AIMEE & JAGUAR: A LOVE STORY, BERLIN 1943 | EW.com

Books

AIMEE & JAGUAR: A LOVE STORY, BERLIN 1943 Erica Fischer (HarperCollins, $24) How’s this for a humdinger? WWII is raging in Berlin. Lilly Wust (”Aimee”), the wife of a Nazi officer, falls in love with a glamorous lesbian, Felice Schragenheim (”Jaguar”) – only to discover that Jaguar is a Jew. Aimee gets a divorce; Jaguar and Aimee sign a ”marriage contract”; and the gestapo discovers Jaguar’s identity and sends her to a Czech ghetto, where Aimee risks her life to visit her doomed love. Extraordinary – and all true. Fischer’s graceful prose frames a collage of letters, diaries, and poems by both women, as well as extensive interviews with the now elderly Aimee. But most memorable is the vivid, intimate portrait of Nazi Berlin: how Jaguar missed her chance to emigrate before the final solution; the much-feared ”Red Stella,” a Jewish woman who saved herself by betraying underground Berlin Jews. The love story, passionate though it is, pales in comparison. A-