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The “parsonage chain” saved a total of seventeen fugitives. Only two men and two boys were among them because accommodating women was far easier since they did not have to produce an exemption either from military or labor service. Normally, newcomers were passed off as refugees from bombing. Since official registration was only required after four weeks, changes of quarters were normally also dictated by this period.

Toward the end of the war, the helpers sought to “legalize” their charges by applying to the authorities for papers to replace documents supposedly lost in bombing raids.

While this was successful in the case of Hermann Pineas, for instance – he received a work permit that even enabled him to go on business trips – Franziska (Fraenze) Neumann was found out during such an “attempt at legalization” and deported. Although Pastor Hermann Diem, Ms. Neumann’s final host, was interrogated by the police, he was unexpectedly left in peace since he evidently convincingly asserted that he had been unaware that Ms. Neumann was a Jew.

Richard Gölz, a pastor in Wankheim, who, together with his wife Hilde, had repeatedly hidden refugees – including Mr. Krakauer – did not fare as well. An official had become suspicious because Gölz’s had put up Hermann Pineas, who had long since moved on though, and ordered Gölz’s arrest on December 23, 1944; he was detained in Welzheim concentration camp until the end of the war.

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  • © Heiner Gölz © Private Collection