Vienna on Fire

A WWII Story of Survival

Buy the Book: Amazon
Published by: Blue Danube Press
Release Date: May 7, 2024
Pages: 289
ISBN13: 978-1879834002


Can Greta Kolbe escape Nazi Vienna and reach America before her past and the Gestapo catch up to her?

In the heart of darkening Europe, amidst the looming war, Vienna on Fire by Don Gabor tells the riveting story of Greta Kolbe, an eighteen-year-old Jewish woman whose life was upended when German troops annexed Austria in 1938.

Her peaceful existence is replaced by a nightmare of terror as she, along with Vienna's Jewish community, faces an ordeal of intimidation. Greta's journey of resilience begins as she flees Nazi Vienna to escape arrest for her resistance activities, embarking on a dangerous trek to Holland, with a spiteful ex-suitor and the Gestapo closely trailing her.

Demonstrating awe-inspiring bravery, Greta smuggles diamonds for the German resistance, eludes Hermann Göring's advances, and survives numerous perils, including a harrowing ambush at the German-Dutch border. Her race against time crescendos to a nail-biting climax on the gangplank of a ship bound for New York City, where she must evade her pursuers one last time.

Authored by Don Gabor, known for How to Start a Conversation and Make Friends, this novel is a poignant tribute to the courage against tyranny, based on his mother's real-life experiences and those who opposed the Third Reich. Vienna on Fire is not merely a narrative but an affirmation of the human spirit, inviting readers to witness Greta’s grit, ingenuity, and her relentless pursuit of freedom during Europe’s most forbidding time.

Uncover the courage that defies darkness—secure your copy of Vienna on Fire now and be inspired by this remarkable story of persistence and survival.




Vienna on Fire by Don Gabor plunges readers into the treacherous heart of Nazi-occupied Austria, where eighteen-year-old Greta Kolbe must find her way to freedom while all around her is going to hell. Inspired by his mother's experiences of life in and exile from Vienna as Europe teetered on the brink of war in 1938/39, Gabor vividly describes a city subsumed by hatred, fear, and conspiracy. The few brave souls willing to do something about it face persecution and brutal violence, with Gabor highlighting the physical and mental danger facing Greta from all sides. She emerges as a bold, resilient, and inspirational character, and Vienna on Fire provides a gripping and historically accurate account of the resilience of the human spirit amid the darkest of times.”
—Erin Britton, San Francisco Book Review

“In his new novel VIENNA ON FIRE, based on his own family's memories of civilization's darkest hour, Don Gabor has created a story that no student of history or of human nature can afford to miss. Especially in our own troubling and divisive times, Gabor's Holocaust narrative reminds all of us how completely liberty depends on individual courage. With grace and skill, Gabor crafts a story of one young woman's harrowing journey to survive and bear witness.”
Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times #1 Bestselling Author, THE DEEP END OF THE OCEAN and others

“Vienna on Fire: A WWII Story of Survival will delight historical novel readers that look for strong female protagonist and historical backdrops that come alive. Don Gabor’s ability to inject the events of 1938 Nazi-controlled Austria from the perspective of 18-year-old Jewish woman Greta Kolbe’s clashes with the Gestapo brings the era and its issues to life. The result is not just a portrait of Vienna and Europe on fire, but the changes brought to ordinary people as issues of superiority, women’s duties and rights, and political supremacy take over the world. Libraries and readers seeking exceptional portraits of Jewish survivors in general and strong young women who foster different responses to escape and survival, refusing to become victims, will find Vienna on Fire absolutely captivating. It’s powered by strong characters whose perceptions and conflicts are not just realistic, but thoroughly absorbing “you are here” experiences.”
— D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review