The Fires of Lilliput, Paperback

(128 customer reviews)


A JEWISH HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR is the only living witness to the life of a man the Vatican is investigating for Catholic sainthood. This is her epic story, of courage, suffering, and love.

229 in stock (can be backordered)

SKU: 9781733644129 Category:


After reviewing his life for nearly thirty years, the Vatican wants to declare Polish farmer and stigmatic Jakub Chelzak a Roman Catholic saint. His miraculous healings and Crucifixion wounds brought true believers—and die-hard skeptics—from across Europe during its darkest hour.

But before the Pope can canonize Jakub, Vatican officials must hear from the most important eyewitness of all: Shosha Mordechai, then a young Warsaw resident, who disappeared with her family after she and Jakub helped each other live through the most ungodly hell in human history: the Nazi siege of Poland and the Soviet invasion that followed.

No friend of the Jewish people during this time of their greatest need, the Vatican hierarchy is seeking not only Shosha’s testimony, but a major step toward reconciliation with her people. The archbishops and cardinals face an extraordinary situation: a Jewish Holocaust survivor the only living witness to the life of a Christian saint.

The Fires of Lilliput is the story Shosha tells them, of indomitable spirits who survived the throes of war, with courage, suffering, and love.


For the cover, Ed Richardson created a striking abstraction of the warring forces that savaged Europe during World War II. An art director for groundbreaking films such as Badlands, Scarface, Cat People, and American Gigolo, Richardson also portrayed a journey across America’s waterways for the cover of William Least Heat-Moon’s bestseller, River-Horse.


Additional information

Weight 32 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 2 in

128 reviews for The Fires of Lilliput, Paperback

  1. Marion Weiss

    Super well written. You can picture what is happening. Very well done.

  2. Anne Hamm

    Excellent book.

  3. Sharon Coulter

    This is a great book! The characters came alive. I could not put this book down, kept my interest all the way through.

  4. Toni M

    Five Stars

  5. Carolynne Leasure

    This was a great story, loved it.

  6. Raul Aguero

    Easy readable History for all.

  7. Rosemarie Litzinger

    Just finished reading The Fires of Lilliput – highly recommend it. An excellent read if you are into learning more about the Holocaust – it is fiction based on fact.

  8. Wesley Brando

    Sad and yet courageous on so many levels.

    I was in awe of the courage that Shosha showed throughout the book. The strength it took to continue to move forward each day, never knowing if it would be your last. I can’t even begin to imagine the strength it took to survive such a horrific act perpetrated against the Jews.

    I thank you again for the privilege to have been able to read this book and to gain further insight into just how despicable the Nazis were.

  9. Janie Camp

    Awesome! Great book!

  10. Cindy P. A.

    Three stars

  11. Karen Lumley

    Good book.

  12. Tony Rozario

    Five stars

  13. J.D. Riley

    Three stars

  14. Kiffayat

    5 stars

  15. Margaret

    5 stars

  16. Renee Kingston

    5 stars

  17. Susan Bacon

    5 stars

  18. K Rosello

    4 stars

  19. Book Garden

    5 stars

  20. Lydia Meyers

    5 stars

  21. Tara Marie

    I just finished the book. It was a wonderful read. I learned a lot about this time that I never really thought about.

  22. Jeffrey Kiliany

    Finished the book Nov. 29, 2019. Five Stars.

  23. Kobo Reader

  24. Kobo Reader

  25. Stephen Solender

    Even though I am very familiar with the Polish-Jewish resistance during World War II, I could not stop reading The Fires of Lilliput.

    The novel’s capacity to weave into the factual account of this tragic period the drama and intensity of the relationship between Shosha and Jakub is remarkable.

    A very important additional benefit of the narrative is to indicate that despite the attitude of the Vatican, there were some courageous, principled Catholics who risked their lives to save Jewish people.

    The novel also dramatically describes the ways in which Joseph Stalin betrayed the Warsaw Ghetto resistance and undermined efforts of the United States and Britain to aid those incredibly courageous resisters.

    The Fires of Lilliput not only serves to remind older generations of what truly transpired during those unbelievable days, but introduces, in a most dramatic and accurate manner, younger persons to one of the most significant acts of resistance in the history of the Jewish people.

    Stephen D. Solender
    Former President and CEO, Jewish Federations of North America; Past President, North American Council, Museum of the History of Polish Jews

  26. Michael Jones

    A tour de force, whose stunning sorties into Jewish, Catholic, German, and other histories light the way like brilliant street lamps. Shosha Mordechai is a powerful protagonist. I knew she had succeeded in getting under my skin when, in the last few sentences of the book, my legs erupted in goosebumps.

  27. Allison

    One of the most engaging novels I’ve read in a while. Tender moments with soaring prose punctuate the most intense, dire situations. Humor pops up unpredictably. The interactions between the characters-especially the women -are “felt life” at its most profound. A great read about real heroes with real passion, real love, and real commitment.

  28. Shirley Herman

    A great, well-researched, and captivating novel! A very good read!

  29. Kathy Taylor

    Couldn’t put it down- such sadness and bravery. A powerful and personal book – a book I will read again.

  30. Debbi Smith

    A Great Read

    This book is one of the best I have read about the Jewish people of Poland during the Holocaust. Based on facts, the characters make you love them, and the details will break your heart.

    I highly recommend this for anyone interested in this historical era.


  31. Paula Howard

    I absolutely loved this book. The author’s writing pulled me completely into the story. Reviewed on my Facebook page and Goodreads.

  32. Ruth

    A very well written book. It gave you an insight into the suffering of the people in Poland during the Holocaust. I highly recommend this book.

  33. Lynn Wheeldon

    Just finished reading this, really good read. Couldn’t put this book down, have recommended this to many of my friends.

  34. JD

    So hard to review this book. Harrowing, heartbreaking, powerful. I can’t find the words. It was truly a struggle to read and to continue reading to the end.

    But it needs to be read. The true horror of war and the inhumanity that war brings is horribly clear in this moving work.

    It’s a book I will never forget.

    From Amazon

  35. Raymond Gold

    Five stars

  36. Sandra Crew

    Four stars

  37. MaryLee Midgette

    Five stars

  38. Mary Ellen Putnam

    Three stars

  39. Tracy Bowen

    Four stars

  40. Freda Annis

    Five stars

  41. Jill Rose

    Five stars

  42. Cindy

    Three stars

  43. Gail

    Four stars

  44. Barry and Carol Morse

    Five stars

  45. Susie Seeber

    Four stars

  46. Randy Spiker

    Five stars

  47. Marcia Pokarney

    Five stars from Goodreads

  48. Catherine L. Faulkner

    Five stars from Goodreads

  49. David Marquez

    Four stars from Goodreads

  50. Mary E

    Five stars from Goodreads

  51. Aloma Arp

    A great read!!!!

  52. Lisa Moletzsky

    Great book!!

  53. Elisheva H. Levin

    A very different story of the Shoah.

    This is an interesting book.

    The fictional story of a a Catholic saint, a stigmatic, who was a simple person, and through his very simplicity he protected, cared for, and saved the lives of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, and then in the camps.

    The conditions in the Ghetto and the camps are plainly and powerfully described, as are the actions of the characters for good and evil. It is a reminder of what people can endure and survive.

    I also learned something about stigmatics and the procedures for making a saint, as well as the desire of the Catholic hierarchy to find saints within the Holocaust because of their refusal to speak with one voice against the Nazi nightmare in 1938, when it might have mattered.

    I did not enjoy this book. It is not that kind of book. But it remains with me.

    From Amazon

  54. Holly W

    A haunting account of the daily life of all victims of the third Reich, including the officers and their families. A story of survival, friendships and miracles.


  55. Dbs1975

    Could have been so much better. Beginning was a slog to get through. The parts about the canonization process were somewhat interesting but otherwise the characters were very one dimensional. So many characters conflicts should have been more deeply explored. I was very disappointed in this novel.


  56. Marsha

    A difficult read. Martin gives a detailed view of life in the Warsaw ghetto sparing no details. I did have to stop once or twice to wonder how I could read the horrors and go on with my day as usual. The characters are well developed and their story compelling.


  57. Diane Koch

    This was a haunting book but a good read. From the perspective of Polish citizens being conquered and ruled over by Nazi Germany and its eugenics program as Law. How does one survive? This book is relevant and important. Since it is only with time -and distance- one could recognize the true saints that were victims of such evil. Faith was important to the characters in that the hope that faith brings to those with small or large hearts.


  58. Michael Zelekovic

    An excellent read on Warsaw Ghetto

    The story is fast moving and riveting, hard to put the book down. The author puts you into their shoes, Jew, Gentle, and those that ran the death camps. Learn of the heroism of those that taught the Nazis, small arms against the military might of the Germans. Learn about the Poles that helped.


  59. Salmcg

    Great story

    I really enjoyed this book. Traveling through time with Shosha. Sad story but it told what a lot of people went through.


  60. Mary Alaga


  61. Richard Garcia


  62. Patricia Koch


  63. Michael C. Agresti


  64. Sheryl J. Aydelott


  65. Karen Magnotta


  66. Marci Fletcher


  67. Helen Pires


  68. Karen Foye


  69. Elaine DiBenedetto


  70. Donna DeCarl


  71. Janet


  72. Karen A. Schubert


  73. David R. Billingsley


  74. Jean Jordet


  75. Cheryl J. Stanek


  76. Mary Yamaguchi


  77. Mary


  78. Janice Weaver


  79. Sherley Schoenhaus


  80. Carol M. Rota


  81. Marcia Ditter


  82. P.A. Hawkes


  83. Christine


  84. Neil Randall

    Grueling read, very much recommended but hard to get into for the first third of the book.


  85. Irma A. Stachura


  86. Patricia Capolino


  87. Nancy B Ranquist


  88. Anne Backus


  89. cheryl favoroso


  90. Marg


  91. lindayorke


  92. Judy


  93. Sharon Petersen


  94. diane mccarthy


  95. Michele Ward




  97. Jayne Klemme


  98. Mary Delgizzi


  99. Dolores Dudley

    This book is heartbreaking and amazing. The courage of the Jewish resistance in Warsaw vs. the cowardice of the Nazis is an example of the best and the worst of humanity. In dealing with the same forms of white supremacy we see in the world today, especially in the USA, we need all of the courage we can muster.

  100. Carol Stewart

    Good book, great insight.

  101. Kindle Customer

    I could not put this book down. It takes you into the darkness of life in the Warsaw ghetto. But throughout you can feel the glimmer of love, hope, and survival.

  102. Judy Baker

    An incredible read. Sad and very moving. Highly recommend it for those who want to learn more about the horrors of this era in history!

  103. Ruth Ann Crowder

    This was a very good book.

  104. Patty Crespan

    A must read!!!

  105. Nan Kelly Wilson

    Reading the book now. I urge others to order a copy and read a magnificent story.

  106. Ellie Wilcox

    Great book.

  107. Mary Jordan Weaver

    Loved this, but so heart wrenching!!

  108. Barbara Nolan

    Incredible story, it was very well written.

  109. Fran Milteer

    Great book.

  110. Carolyn Bonastia

    Well written story of the horrors and suffering in the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland.

  111. Ilene Whittaker

    Great book.

  112. Joyce Clever-Hubbard

    I read this and it is excellent.

  113. Susan W McDaniel

    Good read. Well researched.

  114. Barbara Weber

    It was an interesting read.

  115. Sue Decoteau

    Enjoyed this…really sad to know the true story.

  116. Ruth Ann Parrish

    This is another beautiful story of hope & help in times of terrible anguish! We need to continue hearing these stories – they feed our souls with love & hope!

  117. Sallie Robins

    Good read!

  118. Vivian Spiker

    Good historical fiction. Based on true history and historical events but characters are fiction, like Gone with the Wind. Gives a clear picture of what the Jewish people in Poland went through.

  119. Karen Schubert

    This was a difficult book to read. It was mind-blowing what these people endured and fought on with what ever they had!

  120. James G. Settle

    Painfully poignant. Michael Martin artfully brings together the life threads of a group of key survivors of the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw, and a nearby Nazi death camp.

  121. H D Katz


  122. mark songy


  123. Teri Burg


  124. Vickie


  125. russell robert reeve


  126. sue mcmahon


  127. Peg


  128. Donna Davis


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