, Erica Fischer
published Aimée and Jaguar
,a book about two women in love in 1943 Berlin
. One was a Jewish lesbian
, the other a married Christian mother
of three. Despite being apparent opposites, Felice Schragenheim
and Lilly Wust
fell in love and stayed together despite the obvious danger
s of such a relationship
. Using the non-Jewish last name Schrader, Felice worked at a Nazi
newspaper; Lilly divorce
d her husband while he was fighting at the front
. The two lived togther for several months, until August 1944
when they returned from swimming
to find the Gestapo
waiting to take Felice away.
Fischer's story, of course, is true. Lilly waited for Felice to return, until after the war when it became apparent that she was not coming home. Felice had, in fact, died in a concentration camp. One year after a 1949 suicide attempt, Lilly married again but divorced the following year. In 1981 she received the Order of the Federal Republic of Germany, in part for having also sheltered three elderly Jewish women - also lesbians - during the last year of the war. Elizabeth Wust still lives in Berlin, and keeps two suitcases with all of her records of Felice. They mostly consist of letters between Aimée (Felice's name for Lilly) and Jaguar (what Lilly called Felice in return), and upon Lilly's death both cases will go to Lilly's son Eberhard, who converted to Judaism and lives in Israel today.
The book was made into a movie in 1999, with Juliane Köhler playing the part of Lilly and Maria Schrader as Felice. In German with English subtitles and directed by Max Färberböck, the film was nominated for a Golden Globe award and was Germany's submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2000.
Even in the U.S., the movie was sometimes referred to as "Aimée et Jaguar" or "Aimée und Jaguar" but the English conjunction was more frequently used.