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My Wounded Heart: The Life of Lilli Jahn, 1900- 1944

My Wounded Heart: The Life of Lilli Jahn, 1900- 1944 [Kindle Edition]

Martin Doerry , John Brownjohn
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Description


‘A fascinating record, her correspondence vividly recreates the atmosphere of wartime Germany … an essential document’ -- Independent

‘As heart-breaking as the diary of Anne Frank’ -- Sunday Telegraph

‘It will be a hard-hearted reader who can finish this book dry-eyed’ -- Sunday Times

Sunday Times

‘It will be a hard-hearted reader who can finish this book dry-eyed’

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2271 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (7 Sep 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00359KYE0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #660,911 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drawn into the Holocaust 11 July 2004
"My Wounded Heart" is an edited collection of correspondence between a Jewish mother and her children, before and during the war. It depicts the disintegration of a happy family unit as Lilli, the mother of five, is arrested by the Gestapo on a trumped-up charge and sent to a labour camp. With a sense of appalling inevitability, her high hopes of an early release give way slowly to a dawning realisation of her ultimate fate at Auschwitz. For the sake of her estranged children, being brought up by the 12-year-old Ilse amidst the chaos and destruction of frequent air-raids, Lille maintains an optimism and cheerfulness in the face of all odds. The reader's understanding of the reality of the "Final Solution" - unheard of in 1943, of course, as Lilli patiently awaits her fate, give the book an acute sense of pathos, leading ultimately to the tragedy of her death, cynically managed and coldly reported by the authorities.
The impact of "My Wounded Heart" bears close similarity to that of "Diary of a Young Girl". The maturity of the letters, and our awareness of the agony of a mother's separation from her children, mean that the effect, if anything, is even more poignant. A personal memorial to Martin Doerry's grandmother, and a forceful insight into the human cost of the Nazi regime.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Holocaust classic 25 May 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first came across the book on Radio 4, when excerpts were read in one of their book programmes last year. I should imagine that my reaction to the section when we learn that Lili Jahn's husband divorced her during the war to be with his (Aryan) mistress was the same as many other people: incredulity that in so doing he should deny his wife, the mother of his children, the protection she had enjoyed as the wife of a non-Jew. Doerry's book shows how her civil rights had already been stripped away after the Nazis came to power. Did her husband really think that was the end of the matter and they would not pursue her further in the darkening years of the Second World War?
This is probably a question that cannot be answered, though it is never far from the reader's mind. My Wounded Heart is a story of great courage and great compassion; of older children having to grow up literally overnight to give their younger siblings the care of an absent mother; of an enormous generosity of spirit; of a very moving determination by Lili and her children in their correspondence always to be optimistic and never to indulge in what must have been a temptation to be frank about their situation in case it would be upsetting.
This is a work on the same level as the other great Holocaust classics, along with Anne Frank's diary, Primo Levi and Victor Klemperer, a testimony to the unquenchability of the human spirit at a time of extreme barbarism.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tears N More Tears. 20 Jun 2009
I have read numerous varied different Holocaust books,this one,how can i say,is deeply intense.The letters written are heart wrenching,i went to bed with tears and awoke with tears.From a non survivors story this gives you a whole new perspective on the Natzi,s diabolic intent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I know that I will get the entire world against me when I say that this is much more touching 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, then more terrible 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.
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