Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wildflowers of Terezin

Author: Robert Elmer
Publisher: Abingdon Press
April 2010
ISBN: 978-1 -4267-0192-4
Genre: Inspirational/historical/WWII

Pastor Steffen Peterson tries to stay out of the way of the Nazi’s and the underground that is trying to work to defeat the Nazi’s purpose in Denmark. But when a routine visit to the hospital to visit a parishioner causes Steffen to be caught in cross-fire, he finds himself in the hospital, but not for the intended purpose. Worse, a German Gestapo comes to question him, and the nurse, Hanne Abrahamsen shields Steffen, sending the Gestapo away then helping Steffen escape, believing that he is actually part of the underground.

Then word is that the Germans plan to export all 7,000 Jews from Denmark at a certain time. Steffen finds himself hiding some Jews in the basement of his church, one of them Hanne’s mother, and then rowing them across the sound to catch a fishing boat to Sweden.

Now Steffen is actively caught up in the Underground and life is getting increasingly dangerous, especially to Hanne who is a Jew hiding in plain sight. As the danger mounts, both Steffen and Hanne must decide if they are willing to pay the ultimate price.

WILDFLOWERS OF TEREZIN is a World War II book that takes a different approach to some of the WWII stories than some. I’ve read all of Tricia Goyer’s books, and even Robert Elmer’s young adult books (which is quite similar in theme to this book. World War II is my favorite historical time period to read about, even though they were horrible days for those living through it.

Based on real events WILDFLOWERS OF TEREZIN is a compelling read, maybe a little slower paced than some, but no less exciting. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Steffen and Hanne as they struggled to do what they felt was right and make a difference in their land. And I have to applaud the Danes for taking such a strong stance against the Nazi’s. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $13.99. 335 pages.

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