By Stephanie Landsem
“If not us, who? If not now, when? It must be us, and it must be now. I would fight this war. I would not be silent!”
– Liesl Weiss
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“Code Name Edelweiss is based on a true story, unknown until recent years: How a lone Jewish lawyer and a handful of amateur spies discovered and foiled Adolf Hitler’s plan to take over Hollywood. My aim in Code Name Edelweiss and in all my fiction is not to document a historical event but to write a compelling story about how a character reacts to this event, how it affects her life, and how she is changed by what she encounters. One of my favourite quotes about fiction is this: ‘A story doesn’t have to be true to tell the truth.’ This is what I hope you gain from Liesl and Wilhelm’s story: the truth about courage, conviction, and love that both encompasses and transcends the historical record” – Stephanie Landsem
Code Name Edelweiss is a riveting historical fiction story that immerses readers into the 1930s drama and plots by the Hitlerites to infiltrate Hollywood. These Nazi groups spread antisemitic propaganda, hate and discord through German American groups in LA, intending to seize control of Hollywood.
Leon Lewis, a Jewish lawyer, gathered a group of amateur spies – including women – to take action. With authorities scoffing at his warnings and the propaganda turning the German Americans against the Jews, Leon takes matters into his own hands.
Liesl Weiss is a single mother struggling to provide for her family. She’s heard rumblings of a ‘Mad Dog’ dictator in Europe, but her concern for her family consumes and guides her. As unemployment is through the roof after the Great Depression, Liesl is distressed after losing her job at MGM. She will do anything to make ends meet… including spying on her fellow German Americans for Leon Lewis.
This was a totally unknown moment in history, and I found it fascinating. Stephanie’s spy novel is a fast-paced page-turner and well worth your time. I absolutely loved it!