My Wounded Heart
The Life of Lilli Jahn, 1900-1944Book - 2004
An international sensation already sold in fifteen languages, this heartbreaking collection of recently discovered letters captures the destruction not only of a life but also of an entire nation.
Born in 1900 to wealthy Jewish parents, Lilli Jahn stood firmly among the German bourgeoisie. A doctor by training, she married a young Protestant physician. Her husband divorced her in 1942, after sixteen years of marriage and five children, leaving her with no means of supporting her family (Jews were no longer allowed to practice medicine), and no protection from the dangers to come. Arrested by the Gestapo in 1943, Lilli perished in Auschwitz in 1944.
My Wounded Heart is a collection of three-hundred-odd letters between Lilli, her children, and their circle of friends, extending from the mid-1930s to just before her death. Full of everyday details of life from both Lilli and her correspondents, these extraordinary letters are both informative and moving. In the end, we are witness to her daughter's 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.
Introduced by and with narrative commentary from Lilli's grandson, My Wounded Heart is a literary and historic work on par with the wartime diaries of Anne Frank and Victor Klemperer.