• The Girl in the Striped Dress

  • A completely heartbreaking and gripping World War 2 novel, based on a true story
  • By: Ellie Midwood
  • Narrated by: Alison Campbell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 7 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (74 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Auschwitz, 1942: This unforgettable novel, based on a true story, brings to life history’s most powerful tale of forbidden love. Set within the barbed wire of Auschwitz, a man and a woman fall in love against unimaginable odds. What happens next will restore your faith in humanity and make you believe in hope even where hope should not exist.

“I won’t let anything happen to you,” he whispered, pressing a note into her hand. Her entire body trembled when she read it: I am in love with you.

Helena steps off the cattleztrain onto the frozen grounds of Auschwitz. She has 24 hours to live. Scheduled to be killed tomorrow, she is not even tattooed with a prison number. As the snow falls around her, she shivers, knowing that she has been sentenced to death for a crime she didn’t commit.

When a gray-clad officer marches toward Helena and pulls her away, she fears the worst. Instead, he tells her that it’s one of the guard’s birthdays and orders her to serenade him.

Inside the SS barracks the air is warm, thick with cigarette smoke and boisterous conversation. After she sings to the guard, Franz, he presses a piece of cake into her hands - the first thing she has eaten in days. On the spot, he orders her life to be saved, forever changing the course of her fate.

What follows is a love story that was forbidden, that should have been impossible, and yet saved both of their lives - and hundreds of others - in more ways than one.

Fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Choice, and The Orphan Train will be utterly entranced. This completely heartbreaking yet beautifully hopeful novel shows that love can survive anything and grow anywhere.

This book was previously published as Auschwitz Syndrome.

©2021 Ellie Midwood (P)2021 Bookouture, an imprint of Storyfire Ltd.

What listeners say about The Girl in the Striped Dress

Average Customer Ratings
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Truth and Beauty

Thank you for sharing this story which helps one to understand the complex horrible experience of both the Jewish and the German experience.

1 person found this helpful

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Incredible

A beautifully written piece of historical fiction with extraordinarily complex and damaged characters living through a horrible moment of human history.

1 person found this helpful

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amazing they survived

amazing people had to survive through this horrible thing. it was nice to hear that someone had some compassion and helped people.

1 person found this helpful

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Spellbinding from start to finish!

The Girl in the Striped Dress held my interest from the Prologue and Chapter One until Chapter 23 and the Author’s Notes. Generally, most books have a few places where my interest wanes, but each time I returned to my listening, I had no trouble remembering exactly where the narrator at the time was in his/her part of the story. Excellent read with plenty of action and emotional ups and downs.

1 person found this helpful

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I felt visceral disturbing disgust

A nazi sadist falls in love with a prisoner on her first day there because she sings Happy Birthday to him. Then he saves her from being gassed. A few weeks later she falls back im love with him. She ends up marrying him. I felt insulted. The narrator was decent but saccharine. Maybe this turns around to make sense but I felt defiled and needed to return it after chapter 5.

It's purportedly based on a true story. I can understand why the author changed their names. I wonder how much is true. How could they have any real life together? Did he constantly remind her that he saved her from the gas chambers? Did his nazism emerge throughout the marriage? How did her inevitable survivors' guilt poison the marriage?

What would they have told their children? Did they remain married?
After searching for more information regarding this story, I found out that she DID NOT marry the officer. She refused contact with him after the war, moved to Israel, and married a Jewish man

She did, however, testify in his defense at his trial. That is much more believable. If you are interested I read this on the Amazon book site under the three stars list of reviews for the book.

1 person found this helpful

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Good comes from evil

Wow! This book was amazing and I could NOT put it down. At first, I wondered about Helena and Franz. I wondered what his motive was. But as I read, I quickly learned what they were. Although one doesn't typically think a story about the holocaust could renew one's faith in humanity, I learned that it actually can. Ms. Midwood does that with this book. Very well developed characters, a complex and heart wrenching storyline, this book is a page turner.

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Striped dress

Wonderful story filled with emotion and true spirit. How these people survived is amazing and a story that never gets old and should be read over and over if only to show what the human spirit can endure and survive. Also it shows how crewel humans can be to other humans. Hopefully we will never see this story repeated. By telling this story maybe we can stop this from happening. Truly a great read

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Very moving

Excellent story and paralleled with history. The description of the camps were moving without being over graphic.

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An unforgettable true story!

It's almost unbelievable that it's based on a true story but it is! I loved the psychological aspect of the story and appreciated it that the author left it an open question whether it was true love or a still-unnamed Stockholm syndrome. And of course, I loved the main message of the story: love is always stronger than hate and can change even the most calloused of people. We need more of it in our world today. A great story narrated by a really gifted narrator!

1 person found this helpful

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Psychological warfare

I have mixed emotions with this story. I did not fact check. The author does list this as historical fiction based on actual people and events.

On the surface, the story itself is new to me. Without spoiling, I will say I did not realize there were people who were not stripped of their hair. The author does write tastefully demoralizing and cruel acts. The transitions from the camp to court were not seamless. The ending fell flat and was confusing. This is at best a 3 star story with 1/2 a star for subject, and never forgetting actual history.

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  • Aley Rochester
  • 09-05-21

The girl in the stripped dress

fascinating story about what human strenghth can endure., make you also think about what you want to do in your life.

1 person found this helpful