Wildflowers of Terezin is a sweeping historical novel set against a backdrop of danger. A Danish Lutheran pastor?s complacent faith is stretched to the breaking point during World War II when he meets a young Jewish nurse Hanne Abrahamsen and becomes deeply involved in Resistance efforts to save Denmark?s Jews from the Nazi prison camp at Terezin, Czechoslovakia - also known as Theresienstadt.
Challenged by his evangelical brother and swayed by his own attraction to Hanne, Pastor Steffen abandons his formerly quiet, uninvolved life and hesitantly volunteers to help smuggle Denmark?s Jews out of the country before a Nazi roundup. Steffen finds that helping his Jewish neighbors is the most decent, spiritual thing he has ever done. As he actually does God?s work, rather than just talking about it, Steffen?s faith deepens and he takes greater risks in his sermons.
When things go terribly wrong and Hanne is sent to Terezin, Steffen finds his heart fully engaged. He undertakes protests and rescues that are more and more dangerous, never imagining where it will lead him, or the ultimate cost of his decision to get directly involved.Publishers Description
When nurse Hanne Abrahamsen impulsively shields Steffen Petersen from a nosy Gestapo agent, she s convinced the Lutheran pastor is involved in the Danish Underground. Nothing could be further from the truth. But truth is hard to come by in the fall of 1943, when Copenhagen is placed under Martial Law and Denmark s Jews including Hanne suddenly face deportation to the Nazi prison camp at Terezin, Czechoslovakia. Days darken and danger mounts. Steffen s faith deepens as he takes greater risks to protect Hanne. But are either of them willing to pay the ultimate price for their love? "
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.4" Width: 5.5" Height: 1.1"
Weight: 0.85 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 2010
Publisher Abingdon Church Supplies
Availability 0 units.
Reviews - What do our customers think?
|Wildflowers of Terezin - A Good Read - Recommended May 31, 2010|
|I have to admit that I was hesitant to open the newest entry from multi-published Robert Elmer. Not because of the author, who has several novels such as The Duet and The Celebrity, young adult series A Way Through the Sea (The Young Underground #1) (Book 1), The Young Underground Series and Promise Breaker (Promise of Zion, Book 1), and a non-fiction Practicing God's Presence: Brother Lawrence for Today's Reader under his belt, and has already proven his ability to write. |
My concern was the time and place of the historical fiction, Wildflowers of Terezin. The suffering of the Jews during WWII can be too graphic for me. I hurt for the pain and death that was fostered on men, women, and children. But I was intrigued by the setting, Denmark. My ignorance never ceases to amaze me and here I found another aspect of it. I thought I knew all about WWII, but found I knew nothing of the history of the WWII and the Danish people, and the Danish Jews in Denmark.
The story of the preacher, Steffen, the resistance fighter, Henning, and the Danish Jewish nurse Hanne revealed an epoch in the broad canvas that was that terrible war. I love to read historical fiction and learn at the same time from historical fictions such as Wildflowers of Terezin.
Word of caution, I found that the beginning was a little dull, mostly Steffen. He couldn't seem to comprehend the danger. I wanted to slap him and say, "Wake up. Don't you understand the evil that is loose on your world?" Of course, many people of that time did not understand the danger until it was upon them. I found the character very believable. But once he did see the danger he acted to the point of putting himself in danger. I found it fascinating to confirm the historical facts of the bravery of the Danes in helping to save thousands of their citizens.
A good read, I recommend it.
|Great Read! May 13, 2010|
|In the midst of the atrocities of World War II, there are many stories of love and courage of those who would stand up to evil. Wildflowers of Terezin is one of those books that illustrate with actual, though fictionalized, events of how a few people did what God and country required them to do. |
Hanne Abrahamsen is a Jewish nurse working in Copenhagen. Steffen Petersen is a pastor who never involved himself in anything but his yearly rotating sermons. In 1943, the Germans begin executing the plan to remove the 7000 Jews from Denmark. Thrown together when Steffen is injured, Hanne and Steffen embark on a mission to hide and save Jews from being transported to unknown horrors. Hanne is captured while trying to escape and taken to Terezin, Czechoslovakia, a Nazi prison camp. As the back cover blurb says, "Steffen's faith deepens as he takes greater risks to protect Hanne. But are either of them willing to pay the ultimate price for their love?"
Elmer's writing style is very smooth and easy to read and brings you along the story line with crisp, fresh images. I love many of his descriptions, such as the cattle car doors opening wide "like the mouth of a giant fish ready to inhale Jonah."
The characters drew me in completely. Hanne is sweet, but strong and stubborn and someone I'd love to know. The courage and deep faith Steffen develops throughout the story is inspiring. We all have things in this world we can be champions of, and Steffen's dedication and determination reminds me that there are many in this world who are forced into silence, and we must be their voices against injustice. I love fiction that can be translated and applied into real life. The circumstances and times of this story may have changed, but the need for strong, determined voices has not.
I wholeheartedly recommend Wildflowers of Terezin.
Note: I received a copy for review from the publisher, but I wouldn't have reviewed it if I didn't like it:)
|Page Turner That Does More Than Entertains May 12, 2010|
|Ever since reading Diary of Anne Frank in sixth grade I have been captivated by World War II and Holocaust literature. A good book is like a double espresso shot, it keeps you up turning page after page. A great book keeps you awake long after, placing yourself in the minds of the characters. Yet a great Christian book is a double espresso shot to your faith: it encourages, convicts, and challenges..giving a fresh jolt of energy. Wildflowers of Terezin takes a blue ribbon in all three categories.|
Elmer excels in historical accuracy, creating a book that engages the senses. The reader can nearly smell the stench of the deportation trains, hear the Danes singing the national anthem, feel Bela's forehead as her temperature breaks.
Each character is richly drawn. All too often villians become cardboard caracatures, especially when World War II era Europe is the subject. I love the pointed contrast between brothers Henning and Steffen. Henning repeatedly tells Steffen 'return to your kirke (church)." Henning's character is found in all those who rightly criticize the church as hypocrites when we lack the action to match our talk.
Love demands action. Due to his love for Hanne, Steffen is willing to go to the ultimate lengths even risking his own life for her sake.
What lengths will we go to in order to demonstrate our love for Christ and for those He created? I enjoyed watching Steffen's character evolve from a pastor who preaches through the same notes annually to a man on fire for the Lord.
We live in a time when the Gospel message is becoming watered down by many churches, particularly in this country where we have been blessed with so much abundance. Will each of us stand up and tell the Truth, even if it is offensive to the government? What risks are we willing to take for our faith? Mr. Elmer relentlessly asks us these questions, using the character of Steffen.
Wildflowers of Terezin is a beautiful and lyrical novel that kept me self-reflecting long after I finished the last page. Robert Elmer's book is a must-read and I look forward to his next project.
|Historically beautiful and painful at the same time Apr 18, 2010|
|This book is based around the days of 1943, WWII, a Lutheran Pastor named Steffen, and a Jewish Nurse named Hanne. Set in a time I have never known, other than through books, I found that this particular story at times took my breath away as I put myself in the characters world. Steffen steps outside his comfort zone of "behind the pulpit" and the pages begin to turn...|
Is it possible to love and hate a book?
Never a fan of war related stories, this one, held on to me. I had no problem at all staying entirely engrossed in this fictional, historical, Christian read, that brought this horrible war and this incredible love to my home.
There are so many things in this world that I have not lived or experienced, and author Robert Elmer, through a fictitious read about a true war, brought a piece of history to me that I had not really known. I now feel in my heart - that I have a little of that fear, that "hold on to your faith" through everything knowledge, because of this book.
|A Tale of Choices Apr 16, 2010|
|Wildflowers of Terezin|
Robert Elmer's wide readership won't be disappointed by his latest novel, set in Europe during World War II. Elmer captures the world's darkest days with emotion born of family recollection. Denmark during the Nazi occupation was a frightening and dangerous place. Elmer's attention to detail makes the story and the era come alive.
Wildflowers of Terezin is a tale of choices. Elmer explores humanity by showing how we treat each other during the most terrible trials.
Thought-provoking decisions such as is physical violence ever justified, how much and in what way should people of faith get involved in fighting, are people's souls more important than physical safety, and must faith always match heritage are portrayed in his characters. The deft use of pertinent quotes opening each chapter set the theme.
Hanne Abrahamson, a hospital nurse in the capital city, meets Lutheran pastor Steffen Petersen when the pastor is caught by accident on the street during a skirmish. Mistaking him for a resistance fighter when a German soldier comes to ask questions, she hides him in the hospital.
The experience becomes a catalyst for the pastor who, until now, had preferred to remain neutral. He sees what others, his young brother Henning included, are doing to combat injustice and is disturbed by his lack of motivation to do anything uncomfortable.
Elmer uses another character inside the German army to show that not all agreed with Hitler's plan to exterminate undesirables. Duckwitz secretly attempts to send Jews to Sweden. When Hanne asks the pastor for help to hide her mother and friends, he becomes involved in not only the fight, but with Hanne.
Wildflowers of Terezin leaves a lasting taste of victory among the ashes of an era that proves the worst and best of humanity.
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