Free ePUB Aimée & Jaguar: A Love Story, Berlin 1943Author Erica Fischer – Mariahilff.de

Unique, moving, and true this radiant love story is set against the horrific backdrop of World War II Nazi Germany When Lilly Aimee Wust, a gentile mother of four and wife of a Nazi officer, met Felice Jaguar Schragenheim, a Jew living underground in Berlin, neither could have guessed that their brief initial encounter would develop into a blazing, devoted love As the Nazi stranglehold closed in on them, Lilly and Felice found themselves fighting insurmountable odds to stay together Extraordinarily passionate and heartrending, this is a rare and personal look at the love and strength of two women whose commitment to each other defied the brutality of their time


10 thoughts on “Aimée & Jaguar: A Love Story, Berlin 1943

  1. Eva Eva says:

    Although I agree with all the criticisms lobbed at this book by other reviewers below, I nonetheless give it 5 stars because it fascinated me, due simply to the heartbreaking, scandalous, and improbable tale underlying it.As others have written, Aimee may be flighty and appear not take the plight of her lover seriously, but I feel it is easy to judge her retrospectively I don t believe she behaves differently than many people in the throes of a deep infatuation however, given that she is infat Although I agree with all the criticisms lobbed at this book by other reviewers below, I nonetheless give it 5 stars because it fascinated me, due simply to the heartbreaking, scandalous, and improbable tale underlying it.As others have written, Aimee may be flighty and appear not take the plight of her lover seriously, but I feel it is easy to judge her retrospectively I don t believe she behaves differently than many people in the throes of a deep infatuation however, given that she is infatuated with a Jew living underground in Nazi Germany, her foibles seem muchweighty to the reader The book is heavy on quotes from love letters, which I skimmed as they became repetitive I agree that the author has a bias against Lilly Wust as she herself states in the epilogue and this colors her tone throughout the book The author is allowed to have a point of view, though, even if she is writing non fiction She presents the facts in such a way that I was able to draw my own conclusions about the characters motivations.All in all, I felt the book lent yet another valuable perspective in the larger body of personal stories of the Holocaust It was difficult to not to feel Felice s personality shining through


  2. Anja Anja says:

    it was amazing. I came to this book from the movie, and while I started to read it imagining the actresses of the movie as the characters in the book, I ended up with having the real pictures of Aim e and Jaguar in my head while reading there are heartbreakingly good photos of them at the end of the book at times it was tough, cause even though I knew how this tragic story was gonna end, I was still hoping, together with Aim e the most tragic thing about this book though is that Jaguar s fa it was amazing. I came to this book from the movie, and while I started to read it imagining the actresses of the movie as the characters in the book, I ended up with having the real pictures of Aim e and Jaguar in my head while reading there are heartbreakingly good photos of them at the end of the book at times it was tough, cause even though I knew how this tragic story was gonna end, I was still hoping, together with Aim e the most tragic thing about this book though is that Jaguar s fate was the fate of so fucking many people excuse the swearing their letters and diary entries often made me smile inside, cause they are such good prose and their poetry is fab as well oh and the book also taught me A LOT about Nazi Germany and concentration camps, even though I thought I knew quite something already also to hear about the war from the perspective of a Nazi woman was interesting. I still feel so sorry for Aim e and I know that this should not have happened read this book, guys, it will make you a better person


  3. Bill Bill says:

    Wonderful 3.5 5 STARSHow fortuitous that I should read this book three weeks before the United States Supreme Court s landmark decision on same sex marriage I m unclear how it landed on my To Read shelf I thinks Goodread s parent company algorithms suggested it to me while I was reading the Miseducation of Cameron Post I loved that story too Anyway, I m usually not drawn to love stories or romances but this one piqued my interest with great earnest My unending fascination with Wonderful 3.5 5 STARSHow fortuitous that I should read this book three weeks before the United States Supreme Court s landmark decision on same sex marriage I m unclear how it landed on my To Read shelf I thinks Goodread s parent company algorithms suggested it to me while I was reading the Miseducation of Cameron Post I loved that story too Anyway, I m usually not drawn to love stories or romances but this one piqued my interest with great earnest My unending fascination with all things WWII lured me in for a closer look at this wonderful story about boundless and passionate love during one of the darkest times in human history a true story of unbridled love in a time of inhumane cruelty and genocidal hatred.The story takes place in Berlin 1943 through the end of WWII Nazi Germany is well into the prosecution of the Final Solution, systematically, relentlessly and ruthlessly moving the Jewish population out of Berlin, herding them into rail cattle cars destined for concentration camps far from the capitol of the Third Reich The Allies begin to make periodic bombing runs near the city, and the German Wehrmacht has suffered a crushing defeat in the Battle of Stalingrad, but the Nazi propaganda machine reassures the German population that victory is only a matter of time As the tide of the war turns from German blitzkrieg, conquest and repression to retreat, defense, defeat, and surrender, life in the once prosperous German city becomes harsh and unforgiving under the onslaught of relentless bombing and eventual conquest by the converging Allied forces.Under these extreme, desperate and violent conditions, Elizabeth Wust and Felice Schragenheim fall deeply in love.Elizabeth Wust, also known as Lilly and Aimee, is the wife of Nazi officer Gunter Wust and mother of their four boys She resides in downtown Berlin and has made many female acquaintances while her husband is away in military service Her apartment is seemingly endlessly active with the comings and goings of her friends, many of whom are Jews living underground or as inconspicuously as possible from Nazi authorities In 1981 at age 68 Lilly was awarded the Federal Service Cross for sheltering and caring for four Jewish women in her apartment in Berlin Felice Schragenheim, also known as Jaguar, Lice, Fice and Putz, is a Jewish U Boater living underground in Berlin constantly eluding and evading the ever tightening grip of the Gestapo and Nazi SS.By Lilly s ninth wedding anniversary in March 1943, her marriage with Gunter is empty and tenuous Gunter s infidelity is frequent and public Lilly has an affair with a former co worker at Deutsche Bank that results in one of her four children Her emotional connection to her children remains strong despite her eventual divorce from Gunter.Inge Wolf, completing her government ordered compulsory one year of domestic service working for Lilly Wust, is one of Felice s many friends While Felice waits on the sidewalk outside Lilly s apartment for Inge to finish her work, Lilly invites her inside out of the cold Their attraction is instant and intense I got nothing at all from my men Men took their pleasure with me and I felt used With Felice it was totally different She was my counterpart, my complement, literally I felt I was both myself and Felice We were a mirror image She needed only to touch me and I When she kissed me I surrendered to her completely Sex was pleasing for the first time in my life I had never found men attractive I was built wrong somehow, but I didn t know that with Felice I myself could be the one who loved And then this sense of belonging together unconditionally Though I was the older one, I always had the feeling I was the younger one She controlled me completely, she did But it was wonderful She always wore the pants After all, it was she who had seduced me While the core of the story is a straight forward historical account of a lesbian love affair in the 1940s in Nazi Germany of all places, the pages are filled with passionate poems and love letters written by Aimee and Jaguar to each other, interviews with Lilly, her children and friends of Lilly and Felice and black and white photographs dating back to 1919 through 1993 image error image error image error My emotional investment in the story grew in size and scope as the intensity and passion of their love constantly collided with the dark, horrifying omnipresence of Nazi pursuit and prosecution of the Jews in Berlin Felice is forever on the run or in the shadows to elude capture and Lilly is ever vigilant of suspicious and informant neighbors Despite the great risks of arrest, physical abuse and deportation, the attraction between the two is undeniable and relentless, leaping off each page at me as I winded my way to the sorrowful ending.Many reviewers have criticized the book for some awkward translation from German to English Others criticized Lilly s naivet and recklessness in loving ergo mortally endangering Felice and the author s apparent negative and critical opinion of Lilly Honestly, I didn t dig that deep for any philosophical or moral judgments of the people in this story I took it at face value an emotional and heartbreaking lesbian love story in a place and time where Jews and homosexuals were deemed subhuman and disposable While this book certainly is not for everyone, it resonated with me in a very emotional and heartfelt way


  4. Alaina Alaina says:

    I put off reading this book for six years, because I expected to be emotionally devastated The story should be devastating I m not sure why, when I finally read it, Ior less responded with an emotional shrug Is it the poor translation Perhaps the original author was a less than compelling writer I cannot pinpoint it I suspect the answer may lie in the epilogue, where Erica Fischer tells about her experience researching the book She was frustrated, eventually even hostile towards the I put off reading this book for six years, because I expected to be emotionally devastated The story should be devastating I m not sure why, when I finally read it, Ior less responded with an emotional shrug Is it the poor translation Perhaps the original author was a less than compelling writer I cannot pinpoint it I suspect the answer may lie in the epilogue, where Erica Fischer tells about her experience researching the book She was frustrated, eventually even hostile towards the elderly Lilly who does, I admit, sound like a person I would not care for Lilly clung all her life to that year with Felice, and seemed to forget or ignore everything that didn t fit into her neat personal narrative Initial Nazi sympathies, the fact that Felice was too good and too vibrant for her, and, most frustrating of all, her unwillingness to move past her wartime experiences and live in her present.These days we would most likely put Lilly in therapy for PTSD What moves me most is not Felice s death, though the circumstances are so narrow that throughout the book I was thinking surely, she will not be taken away and exterminatedin the last months of the war What are the chances No, what made me saddest was the lifelong depression that Lilly suffered For that, she got little sympathy Not even the person who cared enough to write about her life gave her much sympathy I feel sympathy for her, and wish oh, don t we all to rewrite that history.I preceded this book with In the Garden of Beasts by Larson Larson s book is well written and fascinating, and I am sorry to say that in direct comparison, Aimee Jaguar pales.P.S I do think the Aimee Jaguar love story is great Lesbians in the 40s In that aspect it was totally fascinating


  5. Rachael Eyre Rachael Eyre says:

    I ve wanted to read this for years I came across the story in a magazine and found it heartbreaking So to say I feel disillusioned is something of an understatement.My 3 star rating is solely for the love story and the girls themselves What I found very difficult to swallow was the author s clear dislike disdain for Lily a nice attitude for a biographer Yes, I can understand her anger towards Germans of the period, but seeing as Lily went some way towards redeeming herself, I found her host I ve wanted to read this for years I came across the story in a magazine and found it heartbreaking So to say I feel disillusioned is something of an understatement.My 3 star rating is solely for the love story and the girls themselves What I found very difficult to swallow was the author s clear dislike disdain for Lily a nice attitude for a biographer Yes, I can understand her anger towards Germans of the period, but seeing as Lily went some way towards redeeming herself, I found her hostile attitude plus the clumsy way she linked it to the situation in Bosnia insufferable I thought her speculations about the relationship not lasting were tasteless in the extreme who made her God It s such a shame, because in the hands of a better, less biased author, this could ve been great If anybody else writes a book on the subject, I intend to read it and I ll try to catch the film too


  6. Matthew Matthew says:

    As with any WWII story involving a Jewish person living in Germany, it s bound to be sad I felt connected to the characters, but the author s style really made this a tough read The story was set up like a documentary, only in book form There would be bits of prose, excerpts of diaries and letters and then straight dialogues from interviews These elements were not synthesized in a way that made reading it enjoyable This is a story of a young German mother who meets a Jewish woman and begins As with any WWII story involving a Jewish person living in Germany, it s bound to be sad I felt connected to the characters, but the author s style really made this a tough read The story was set up like a documentary, only in book form There would be bits of prose, excerpts of diaries and letters and then straight dialogues from interviews These elements were not synthesized in a way that made reading it enjoyable This is a story of a young German mother who meets a Jewish woman and begins to house her They fall in love rather quickly, since Elisabeth or Lilly, or Aim e was unhappy in her marriage to a Nazi soldier Felice or Jaguar , the illegal Jew, lives happily with her lover until, of course, she is captured by the Gestapo The struggles that follow, and Lilly s brave attempts to help Felice make up the bulk of the story Reading about the lives of Jews in Nazi era Berlin was of course depressing, but the most chilling part of this read came at the very end, where the author describes the living conditions of a hopeless, possibly deranged Lilly in her old age Perhaps a WWII enthusiast would better enjoy this book, but again the writing style just didn t do it for me


  7. Linn Linn says:

    I dont even know where to start with this But all I can say that this story was both soo beautiful, heartbreaking and terrifying I actually started it this summer, and then had to take a break because it made me feel too much, seriously I highly recommend it and Its such an important story, and these women deserve to have their story told But I also have to say that reading about what all these people went through during this time, all the loss, hate and fear, made me sick So I needed to ta I dont even know where to start with this But all I can say that this story was both soo beautiful, heartbreaking and terrifying I actually started it this summer, and then had to take a break because it made me feel too much, seriously I highly recommend it and Its such an important story, and these women deserve to have their story told But I also have to say that reading about what all these people went through during this time, all the loss, hate and fear, made me sick So I needed to take a break while reading, for 2 months But yeah, Its such an important story and very beautifully told And I actually think everyone should read it once in their life


  8. Bloodorange Bloodorange says:

    If you intend to read a book about what Nazizm did to people, make it this one On the one hand, it s very detailed, but not intended to shock rather respectful and informative On the other, it is a study a study of maddening love that Aim e throws herself into theardently, thedifficult the circumstances view spoiler , until the loss of a loved one leaves her with no resources to pick up the pieces and her life becomes littlethan vegetation hide spoiler If you intend to read a book about what Nazizm did to people, make it this one On the one hand, it s very detailed, but not intended to shock rather respectful and informative On the other, it is a study a study of maddening love that Aim e throws herself into theardently, thedifficult the circumstances view spoiler , until the loss of a loved one leaves her with no resources to pick up the pieces and her life becomes littlethan vegetation hide spoiler


  9. April April says:

    I would rather experience great unhappiness and be destroyed by it than live in moderate happiness to a moderate endI am deeply unnerved by this book and sadly disappointed First, I absolutely adored this story, and I hate myself for hyping it up so much after watching the movie After hunting down the English edition for so long sadly my Deutsch is, admittedly, too schei e to read the original German, despite my many years of study , I suppose I simply had too many great expectations FuI would rather experience great unhappiness and be destroyed by it than live in moderate happiness to a moderate endI am deeply unnerved by this book and sadly disappointed First, I absolutely adored this story, and I hate myself for hyping it up so much after watching the movie After hunting down the English edition for so long sadly my Deutsch is, admittedly, too schei e to read the original German, despite my many years of study , I suppose I simply had too many great expectations Fundamentally, this is an extremely significant story that simply had to be told I thank Fischer for this, but I would ve strongly suggested she approached the writing of Aim e and Jaguar a lot differently The tragic love story of two women in Nazi Germany should not, in my opinion, read like a fact book Consequently, I felt little to no empathy towards the main characters our protagonists Lilly and Felice for most of the story, despite this improving in the latter half of the book I felt the most for Felice and however little fault this is of the author, I left this book wanted to knowabout her Otherwise, this book read very much like a documentary it compiles transcripts from various characters while stringing together letters, excerpts and a on top of it all a narrative It was far too muddled and it stifled the emotions I expected to feel during this novel Although this may very well be the harsh consequences of the translation, it nevertheless does not change the format I don t want to blast this book apart, because I really do find the story a very fascinating one and it is collected well I m sure most of the book is based upon fragments of fact and Wurst s recollection, so in this instance Fischer does quite well to piece everything together I m also a huge fan of luscious lesbian Berlin and the lives of lesbians throughout history, therefore I found this a very fascinating read in terms of how people handled it back then and how the protagonists themselves reacted to having such feelings On a lighter note, it did fill me with happiness to see the way the family and relatives within the book reacted towards Lilly and Felice s relationship It was a heart warming thing to read about, especially given the time period I suppose what I m most unnerved about is the author s treatment of Elisabeth Lilly Wurst I m not so much upset,confused, simply by the epilogue I understand Wurst may not have been wholly truthful in her recollections after all, some things are quite hard to admit we ve all made mistakes but this was no reason to react so harshly It seemed very strange and peculiar, as if she were saying Lilly deserved no sympathy due to her heritage being that of strict German and not Jewish It just read wrongly Overall, I will pocket this book for years to come It is a significant story I will keep with me for a long time Meanwhile, however, I will delight in the movietimes than I ever will the book


  10. Joshie Joshie says:

    Why am I writing all of this I love you so much, in a way I have never felt, never known before Now I am tormenting you and me Why does one torment that which one loves Because one loves I ve never felt engrossed in a book for a long time until I entered the the world of Aim e Jaguar Set in WWII, a Nazi mother and a Jewish woman fall in love in bleak and horrific Nazi Germany Women s stories during the war tend to be ignored and they seem to be rather non existent How mucha st Why am I writing all of this I love you so much, in a way I have never felt, never known before Now I am tormenting you and me Why does one torment that which one loves Because one loves I ve never felt engrossed in a book for a long time until I entered the the world of Aim e Jaguar Set in WWII, a Nazi mother and a Jewish woman fall in love in bleak and horrific Nazi Germany Women s stories during the war tend to be ignored and they seem to be rather non existent How mucha story between two women, on opposite grounds, falling in love It is a breath of fresh air to read something that recounts this Surprisingly, the copy I bought from a book sale only have 362 pages which had the Author s infamous Epilogue cut other reviewers rated it low because of it I guess this preserved its impacting and memorable story without tinging Aim e s actions and experiences but it can be somehow confusing and you lose yourself whilst reading because the timelines tend to jump The wonderful yet painful thing about this biography is how I still hoped together with Aim e even though I know how it ends after watching the film years back There are letters, poems and scanned tickets and photos in the book The letters between them are heartbreaking and you see the longing and the love travel in each word just to reach one another Moreover, as it further unfolds you realize that they are just humans too, especially Aim e and Jaguar, with flaws and all Pages away from the characters, you get knocked down and be reminded how the war affected everything and how people sometimes do things which doesn t make any sense but they do it nevertheless and you think to yourself whilst reading, How about its repercussions yet you can t entirely blame anyone at all Love can only do so much and sometimes that includes doing foolish things I cried a few pages before I finished this book, went back to look at the pictures onceand felt closer to emotions I ve never felt for a long time, and therefore this book has a special place in my heart It is strange that when I think of the future, I never think of the children, it is always as if we will be alone together I ll spend the day thinking about them, re watching the film and watching the documentary