Some time ago I introduced you to Hedwig Courths-Mahler, an author who wrote - as she put it - fairytales for adults. That means she wrote stories that are full of tragedy, love, betrayal, heroism, misunderstandings, secrets, you probably know the kind.
In the 70s five of her novels were turned into movies, full of tragedy, love ... well, I mentioned that already. You do get the feeling, however, that the directors and actors didn't always take her work too seriously (how very strange ;-)). Can you say overacting? And then there is of course the narrator, the flowery language, and the music. It's hard to describe really, but you have to keep in mind that the novel to this was written in late 1914. If you like a good giggle and are in the right company with the same kind of humor, it's fun.
The young, poor orphan Rose von Lossow lives with her wealthy relatives. She is in love with her cousin Hasso, a military man, but he proposes to a Russian lady. Unfortunately this lady is a spy who is after his latest invention for military aviation and who uses Hasso's "holiest feelings" to gain access to the plans and then even mocks him calling him an "interesting intermezzo".
Luckily Rose's entry at the right moment had prevented worse, but nevertheless Hasso quits the service to work on his airplane designs at Falkenried, the family manor, instead.
Hasso's mother dies, then the war breaks out. Hasso decides to marry Rose to ensure that she will still be cared for in case he will die out there. Only when it's time for him to go, he realizes that he loves Rose, has loved her for a long time - but does she love him, too? He needs to know.
Hasso: No, I can't leave you like this. First I have to tell you that I love you. My shy, proud Rose. In this hour only it became clear to me what has been rummaging inside of me lately. I have loved you for a long time, I know that now. I loved you before I knew it myself. Fool that I am! A blind fool I am! Tell me just once, in this bittersweet hour of parting, what lives for me in your soul. Tell me the truth, Rose.
Rose: In my soul no one lives but you. I love you, have always loved you and will love you for eternity. You are taking my heart with you, and if you are taken from me, I do not want to live anymore.
Narrator: It was as if their souls wanted to wed in this kiss for all time.
Die Kriegsbraut (The War Bride), Germany, 1974
P.S. You guessed it, there is a happy ending. The Russian spy is caught after all, and Hasso comes home to his Rose (again, keep in mind, this was written in 1914 when the war had just started and no one knew yet HOW terrible it would be).
P.P.S. Again this is my own translation because obviously there is no English version. I hope I managed to capture the mood at least a little.
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