Memorial Stone at the Parsonage in Gebersheim
Donated by former German President Richard von Weizsäcker, a memorial stone commemorating Elisabeth Goes’s role aiding the rescue of several Jews was erected on the path leading up to the parsonage in Gebersheim in 2003. Richard von Weizsäcker was one of the Goes couple’s closest friends.
In his memoir “Light in Darkness”, Max Krakauer wrote about Elisabeth Goes and the pastors’ wives, whose husbands were at war and who provided refugees shelter:
We encountered a third variety of good Samaritan in Elisabeth Goes, which we got to know on our travels, the young pastor’s wife on her own, whose husband was at the front, in captivity, missing or had even fallen.
She was of an age that she had still attended school in 1933, […] and, despite all of the party and government bodies’ propaganda, had not been infected by these hateful ideas. Having to rely on themselves, burdened with worry about their children, endeavoring to perform their absent husbands’ various official duties and thus to lessen the neighboring substitute pastor’s workload, their deep faith gave such young pastors’ wives, who were certain of their absent spouses’ approval, the courage to take upon themselves the enormous risk of sheltering us and thus imperiling their conscripted husbands, their children and themselves.
We long knew that, on their search for quarters, our friends often had to accept not only being turned away but additionally also even being warned not to draw too much attention to themselves and their families on account of a few strangers. Some, who would have been willing to help in and of themselves, refrained from doing so, not out of regard for themselves, but rather for their children who would have shared their parents’ fate if we were discovered.
More than once, people explained to us frankly that the decision to take us in was motivated by these brave young women’s example. For when they learned that they had opened their houses, they knew that they also had to do it. Thus, the young pastors’ wives’heroic conduct, as one might call it, was a true blessing for us. Mrs. Elisabeth Goes in Gebersheim was at their head. (Krakauer: Lichter 125f.)
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- © Photo: Eberhard Röhm, Leonberg