Gil Mildar
As the song says, a Latin American with no money in his pocket.

Love & Resistance: A Tale Echoing Today

Felice Schragenheim and Elisabeth Wust on an excursion to the Havel River, just hours before Schragenheim’s arrest, Berlin, 21 August 1944; Jewish Museum Berlin, gift from Elisabeth Wust

The profound and poignant love story between Elisabeth Wust and Felice Schragenheim, emerging amidst the shadows of Nazi terror, serves as a vital contemporary reflection, particularly when scrutinizing the political landscape in Israel. This relationship, forged during a time of unparalleled intolerance and violence, is a testament to the indomitable resilience of the human spirit and to love that transcends overwhelming circumstances.

Lilly, who initially aligned with Nazi ideals, and Felice, a Jew living in concealment, nurtured a love that became a symbol of resistance and humanity. After the Gestapo deported Felice, the memory of their passion lingered as an everlasting reminder of the transformative power of love amidst adversity.

A disturbing echo is evident when reflecting upon this story in the context of Israel’s escalating radicalism and extremism. The ascendancy of discriminatory and authoritarian policies and rhetoric undermines the foundations of democracy and human dignity, corroding the respect for individual rights and differences.

Elisabeth and Felice’s story has also been immortalized in the book “Aimée & Jaguar” and the corresponding exceptional film, offering those who wish to delve deeper into this uplifting human story a substantial opportunity to understand the depth of their love and resistance.

The political ambiance in Israel is saturated with radical voices compromising democratic values and advocating exclusion and intolerance. The legacy of Elisabeth and Felice serves as a stark warning about the dangers of endorsing extremism and the alienation of the ‘other.’

The love and resilience of Elisabeth and Felice act as luminous beacons of hope, highlighting the route for the battle against radicalism and safeguarding democracy. They prompt us to challenge hate narratives, protect human rights, and advocate for a more inclusive and equitable society.

Committing to justice, equality, and mutual respect must steer the battle against extremist tendencies and maintain peace and democracy. The enduring story of Elisabeth and Felice’s resistance and love should inspire a rejection of intolerance and bias and a dedication to a future where diversity is valued and every individual’s rights are respected.

About the Author
As a Brazilian, Jewish, and humanist writer, I embody a rich cultural blend that influences my worldview and actions. Six years ago, I made the significant decision to move to Israel, a journey that not only connects me to my ancestral roots but also positions me as an active participant in an ongoing dialogue between the past, present, and future. My Latin American heritage and life in Israel have instilled a deep commitment to diversity, inclusion, and justice. Through my writing, I delve into themes of authoritarianism, memory, and resistance, aiming not just to reflect on history but to actively contribute to the shaping of a more just and equitable future. My work is an invitation for reflection and action, aspiring to advance human dignity above all.
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