A series of letters offer an incredible and tragic insight into the life of an ordinary Jewish woman under persecution in the Nazi regime This is the heart breaking story of a gifted Jewish doctor, the mother of five children, who, after being divorced by her Aryan husband, is arrested on an absurd charge and sent to a corrective labor camp inLilli was a prolific letter writer and miraculously almost all her letters to her children and friends, together with a huge number of their letters to her smuggled out of the camp at Breitenau before she was sent to Auschwitz , survived World War II and only came to light on the death of her son inIn the letters and in Martin Doerry s superb commentary, we see the deterioration of a whole country through the eyes of an ordinary family driven asunder by pressure from the Nazi regime We see Lilli s initial optimism and love of her husband begin to crack We see her trying to support and run the family home from Breitenau camp, but relying totally on heryear old daughter, Ilse And we see the difficulties for the children of living with their father s mistress, now his wife, after a bombing raid destroys the family home And perhaps most moving of all, we see Ilse s heroic attempts to meet her mother, even though it means going into the labor camp itself, and Lilli s courage in the face of her inevitable end


10 thoughts on “My Wounded Heart: The Life of Lilli Jahn, 1900-1944

  1. Camilla Tilly Camilla Tilly says:

    I know that I will get the entire world against me when I say that this is muchtouching and gripping than Anne Frank s diary This is a very tragic story about the educated Jewish woman Lilli that falls in love or rather, becomes infatuated with a man that never learns to appreciate her She does everything for this man and how is she repaid He goes off on vacations on his own, starts an affair with an Aryan woman that Lilli has welcomed in to her home He has the woman move in to their h I know that I will get the entire world against me when I say that this is muchtouching and gripping than Anne Frank s diary This is a very tragic story about the educated Jewish woman Lilli that falls in love or rather, becomes infatuated with a man that never learns to appreciate her She does everything for this man and how is she repaid He goes off on vacations on his own, starts an affair with an Aryan woman that Lilli has welcomed in to her home He has the woman move in to their home and forces Lilli, the doctor, to deliver his mistress baby As if these things are not terrible to read about, how a strong intellectual woman and doctor, lets her husband totally step on her and crush her, thenterrible things are to be read when the German Third Reich does everything to crush her Her husband could have remained married to her and saved her from the ghastly fate that was to follow, but he chose divorce and marriage to his mistress instead It meant concentration camp for his Lilli And while the law said that she should have been released after a short time, somehow, in her case, the law was bent so that she got to stay till she could be deported to an extermination camp It s the story of a woman that loved her husband till the end and refused to see the truth about him It s the story that loved her children and worried herself sick about them Till the end she hoped that they, someone, would be able to get her out It s the story of a man, that cares nothing for his children They get bombed out in their flat with their mother and still he does not lift a finger And when his ex is finally put in a camp, and he is forced to take in his half Jewish according to Nazi view children, they have to take care of themselves even though they are clearly not old enough to do so They have to keep home in one part of the house, while the dad, new wife and child, lives in the rest of the house The book is nauseating You get frustrated Angry Your feelings boil Revenge for Lilli is still in my mind months after I finished the book How could she have got treated in this manner And her hope that never died How betrayed she got She and all her friends and family that thought her husband would come through and help Here is a book of something that could have been prevented


  2. Kat Kat says:

    Great Heart Wrenching StoryI think it s important for the victims to have their story told and read when ever possible to understand the horror and trauma they suffered elst history will repeat itself, and already has It is so moving that the letters of this poor woman survived to tell the tale if the real experiences she suffered everyday Without real written letters such as this, we would have no record of these people and their stories would not be told, believed, or remembered.


  3. Siv30 Siv30 says:

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  4. Isabel Isabel says:

    Durante o dia Ilse ainda se distra a em grande medida com a sua tarefa de m e substituta, mas de noite sentia cada vez mais medo pelo futuro da m e Foi o sucedeu a 12 de Fevereiro Agora tenho finalmente sossego As tr s est o a dormir Daqui a nada tamb m vou para a cama Mas primeiro vou janela e olho na direc o de Breitenau, onde tu est s Quando vir o dia Como estar s E 100 perguntas e pensamentos semelhantes rodopiam na minha cabe a De noite, quando n o consigo dormir, penso em ti Durante o dia Ilse ainda se distra a em grande medida com a sua tarefa de m e substituta, mas de noite sentia cada vez mais medo pelo futuro da m e Foi o sucedeu a 12 de Fevereiro Agora tenho finalmente sossego As tr s est o a dormir Daqui a nada tamb m vou para a cama Mas primeiro vou janela e olho na direc o de Breitenau, onde tu est s Quando vir o dia Como estar s E 100 perguntas e pensamentos semelhantes rodopiam na minha cabe a De noite, quando n o consigo dormir, penso em ti N s os cinco, tamb m a pequena Dorle, nunca te esquecemos At amanh noite


  5. Neeta Neeta says:

    3.5 stars This is a unique biography about a Jewish woman, Lilli, married to a non Jewish man and imprisoned by the Nazi regime The book is centered about over 300 preserved letters between she and her children during her imprisonment Through the correspondence we see what life was really like for this family living without their mother during the war, attempting to maintain a normal life revolving around rations and air raids, as well as the impact on Lilli of anti Semitic laws and eventual 3.5 stars This is a unique biography about a Jewish woman, Lilli, married to a non Jewish man and imprisoned by the Nazi regime The book is centered about over 300 preserved letters between she and her children during her imprisonment Through the correspondence we see what life was really like for this family living without their mother during the war, attempting to maintain a normal life revolving around rations and air raids, as well as the impact on Lilli of anti Semitic laws and eventual imprisonment


  6. Kakali Kakali says:

    Letters are quite heart rending In few places Lilli pouts about her life in a small town during anti semitism although she was desperate to have a peaceful and happy married life but her strong determination and caring attitude towards her family really makes her story unique.


  7. Carla Carla says:

    I m very interested in books, stories related to the Second World War This is a heart breaking story of a Jewish woman mother of five whose husband divorced her and left her in the hands of the nazis She was sent to a labor camp where she managed to write letters to her children.


  8. Anna Anna says:

    Collection of letters very informative about Germany in 1930s showing everyday life of Lilli, a Jewish doctor, her husband a physician, and their kids Moving thing love and death.


  9. Krista Krista says:

    What truly loved was the humanity it put to a part of history we all need to dehumanize to deal with it.


  10. Rosanne Bartlett Rosanne Bartlett says:

    It was a great read but sad It definitely showed a lot of emotion.