Set in the beginning of 1935, Paper Kisses tells the enchanting story of the romance between a young German Jew, Rudolf Kaufmann, and a Swedish woman, Ingeborg Magnusson. The couple met in Germany when Rudolf’s older brother brought his wife and a traveling companion along for a journey. Aspark united Rudolf and Ingeborg, and they continued sharing their passions for one another through a series of letters, and occasional meetings, that ended in 1941.
The letters, which were discovered by the author in 1991, at an auction, paint a beautiful picture of the love and admiration that Rudolf and Ingeborg shared against the backdrop of the beginning of the Nazis’ rise to power. The two were to share a couple more visits together until Rudolf, who met a German woman from a dance hall, was found guilty of the law against a Jew having sexual relations with a non-Jew, and consequently imprisoned for three years. Nevertheless, Rudolf and Ingeborg continued their amorous correspondence, and she waited for him until he was released from prison. Several barriers prevented the two from ever meeting again, but their romance was preserved, and is charted in this delightful little book.
Paper Kisses is unique in that Kaiser has filled in the blanks of this love story based upon his own research and interpretation of this correspondence, which includes photographs as well as the actual letters exchanged between the pair. This book is recommended for anyone interested in a lovely romantic story that begins in the years when the Nazis were rising to power.
Barbara S. Cohen is a trial attorney in Los Angeles who specializes in child abuse cases. She is a member of NAMI and a supporter of NARSAD, and is an advocate for those who suffer from mental illness.