without abandoning the challenge The facts are too realistic to be real fiction An enormous amount of research went into this book All books relating to WWII have always ripped my guts open to the bare bone Every single one of them have me upset for days on end My first awareness and curiosity with the Jewish history started off with the musical play, turned into a movieFiddler on the Roof 1971, which was written by Joseph Stein and was set in Tsarist Russia in 1905 I was a young girl then I still cry when I hear the actor Chaim Topol s deep voice sadly reverberating though his village singingIf I were a rich manRemember that Since then I was on a personal mission to learnabout the Jewish fate And like millions of other non Jewish people, I educated myself as much as possible in anyway possible David Mikics, a professor of English at the University of Houston, said Everything is legitimate if it helps you understand, with the caveat that, mythologizing can obscure reality in a problematic way But of course when it comes to WWII there is probably another million horror stories waiting to be told in either print or film and not all of them are about the Holocaust A quick recall isCaptain Corelli s Mandoline , written by Louis de Berni res which was one of my recent all time favorite books that has been filmed A brilliant movie, with an equally horrifying tale translated into visual effects that had me sleepless for days So many millions of people suffered.But that s just for interest sake I am disappointed with this book I expected a lotYet, given my own interest in the subject, and the literary archive from which I am judging this story , I will be lenient The style did not work for me The plot rolled out a long, harrowing road through harshness with not enough points of relief in between There was no passion behind the words, only linear facts used to build a tale Two stars, but one additional star added for the research well doneThe road that leads to nowhere for others might just be the road that leads to somewhere for youMehmet Murat ildan, writer.For this reason, you might want to read this book


  7. Bernice Rocque Bernice Rocque says:

    With much research behind it, as well as the personal experience of growing up in the region, Christoph Fischer s work of historical fiction provides insight into the psyche beneath the levels of destruction in WWII era Europe If you are someone who wonders how such atrocities could have occurred prior to, and during WWII on the continent, you will want to read The Luck of the Weissensteiners The setting is Czechoslovakia, though it could have been almost any country in the region Ethnic disr With much research behind it, as well as the personal experience of growing up in the region, Christoph Fischer s work of historical fiction provides insight into the psyche beneath the levels of destruction in WWII era Europe If you are someone who wonders how such atrocities could have occurred prior to, and during WWII on the continent, you will want to read The Luck of the Weissensteiners The setting is Czechoslovakia, though it could have been almost any country in the region Ethnic disrespect, hate, and violence have gone on for centuries in central and eastern Europe Until reading this book, though, I did not understand how finely differentiated these forces were Indirectly, the book also helped me to better understand how the dark side of nationality has wiped out countless human beings during various periods in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia and for that matter, North and South America.The Luck of the Weissensteiners follows two families and their circles of life, as they try to navigate the virulent events of their time The story begins with the romance of a German bookseller and a young, beautiful woman of Jewish heritage They will soon be caught in the whirling winds of their time The author depicts how nearly impossible it is for the characters of this saga to avoid the propaganda machines around them, the pressures to conform, often in a chameleon fashion due to sudden changes in governance, and most unfortunately, the programming in ethnic bias from the time they were children Despite the serious subjects, there is much warmth in this story Some of the characters do find ways to stay true to the best in their natures or even redeem themselves, just as real individuals did then, and have always done on the plains of human existence If you enjoy well drawn characters whose lives and choices so deftly represent the themes of a book, The Luck of the Weissensteiners provides a rich read In some ways, this book reminds me of classics I read long ago like The Canterbury Tales, or even The Odyssey, due to the diversity of personalities and the theme of journeys From ethnic origin to talents and occupations, physical descriptions to sexual preferences, and economic status to political leanings, we see a cross section of humanity Through their eyes and reactions, we can appreciate the full range of real outcomes and experiences, happy to sad or shocking, that occurred to real individuals during this era By the way, the title of the book was an outstanding choice.The Luck of the Weissensteiners would be tremendous in an audio version For now, consider reading it out loud with a few friends who are interested in what life was like for those who lived the events of the novel s time Though some critics might question the generous use of adverbs and adjectives in his narrative voice and in the dialogue tags, Christoph Fischer deftly weaves his tapestry of history and fiction, with a grace not unlike Jonas, one of his primary characters For me, the author s choice of narrative style brought economy to the complex story being told, as well as a kind of mesmerizing rhythm


  8. Scott Stevens Scott Stevens says:

    Following Greta from pre WWII Bratislava through Carlsbad through Aschaffenburg and ultimately to post war Frankfurt is a well written journey Fischer s The Luck of the Weissensteiners had me hooked into the journey, turning pages and asking the same question Greta stumbles upon frequently, Where were friends or enemies The novel is a historically sound piece dealing with loyalty, stigma, love, loneliness and oppression set against a backdrop of Eastern Europe s turmoil The characters lives Following Greta from pre WWII Bratislava through Carlsbad through Aschaffenburg and ultimately to post war Frankfurt is a well written journey Fischer s The Luck of the Weissensteiners had me hooked into the journey, turning pages and asking the same question Greta stumbles upon frequently, Where were friends or enemies The novel is a historically sound piece dealing with loyalty, stigma, love, loneliness and oppression set against a backdrop of Eastern Europe s turmoil The characters lives were confounded at so many intersections by the results of a powerful anti Semetic propaganda campaign They don t go to an Auschwitz or Buchenwald, but you quickly see that avoiding the camps was not freedom for the articulately drawn and likeable characters You want to see what happens next to them and can feel the tension Fischer relays so well Chapters 3, 10 and 13 capture Greta s emotion, tragedies and near misses so intensely I went back for a welcome re read The book accomplishes a lot in coveringthan a decade and a half without making a reader feeling rushed or missing something in the timeline It s paced that well and the Epilogue cleanly tied together the themes and characters of the entire novel as a great exhibit of Fischer s talent


  9. Simon Okill Simon Okill says:

    The Luck of the Weissensteiners by Christoph Fischer is nothing short of pure genius I fell in love with the writing the moment I flipped the first page The author s exquisite sense of style combines intricate historical facts with dramatic family turmoil that shocked the whole world when first revealed back in 1945 This beautifully crafted novel is filled with desperation and sheer determination to survive against insurmountable odds Greta Weissensteiner falls in love with the young man who The Luck of the Weissensteiners by Christoph Fischer is nothing short of pure genius I fell in love with the writing the moment I flipped the first page The author s exquisite sense of style combines intricate historical facts with dramatic family turmoil that shocked the whole world when first revealed back in 1945 This beautifully crafted novel is filled with desperation and sheer determination to survive against insurmountable odds Greta Weissensteiner falls in love with the young man who sneaks books from his library and uses them to see her Wilhelm Winkelmeier does not care she is a Jew and marries her They live on his parents farm where Greta is subjected to harsh living conditions and has to forget her love of books to take care of their son, Karl Slowly, she wins the respect of Wilhelm s parents, but a storm is racing across the horizon in the shape of Nazi hatred of all things Jewish.Then the unthinkable happens the world turns a blind eye as Germany invades Austria and then Sudetenland bordering their home country of Czechoslovakia It is only a matter of time before the terror begins.The Weissensteiners have always believed in their own brand of luck that has kept them in good stead, but once the Jewish question is implemented that luck is needed time and again And yet their luck seems to protect them, but at what cost This wonderful novel handles a difficult subject matter with style and grace, showing a close knit family fighting injustice and never losing their dignity in the face of bigotry and hatred.I must admit I was often brought to tears with several scenes so poignant and tender This book deserves to be in every library as a reminder of man s inhumanity to man and how easily society can ignore such cruelty.This FIVE STAR masterpiece should be read by every teenager as part of their school curriculum I LOVE IT


  10. John Hanley John Hanley says:

    Absorbing and utterly convincing.This is a tour de force from a writer completely confident in his material and research The opening had me so gripped that I started to fall in love with Greta Weissensteiner and wanted to elbow Wilhelm aside and rescue her from his dusty bookshop But as I have already read so much about this period I felt the tentacles of dread reaching out to throttle me as the inevitable approached and despatching Wilhelm would only have removed the Weissenteiners luck I ve Absorbing and utterly convincing.This is a tour de force from a writer completely confident in his material and research The opening had me so gripped that I started to fall in love with Greta Weissensteiner and wanted to elbow Wilhelm aside and rescue her from his dusty bookshop But as I have already read so much about this period I felt the tentacles of dread reaching out to throttle me as the inevitable approached and despatching Wilhelm would only have removed the Weissenteiners luck I ve always struggled to comprehend the control Hitler exerted over his volk There is no doubt that he was charismatic but there must have been something buried deep within the German psyche which allowed him to perpetrate such horrors on his people for what he perceived as their own good Stalin was a simple gangster in comparison.There have been many books written about the treatment of Jews in Europe before and during the war but few authors have succeeded in shining such a bright spotlight on the cancer of anti Semitism as Christoph Ben Elton tried recently with Two Brothers but, in comparison, that is a jumbled unfocussed account True, some readers might find the long explanatory passages challenging but this is such a complex subject that these are essential for clarity and to cement the various strands of the Weissenteiners story together.Christoph is meticulous in his approach and has the gifts of a natural story teller I suspect that this is only the first in a long line of must read books


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The Luck of the Weissensteiners [Read] ➪ The Luck of the Weissensteiners By Christoph Fischer – Polishdarling.co.uk In the sleepy town of Bratislava in a romantic girl falls for a bookseller from Berlin Greta Weissensteiner, daughter of a Jewish weaver, slowly settles in with the Winkelmeier clan just as the devel of the Kindle Ñ In the sleepy town of Bratislava ina romantic girl falls for a bookseller from Berlin Greta Weissensteiner, daughter of a Jewish weaver, slowly settles in with the Winkelmeier clan just as the developments in Germany start to make waves in Europe The political climate in the multifaceted cultural jigsaw puzzle of disintegrating Czechoslovakia becomes complex and affects relations between the couple and the familiesThe story follows their lot through the war with its predictable and also its unexpected turns and events and the equally hard times afterFrom the moment that Greta The Luck ePUB Ù Weissensteiner enters the bookstore where Wilhelm Winkelmeier works, and entrances him with her good looks and serious ways, I was hooked But this is no ordinary romance in tact it is not a romance at all, but a powerful, often sad, Holocaust story What makes The Luck of the Weissensteiners so extraordinary is the chance Christoph Fischer gives his readers to consider the many different people who were never in concentration camps, never in the military, yet who nonetheless had their own indelible Holocaust experiences Set in the fascinating area of Bratislava, Luck of the ePUB ↠ this is a wide ranging, historically accurate exploration of the connections between social location, personal integrity and, as the title says, luck I cared about every one of this novel s characters and continued to think about them long after I d finished reading Andrea Steiner, University of California Santa CruzThe Luck of the Weissensteiners is an epic saga set in wartime Eastern Europe It follows the lives of two families one Jewish, one Catholic and their entwined survival amidst the backdrop of the second world war first the fascist then the communist invasion and occupation of Slovakia, and the horror of the consequences of war The reader is transported to a world of deception, fear, distrust and betrayal, alongside enduring love and family drama The characters are vividly painted in the mind of the reader as we follow their journey across Europe at a time of unimaginable challenge and trauma Weissensteiners is a magnificent tale of human survival I wish I hadn t read it already so that I may repeat the pleasure of discovering and becoming lost in the story once again.


10 thoughts on “The Luck of the Weissensteiners

  1. Jeffrey Keeten Jeffrey Keeten says:

    In the end we are all gambling with our lives in this war Killed by the Germans, raped by the Russians or shot by friendly fire The luck of the Weissensteiners is certainly better than most, but when the world goes mad even the best of luck can become tattered and frayed The Weissensteiners are Jewish, not practicing Jewish They even occasionally finding themselves sitting with the congregation of the Catholic Church They are weavers, but Jonah is muchthan an artisan making rugs He In the end we are all gambling with our lives in this war Killed by the Germans, raped by the Russians or shot by friendly fire The luck of the Weissensteiners is certainly better than most, but when the world goes mad even the best of luck can become tattered and frayed The Weissensteiners are Jewish, not practicing Jewish They even occasionally finding themselves sitting with the congregation of the Catholic Church They are weavers, but Jonah is muchthan an artisan making rugs He is an artist creating masterpieces It turns out to be the very thing that buys him someluck Bookstores in my opinion are the best place to meet your next girlfriend or boyfriend Dorothy Malone and Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep Don t let those glasses fool you There is a passionate tiger lurking behind those window panes.The story begins in 1933 in a bookshop in Bratislava when Greta Weissensteiner begins buying books from the bookstore in which Wilhelm Winkelmeier is working Wilhelm is a rather good looking young man, well aware of his attractiveness to the female species, but he has never met a girl quite like Greta She not only reads, but she reads literature and philosophy She reads the authors he reads The pursuit is on By 1935 they are married and their son Karl has been born Everybody is watching with various degrees of trepidation and in some cases jubilation at the rise of the Nazi party There are a lot of German nationalists living in Slovakia and the Winkelmeier family are among them Asandpropaganda makes its way from Germany it begins to have an affect not only on the Germans living in countries outside of Germany, but also on Wilhelm Suddenly his beautiful wife who was a feather in his cap becomes a detriment to his future He sees her as corrupted genetically and he is thankful that Karl looks as Aryan as he does People start to make decisions about how to best position themselves properly for the upcoming war Some Germans move back to Germany and Wilhelm is no exception He doesn t take his tainted wife who is now pregnant with their second son Ernst when he arrives shows the mixed heritage His grandmother in particular has a hard time with itTo many people this strange combination seemed cute or adorable but to her it was a littleunsettling and disgusting To see the handsome Winkelmeier features disfigured in such an ugly way was too much for herJews from Slovakia being sent to their deaths in 1942.Until the rise of Nazism looking Jewish was not something anyone thought about Now it was all anyone thought about Egon, Greta s brother joins the army in an attempt to protect his parents, but they needthan that Fortunately Jonah has a benefactor in the Countess She has bought many of his works of art and helped commission manywith her friends When the Germans insist on lists of Jews they can use in the work camps the Weissensteiner luck holds once againJonah s names was listed but a friendly, corrupt and heavily bribed pen crossed the Weissensteiners off all lists Many Jews try to convert, but the Catholic church in many cases is unsympatheticThe conversion of opportunistic Jews who just wanted to escape the persecution which they deserved in his eyes was out of the questionAndrej Hlinka You might be asking yourself if that is a Catholic Priest collar, yes indeed it is.The Hlinka Guards named after Andrej Hlinka was formed in 1938, trained by the SS in Germany, and in charge of deporting Jews from Slovakia to Auschwitz starting in 1942 This was really just a state sponsored shake down They stripped the Jews of all their money, jewels, and other valuables before sending them off to die There was over 15,000 Jews in Bratislava alone and most did not survive the war Hlinka Guard well trained by the SS.How long can the Weissensteiner luck prevail So Christoph Fischer follows these two families the Weissensteiners and the Winkelmeier families and how the changing winds of political favor affects each family The Winkelmeier s do very well early on in the war acquiringandland that used to belong to Jews, but what happens when the war starts turning against the Axis Powers What happens if the Czechs take the area back over How about the Russians The Weissensteiners purchase German documentation made by one of the numerous blackmarket artists disenfranchised by the war which of course works fine as long as the Germans maintain control As the Russians and the Americans advance everyone including the once secure Germans are unsure of what to do Where to go to be safe Ideally they want to land in the hands of the Americans The Russians are like a raging pestilence, killing and raping everybody who is unfortunate enough to fall in their path Even people like the Countess whose money has insulated them from the ravages of war finds herself in the wind with no safety net The roads are choked with refugees for mile after mile Food is scarce Tempers are frayed.These are conditions where good people find themselves becoming someone they don t want to be in order to survive Some of thefragile go crazy The stress and strain on everyone is tremendous People who used to own farms and businesses suddenly find themselves refugees People are shot for some unknown reason or no reason at all There are no distinctions between Jews, Germans, Czechs, Hungarians, Austrians or Slovakians now that the whole region is destabilized Civilians are caught in a vortex of uncontrolled violence There are no rules Death doesn t play favorites It is stalking everyone I had no idea that Slovenia provided troops to the German army One of the many historical facts that Fischer liberally doses this novel with His writing style is going to drive some people crazy As a reader you feel like you are reading a historical nonfiction book for some sections and then your Slovakian great aunt s diary in the next moment As the tension mounts, and I was starting to wonder how anyone lived to reproduce in Central Europe, I became the relative in America waiting for that letter that so matter of factly tells me that Great Uncle Jonah didn t make it or Greta was sent to a camp in Germany Luck plays such a factor in who survived and who died Yes, some people are naturallyferal and have an increased chance of surviving the war, but frankly there is no way to predict that things would get this bad or that you d suddenly be up to your eyeballs in pissed off Russian troops or desperate Germans In many ways it showed the worst of humanity, but there are also those moments when someone does the unexpected and reaches out a hand when someone needs it most People who when living in a sane world would never even consider hurting another human being or demeaning themselves for a piece of bread are forced to be killers, beggars, and whores This book reinforced for me the absolute need to maintain civilization It is the only chance we have to continue to evolve intobenevolent and peaceful creatures This is the first of The Three Nations Trilogy The second one is Sebastian and the third one is the The Black Eagle Inn I m in for a penny and in for a pound If you wish to seeof my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at


  2. Alan Wynzel Alan Wynzel says:

    Christoph Fischer makes his mark with The Luck Of The Weissensteiners , an intensely woven family drama driven by the twin tides of history and politics His story revolves around the Weissensteiners, a non religious Jewish family leading their lives in Bratislava, Slovakia, before and throughout WWII Fischer demonstrates a masterly grip on history, politics, and the constant ebb and flow of human relationships Multiple intertwined dramas unfold in the story as Europe marches toward war, Hitl Christoph Fischer makes his mark with The Luck Of The Weissensteiners , an intensely woven family drama driven by the twin tides of history and politics His story revolves around the Weissensteiners, a non religious Jewish family leading their lives in Bratislava, Slovakia, before and throughout WWII Fischer demonstrates a masterly grip on history, politics, and the constant ebb and flow of human relationships Multiple intertwined dramas unfold in the story as Europe marches toward war, Hitler annexes Czechoslovakia, allows the establishment of a free Slovak Republic, and the Nazi s Jewish policies are gradually imposed upon the new nation Throughout these events, the Weissensteiner family struggles to survive, and fate and luck leads them down a winding path of human drama Fischer s historical knowledge and keen insight into human conflict make for a dramatic and intense read


  3. Katy O& Katy O& says:

    It s not often that you read a book about the time just prior to, during and just after the Second World War that is based outside of either Britain or America That s the first thing about The Luck of the Weissensteiners it is unlike any other WWII fiction I have ever read, based on the experiences of a Jewish and Catholic family from Eastern Europe and the friends they make along the way.This is an absolutely riveting read from Christoph Fischer, one in fact that I lost sleep over because I It s not often that you read a book about the time just prior to, during and just after the Second World War that is based outside of either Britain or America That s the first thing about The Luck of the Weissensteiners it is unlike any other WWII fiction I have ever read, based on the experiences of a Jewish and Catholic family from Eastern Europe and the friends they make along the way.This is an absolutely riveting read from Christoph Fischer, one in fact that I lost sleep over because I just couldn t put it down It all starts with a young Jewish girl, Greta, falling in love over books with the store clerk Wilhelm and turns into the most excellently told story about what happens to them and their loved ones.Fischer does not to go into the full horrors of Holocaust Europe, and he surely should be applauded for that, but there is enough there to put the reader firmly in mind and place, glimpsing the evil that men and women carried out To have written it in such a way seems somehowpowerful, packsof a punch to the emotions and senses.Rich in plot, with vibrant characters and wonderful storytelling, I really enjoyed this book and would certainly pick up another from the author


  4. Jenny Lloyd Jenny Lloyd says:

    This story takes an original angle in depicting a Jewish family who were lucky enough to escape the death camps Their luck came via their connections with a few, rare, non Jewish people who refused to be blinkered by the anti Semitic propaganda of the time and the fact that they were non practicing Jews meant their Jewishness went unnoticed by local people prior to the escalation of Nazi propaganda All through this story, while the Weissensteiner family were saved from arrest on different occ This story takes an original angle in depicting a Jewish family who were lucky enough to escape the death camps Their luck came via their connections with a few, rare, non Jewish people who refused to be blinkered by the anti Semitic propaganda of the time and the fact that they were non practicing Jews meant their Jewishness went unnoticed by local people prior to the escalation of Nazi propaganda All through this story, while the Weissensteiner family were saved from arrest on different occasions, I found myself thinking of all those who were not so lucky The author powerfully portrays the insidious, corrosive influence of the dehumanizing Nazi propaganda, showing how it manipulated people s deepest fears The story begins with an ordinary love story between Greta, a young, Jewish, Slovakian girl who is the daughter of a weaver and a young, German bookseller, Wilhelm They had their hopes and dreams for the future but, like millions of others, their lives were torn asunder by Hitler s rise to power The propaganda was so relentless and all pervading that, sadly for Greta, even Wilhelm s mind is turned by it, with tragic consequences for her and their young son As a writer, I am always interested in the choices other author s make Outside of Greta s immediate family, there is a large cast of characters woven through the fragile fabric of their lives Often, when there is a large cast of characters in a book, we don t get to know any of them well enough to become emotionally engaged This book is quite unique in that the detached, omniscient narrative style combined with dialogue and realistic, detailed portrayals of the main characters led me to feel I was reading a biographical account of a real family s tribulations rather than a work of fiction Added to the above mix was an outstanding and extraordinary amount of detailed information regarding the events happening outside the death camps at that time The author also explores, in detail, the aftermath of the war and the immense difficulties faced by the surviving Jewish families, including the displacement of refugees the pervasive mistrust between both sides and the reprisals and revenge wreaked on those who had been collaborators or who had any German connections There is one issue with this book which for me meant the difference between 4 and 5 stars This is a long book and it has approximately twenty five pages per chapter with no scene breaks within those chapters This makes for very long blocks of unbroken text which some readers will find off putting and hard going at times It is, however, a worthwhile read and it has greatly broadened my knowledge of this tragic and devastating time in history The extensive research undertaken by the author is second to none and admirable A recommended read


  5. Matthew Gough Matthew Gough says:

    I was recommended this book by a close friend whose judgment in these matters I trust completely I m not a fan of dry fact laden historical novels, but I can say that this book does not fall into this category so please don t be put off by any preconceptions you may have towards this genre I m certainly glad I followed my friend s advice, and was richly rewarded by the author s complex and multifaceted characters, his deft use of prose, and his clean and clear writing style.It would be easy to I was recommended this book by a close friend whose judgment in these matters I trust completely I m not a fan of dry fact laden historical novels, but I can say that this book does not fall into this category so please don t be put off by any preconceptions you may have towards this genre I m certainly glad I followed my friend s advice, and was richly rewarded by the author s complex and multifaceted characters, his deft use of prose, and his clean and clear writing style.It would be easy to fall into the trap of melodramatic and hysterical writing when dealing with the horrors of war and human suffering the author never takes this easy option, he maintains that clear and concise style throughout the novel allowing his characters to tell their own stories.Having the standard English schoolboy knowledge of both World Wars, I thought I new with crushing inevitability the ultimate outcome that would befall the characters A naive ignorance had got the better of me, and as I read I was swept up in a story and a world I realised I new nothing about It was a humbling and quite profound experience, learning and understanding details of the lives that people like these were living and struggling with on a day to day basis throughout the war years, and it s a testament to the author s skill that even now, some weeks after finishing the book, the characters are alive in my mind and almost feel like family.This is not a light fluffy read it s a deeply engaging and complex story, sections of which I had to read several times to get the maximum benefit I can highly recommend this book, both for fans of the genre and also for those who like solid well written novel, regardless of genre


  6. Margitte Margitte says:

    Have you ever traveled a long, winding and seemingly endless road such as the Eyre Highway in Australia It is one of the longest straight roads in the world, covering a monotonous landscape of nonstop hot, harsh, dry, scenery for a few thousand kilometers All the traveler does is drive, stop for fuel, sleep, drive, stop for fuel and drive until it finally comes to an end, if you are lucky to survive at all with no brain damage This is the tone of this book Sadly What could have been a power Have you ever traveled a long, winding and seemingly endless road such as the Eyre Highway in Australia It is one of the longest straight roads in the world, covering a monotonous landscape of nonstop hot, harsh, dry, scenery for a few thousand kilometers All the traveler does is drive, stop for fuel, sleep, drive, stop for fuel and drive until it finally comes to an end, if you are lucky to survive at all with no brain damage This is the tone of this book Sadly What could have been a powerful, dramatic, tale, turned out to be a linear, monotonous journey beginning in Bratislavia in 1933 and going through to 1945 The story is about a Jewish family trying to survive the fascist developments in European countries and the cruel conditions surrounding the holocaust in all its ugliness Long, uninterrupted paragraphs of a biographical memoir are thrown together with no highs or lows, no change of pace, no emotional interruptions, no nothing new Yet, all the elements are there that could have made this story as memorable as , and I am only going to mention but a few of the latest offerings in the millions of books in the Holocaust Fiction genre Schindler s List Thomas Keneally The Boy in the Striped Pajamas John Boyne The Book Thief Markus Zusak Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum Blessings on the Moon Joseph Skibell The Kommandant s Girl Pam Jenoff The Devil s Arithmetic Jane Yolen Someone Named Eva Joan M Wolf Thousands of heart wrenching, profoundly shocking, and deeply disturbing tales of an event that ripped the heart out of the world forever are exposed in these books Writing a book in this genre has become a challenge for any author There are literary millions of books, with a few hundred best sellers to top it of, which must be competed with Not only for sales, but also for uniqueness, plot and style.That makes me wonder how a book such as The Luck of the Weissensteiners will be able to survive when excellence were claimed by too many predecessors Was this book a memoir, yet not officially declared as such, and thus not to be compared to other prose in this genre What was the purpose of the book I imagine this writing style suitable when a person would like to write down a life story for future generations It is the kind of writing style to be expected when an old aunt s diaries are discovered in the attic If a dear Annie was added, it could have been a perfect epistolary tale Much tell with little show and keeping to the basics A story of hatred and hardships, of family cruelty, of political madness, and psychological mayhem mixed into one cocktail of death and destruction A cocktail, yes, prepared for the refined, the suaved, the controlled, the mediocre It is not a barrel of beer for the boisterous, for the overly excited and the emotionally unstable where tempers could fly, furniture could be thrown around, guns could be pulled and shot off into the ceiling and testosterone could burst open the latent Neanderthal bubble in the brain No, The Luck of the Weissensteiners does not do that It just tells a story of Greta Weissensteiner who fell in love with a bookshop assistant, Wilhelm Winkelmeierfrom Berlin, who relocated to Czechoslovakia just when the winds of war started ripping through the Eurasian landscape and how the two families had to cope with a hostile environment It is an already well known tale told to an audience who probably already walked this long roadthan once before in other books But to stay on the road of this story required lots of sleeping in between and persistence to finish It is not a romantic tale It is not a fantasy It is an ugly, almost too clinical reality that once again commemorate the horror of WWII on people The historical information is valuable The bad family relationships with the cruelty and meanness of Johanna Winkelmeier, in particular, and her family in general, towards the young, inexperienced Jewish woman Greta Weissensteiner, the betrayal and lies, the dangerous political milieu and everything else that is needed to make this a great book, is filling up the pages, yet, the bang just did not happen for me I was constantly wondering when the hell ever was this book going to end and should I keep driving this long tedious road without abandoning the challenge The facts are too realistic to be real fiction An enormous amount of research went into this book All books relating to WWII have always ripped my guts open to the bare bone Every single one of them have me upset for days on end My first awareness and curiosity with the Jewish history started off with the musical play, turned into a movieFiddler on the Roof 1971, which was written by Joseph Stein and was set in Tsarist Russia in 1905 I was a young girl then I still cry when I hear the actor Chaim Topol s deep voice sadly reverberating though his village singingIf I were a rich manRemember that Since then I was on a personal mission to learnabout the Jewish fate And like millions of other non Jewish people, I educated myself as much as possible in anyway possible David Mikics, a professor of English at the University of Houston, said Everything is legitimate if it helps you understand, with the caveat that, mythologizing can obscure reality in a problematic way But of course when it comes to WWII there is probably another million horror stories waiting to be told in either print or film and not all of them are about the Holocaust A quick recall isCaptain Corelli s Mandoline , written by Louis de Berni res which was one of my recent all time favorite books that has been filmed A brilliant movie, with an equally horrifying tale translated into visual effects that had me sleepless for days So many millions of people suffered.But that s just for interest sake I am disappointed with this book I expected a lotYet, given my own interest in the subject, and the literary archive from which I am judging this story , I will be lenient The style did not work for me The plot rolled out a long, harrowing road through harshness with not enough points of relief in between There was no passion behind the words, only linear facts used to build a tale Two stars, but one additional star added for the research well doneThe road that leads to nowhere for others might just be the road that leads to somewhere for youMehmet Murat ildan, writer.For this reason, you might want to read this book


  7. Bernice Rocque Bernice Rocque says:

    With much research behind it, as well as the personal experience of growing up in the region, Christoph Fischer s work of historical fiction provides insight into the psyche beneath the levels of destruction in WWII era Europe If you are someone who wonders how such atrocities could have occurred prior to, and during WWII on the continent, you will want to read The Luck of the Weissensteiners The setting is Czechoslovakia, though it could have been almost any country in the region Ethnic disr With much research behind it, as well as the personal experience of growing up in the region, Christoph Fischer s work of historical fiction provides insight into the psyche beneath the levels of destruction in WWII era Europe If you are someone who wonders how such atrocities could have occurred prior to, and during WWII on the continent, you will want to read The Luck of the Weissensteiners The setting is Czechoslovakia, though it could have been almost any country in the region Ethnic disrespect, hate, and violence have gone on for centuries in central and eastern Europe Until reading this book, though, I did not understand how finely differentiated these forces were Indirectly, the book also helped me to better understand how the dark side of nationality has wiped out countless human beings during various periods in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia and for that matter, North and South America.The Luck of the Weissensteiners follows two families and their circles of life, as they try to navigate the virulent events of their time The story begins with the romance of a German bookseller and a young, beautiful woman of Jewish heritage They will soon be caught in the whirling winds of their time The author depicts how nearly impossible it is for the characters of this saga to avoid the propaganda machines around them, the pressures to conform, often in a chameleon fashion due to sudden changes in governance, and most unfortunately, the programming in ethnic bias from the time they were children Despite the serious subjects, there is much warmth in this story Some of the characters do find ways to stay true to the best in their natures or even redeem themselves, just as real individuals did then, and have always done on the plains of human existence If you enjoy well drawn characters whose lives and choices so deftly represent the themes of a book, The Luck of the Weissensteiners provides a rich read In some ways, this book reminds me of classics I read long ago like The Canterbury Tales, or even The Odyssey, due to the diversity of personalities and the theme of journeys From ethnic origin to talents and occupations, physical descriptions to sexual preferences, and economic status to political leanings, we see a cross section of humanity Through their eyes and reactions, we can appreciate the full range of real outcomes and experiences, happy to sad or shocking, that occurred to real individuals during this era By the way, the title of the book was an outstanding choice.The Luck of the Weissensteiners would be tremendous in an audio version For now, consider reading it out loud with a few friends who are interested in what life was like for those who lived the events of the novel s time Though some critics might question the generous use of adverbs and adjectives in his narrative voice and in the dialogue tags, Christoph Fischer deftly weaves his tapestry of history and fiction, with a grace not unlike Jonas, one of his primary characters For me, the author s choice of narrative style brought economy to the complex story being told, as well as a kind of mesmerizing rhythm


  8. Scott Stevens Scott Stevens says:

    Following Greta from pre WWII Bratislava through Carlsbad through Aschaffenburg and ultimately to post war Frankfurt is a well written journey Fischer s The Luck of the Weissensteiners had me hooked into the journey, turning pages and asking the same question Greta stumbles upon frequently, Where were friends or enemies The novel is a historically sound piece dealing with loyalty, stigma, love, loneliness and oppression set against a backdrop of Eastern Europe s turmoil The characters lives Following Greta from pre WWII Bratislava through Carlsbad through Aschaffenburg and ultimately to post war Frankfurt is a well written journey Fischer s The Luck of the Weissensteiners had me hooked into the journey, turning pages and asking the same question Greta stumbles upon frequently, Where were friends or enemies The novel is a historically sound piece dealing with loyalty, stigma, love, loneliness and oppression set against a backdrop of Eastern Europe s turmoil The characters lives were confounded at so many intersections by the results of a powerful anti Semetic propaganda campaign They don t go to an Auschwitz or Buchenwald, but you quickly see that avoiding the camps was not freedom for the articulately drawn and likeable characters You want to see what happens next to them and can feel the tension Fischer relays so well Chapters 3, 10 and 13 capture Greta s emotion, tragedies and near misses so intensely I went back for a welcome re read The book accomplishes a lot in coveringthan a decade and a half without making a reader feeling rushed or missing something in the timeline It s paced that well and the Epilogue cleanly tied together the themes and characters of the entire novel as a great exhibit of Fischer s talent


  9. Simon Okill Simon Okill says:

    The Luck of the Weissensteiners by Christoph Fischer is nothing short of pure genius I fell in love with the writing the moment I flipped the first page The author s exquisite sense of style combines intricate historical facts with dramatic family turmoil that shocked the whole world when first revealed back in 1945 This beautifully crafted novel is filled with desperation and sheer determination to survive against insurmountable odds Greta Weissensteiner falls in love with the young man who The Luck of the Weissensteiners by Christoph Fischer is nothing short of pure genius I fell in love with the writing the moment I flipped the first page The author s exquisite sense of style combines intricate historical facts with dramatic family turmoil that shocked the whole world when first revealed back in 1945 This beautifully crafted novel is filled with desperation and sheer determination to survive against insurmountable odds Greta Weissensteiner falls in love with the young man who sneaks books from his library and uses them to see her Wilhelm Winkelmeier does not care she is a Jew and marries her They live on his parents farm where Greta is subjected to harsh living conditions and has to forget her love of books to take care of their son, Karl Slowly, she wins the respect of Wilhelm s parents, but a storm is racing across the horizon in the shape of Nazi hatred of all things Jewish.Then the unthinkable happens the world turns a blind eye as Germany invades Austria and then Sudetenland bordering their home country of Czechoslovakia It is only a matter of time before the terror begins.The Weissensteiners have always believed in their own brand of luck that has kept them in good stead, but once the Jewish question is implemented that luck is needed time and again And yet their luck seems to protect them, but at what cost This wonderful novel handles a difficult subject matter with style and grace, showing a close knit family fighting injustice and never losing their dignity in the face of bigotry and hatred.I must admit I was often brought to tears with several scenes so poignant and tender This book deserves to be in every library as a reminder of man s inhumanity to man and how easily society can ignore such cruelty.This FIVE STAR masterpiece should be read by every teenager as part of their school curriculum I LOVE IT


  10. John Hanley John Hanley says:

    Absorbing and utterly convincing.This is a tour de force from a writer completely confident in his material and research The opening had me so gripped that I started to fall in love with Greta Weissensteiner and wanted to elbow Wilhelm aside and rescue her from his dusty bookshop But as I have already read so much about this period I felt the tentacles of dread reaching out to throttle me as the inevitable approached and despatching Wilhelm would only have removed the Weissenteiners luck I ve Absorbing and utterly convincing.This is a tour de force from a writer completely confident in his material and research The opening had me so gripped that I started to fall in love with Greta Weissensteiner and wanted to elbow Wilhelm aside and rescue her from his dusty bookshop But as I have already read so much about this period I felt the tentacles of dread reaching out to throttle me as the inevitable approached and despatching Wilhelm would only have removed the Weissenteiners luck I ve always struggled to comprehend the control Hitler exerted over his volk There is no doubt that he was charismatic but there must have been something buried deep within the German psyche which allowed him to perpetrate such horrors on his people for what he perceived as their own good Stalin was a simple gangster in comparison.There have been many books written about the treatment of Jews in Europe before and during the war but few authors have succeeded in shining such a bright spotlight on the cancer of anti Semitism as Christoph Ben Elton tried recently with Two Brothers but, in comparison, that is a jumbled unfocussed account True, some readers might find the long explanatory passages challenging but this is such a complex subject that these are essential for clarity and to cement the various strands of the Weissenteiners story together.Christoph is meticulous in his approach and has the gifts of a natural story teller I suspect that this is only the first in a long line of must read books


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