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

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

by Martin Doerry (Author), Martin Doerry (Author), John Brownjohn (Translator)


My Wounded Heart tells the 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 labour camp in 1942. Lilli 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 the Second World War and only came to light on the death of her son in 1998. In 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 her twelve-year-old daughter, llse. And perhaps most moving of all, we see llse's heroic attempts to meet her mother, even though it means going into the labour camp itself, and Lilli's courage in the face of her inevitable end.


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More Information

Format: Paperback
Pages: 288
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Published: 07 Mar 2005

ISBN 10: 0747570507
ISBN 13: 9780747570509
Book Overview: Caused a sensation on publication in German, when it was compared to the Anne Frank and Victor Klemperer diaries More than 100,000 copies sold in Germany; translation rights sold in 15 countries Serialised in the UK on first publication in the Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Mail

Media Reviews
'As heart-breaking, in its own way, as the diary of Anne Frank' Sunday Telegraph 'Martin Doerry has edited the letters with delicacy and skill ... It will be a hard-hearted reader who can finish this book dry-eyed' Sunday Times 'Though harrowing, her letters offer a moving portrait of resilience in the face of evil, and speak of a time when Germany had departed from the community of civilised human beings ... (it) is an essential document' Independent 'One of the fascinations of this remarkable, and heartbreaking, book is its presentation of history as it is authentically lived ... The intimacies and domesticities recorded in the book are enormously moving' Daily Telegraph
Author Bio
Martin Doerry was born in 1955. He studied German literature and History in Tubingen and Zurich, and completed his PhD in Modern History. He has worked at Der Spiegel since 1987 and was appointed Deputy Editor-In-Chief in 1998.