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The new book from Doug Gold, The Note Through The Wire is an extraordinary true love story that emerges against all odds between a New Zealand soldier and a Slovene resistance fighter both fighting for freedom in Hitler-occupied Europe.

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“…unforgettable…can’t RECOMMEND it ENOUGH”

  • Heather Morris, The tattooist of auschwitz

“The book is sensational – an absolute page-turner…”

  •  Australian Women’s Weekly

“The story is gripping and, ultimately, uplifting…”


“this real-life love story is worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster.”

  • brisbane courier mail


Paperback and e-book AvAILABLE now

Doug Gold

Doug Gold is a retired broadcaster with a passion for historical and fact-based stories. This is the second book he has had published. The first, Fun Is a Serious Business, was the non-fiction account of More FM’s David-versus-Goliath success story.

He met Bruce and Josefine in the 1980s and ever since he first heard their remarkable tale of bravery, resilience, resistance – and love - he decided it was a story that had to be told.

His broadcasting career started in Timaru as an advertising copywriter followed by various management positions. In 1991, with his business partner, he set up the More FM radio network and, later, was a founding partner of NRS Media, an international media company with offices in London, Atlanta, Toronto and Sydney. He has won numerous broadcasting awards and consulted to major media networks globally. He lives in Wellington with his wife, Anemarie, the eldest daughter of Josefine and Bruce.

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The Note Through the Wire is a moving and uplifting story of love, courage and bravery amidst the horrors of war. It is a reminder that even in the most horrific times love will find a way and ultimately conquer. I can’t recommend it enough.
— Heather Morris, author of the global best-seller The Tattooist of Auschwitz
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POWs at Stalag XVIIID in Maribor (History and Art Collection/Alamy)

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Maribor Bridge Destroyed by the Defeated Yugoslav Army to Slow the German advance (Archive PL/ Alamy)

A truly gripping and emotional story set in Nazi-occupied Europe. How one scribbled note passed between two strangers led to an enduring love defies belief. Yet it is true.
— John McBeth, radio and television personality
It had me after reading the first page. I have read a few “war stories” but none as descriptive as this. Josefine and Bruce were remarkable people, how they had the strength to survive was amazing.
— Barry Jones, Rangiora
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Adolf Hitler On Maribor Bridge, April 1941 (Bundesarchiv bild 121-0723)

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A Group of Female Yugoslav Partisans (

I’m reading The Note Through The Wire for a second time now! And it’s absolutely fantastic. It’s an incredible account of Bruce and Josefine’s story - what they both went through in the war and also the coincidences that brought them together.
— Julie Kayes, Auckland

Read a Sample Chapter

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In the heart of Nazi-occupied Europe, two people meet fleetingly in a chance encounter. One is an underground resistance fighter; the other a prisoner of war. A crumpled note passes between these two strangers and sets them on a course that will change their lives forever.

The Note Through the Wire is based on the true story of Josefine Lobnik, a Yugoslav partisan heroine, and Bruce Murray, a New Zealand soldier who, due to a succession of near-impossible coincidences, discover love in the midst of a brutal war.

Woven through their tales of great bravery, daring escapes, betrayal, torture and retaliation is their remarkable love story that survived against all odds. This is the extraordinary backstory of a seemingly ordinary Kiwi couple who found each other in the midst of Hitler's barbaric regime.

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Bruce Murray

A New Zealand soldier who fought – and was wounded – in the disastrous WWII Greece campaign. He fled to the Peloponnese to avoid capture but was forced to seek medical treatment for his injury after a few days on the run. He was captured by the Germans, hospitalised and, after short spells in two transit camps, embarked on a torturous five-day rail journey – marked by death, deprivation and near-starvation – before being incarcerated in Stalag XVIIID in Maribor, Slovenia.


Josefine Lobnik

An 18 year-old Slovene partisan – later decorated for bravery – whose whole family had joined the resistance movement. Her family lived in Limbuš, near Maribor, in the heart of Nazi-occupied Slovenia.

Josefine helped numerous Allied soldiers and POWs escape from Slovenia by guiding them to freedom, often right under the noses of the occupying Germans. She also undertook other perilous partisan missions.





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RSA Australia Review

Australian Women’s Weekly

The Project New Zealand Interview

Paper Plus Sue’s Reviews

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Whitcoulls Mother’s Day Mailer

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Catherine Rayes Radio REview


Brisbane Courier Mail

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Good Read Reviews

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Read what people have to say:

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North and South Magazine


When New Zealand soldier Bruce Murray and Slovenian partisan Josefine Lobnik first met, he was behind the wire of a POW camp and she was on the other side disguised as an old woman. This is their real-life wartime love story, which we know from the start will have a happy ending back in New Zealand. 

As World War II non-fiction novels go, it’s as gripping as it gets; good by any standards, not just in the narrow category of tales told by co-founders of radio networks. It should be notes that top-shelf ghost writer John McCrystal also had a hand in the book. 

Coincidences as outlandish as any Victor Hugo ever imagined conspire to bring the lovers together. Gold alternates between the pair’s separate stories for the first part of the book: Bruce Murray is the Kiwi soldier as innocent abroad, whom we have encountered many times before; Josefine Lobnik is the brave partisan, all of whose family are at risk from the Nazis occupying their country.

The book is full of brave deeds, betrayals, suspenseful near misses and horrendous atrocities - more than one might imagine any two people being able to survive with their psyches intact.

Nor did their battles end when the war did. Bureaucracy was one thing that conspired to keep apart the two - who had by now fallen in love - wiht Murray forced to return to New Zealand and denied permission to return to find Lobnik in Europe. Her family did their bit by handing the love letters he sent to her.

The protagonists died before Gold - their son-in-law - could conduct proper interviews with them, but he has done a fine job of collating disparate material and imagining some of the rest to create his narrative. 


Friday Feature book "The Note through the Wire" by Doug Gold.

Love historical novels?

"The Note through the Wire" by Doug Gold is a true story of love in the middle of war.

"A WWII prisoner of war, a resistance heroine, and their incredible true story."

Heather Morris, the author of "The Tattooist of Auschwitz" called it "unforgettable" and couldn't recommend it enough. The characters and the history really make this story... "Woven through their tales of great bravery, daring escapes, betrayal, torture and retaliation is their remarkable love story that survived against all odds. This is an extraordinary account of two ordinary people living through the unimaginable hardship of Hitler's barbaric regime."

So there it is, if you loved the Tattooist of Auschwitz, this book should definitely be on your radar. It's certainly on ours.



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Excerpt of a letter from Bruce to Josefine explaining how he and Frank jumped on a Russian truck to get to Budapest.


A letter Josefine had translated into English explaining that their house had burned down.

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A letter Bruce received in August 1947 advising of yet another bureaucratic delay in getting Josefine to London.

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A letter Josefine had translated into English complaining about not having received any mail from Bruce.