Aimee and Jaguar: A Love Story, Berlin 1943

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9780060183509: Aimee and Jaguar: A Love Story, Berlin 1943

Excerpts

A letter from Lilly to Felice, March 31st, 1943

Felice, I love you! What a feeling it is to be able to say that! Oh, Felice, the nicest fate I could hope for is that of lasting happiness. I want to live with you for a long, a very long time, do you hear? And life is so beautiful, so wonderful. Felice, do you belong to me - without limit? To me only? Please say you do, at least for a very long time to come, please! Do you love me? I'm acting like a seventeen-year-old, arent't I?

Be good to me, Felice, please? And yet please don't hold back. I wanted to lure you out of your hiding place. I am like a child playing with fire; will I get burned? A little? Totally? Felice, stop me! Isn't it just a little bit your fault that I'm so crazy, so totally crazy?

A poem from Felice to Lilly, Christmas 1943

That there was a time before you - I can't believe!
To me, we've forever been this way,
Together, side by side in life and in dreams,
Surrounded both by darkness and the light of day.

You belong to me! Since you arrived,
And slowly at first, then full of trust,
Placed your heart in my hands, I have strived
For the strength to build a life for us.

So I have hope for days yet to come,
As this year nods and slips into air,
Because before me, like some emblem,
I carry the copper gleam of your hair.

Extract: "The Vow"

January 30th, 1943, the tenth anniversary of Hitler's seizure of power, Hermann Göring's speech to Berliners was delayed for two hours because British scout planes were flying over the city in broad daylight for the first time. Four days after Göring declared his certainty of victory, the remaining German troops trapped in Stalingrad capitulated. Accompanied by funereal music, the defeat was announced on the radio. On February 18th Reichspropaganda minister Goebbels spurred the German people to make a greater effort. In a "Declaration of fanatical Will" at the Berlin Sportpalast he announced the "Salvation of Germany and the whole of civilisation" through "total war". In memory of the victims of the Russian campaign, a three minute traffic stoppage was declared. At the Zoo station, people stood stock

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Review:

Acclaimed in Germany and England, this tragic and remarkable real-life love story won a Lambda Literary Award when it was first published in America in 1995. Lilly Wust ("Aimée") was a conventional middle-class mother of four, estranged from her philandering husband, when she met Felice Schragenheim ("Jaguar") in 1941. Their passionate affair unfolded against the backdrop of the deportation of Jews from Berlin, but several months passed before Felice could even bring herself to tell Lilly that she was Jewish and living illegally on the streets. "I knew, of course, what it meant," Lilly recalled in old age. "Not for a moment did I think that I too could be in danger. On the contrary, all I wanted to do now was to save her." Lilly's heroic efforts to conceal and protect Felice through the next two years make for painful and inspiring reading. Felice was arrested in August 1944 and sent her last letter to Lilly four months later. In 1981 Lilly was awarded the German Federal Service Cross, though no one could read this as a happy ending. --Regina Marler

About the Author:

Erica Fischer has been one of Vienna's foremost feminist writers and journalists. The author of several books on feminist subjects, she currently lives in Berlin, Germany.

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Book Description Harpercollins, 1995. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: A unique and tragic love story between two women, set against the Holocaust and brought to life with letters, diaries, documents and photographs. Felice, a young Jewish lesbian, and Elizabeth, a Gentile wife and mother, meet in a coffee shop in Berlin. The two women move in together, creating what they believe to be a safe haven in a world gone awry. Photos. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0060183500

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