Southern Escape Route: The Helpers

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The “parsonage chain” was organized by the Stöffler family, the families of Pastor Otto and Gertrud Mörike in Flacht and Pastor Theodore and Hildegard Dipper in Reichenbach and assistant pastor Martin Lörcher in Urach. The organizers were members of the “Evangelical Confessional Fellowship in Württemberg” or the “Society”, groups affiliated with the Confessing Church.

In the ensuing months, the Krakauers were taken in in altogether fifty houses; at times, they had to find shelter individually for a while when there was no room for a married couple. Pastors’ families as well as wives of theologians serving in the Wehrmacht, such as Elisabeth Goes or Hildegard Spieth, parish assistants, vicars and sextons provided places to stay.

Outside the narrower sphere of the church, the teacher Martha Hünlich in Kirchheim unter Teck and the farmers Eugen Immendörfer in Heimerdingen and August Scheuermann in Aurich were also actively involved. Further, the engineer Karl Michel and his wife Margarethe, the married pharmacists Richard and Anna Kleinknecht and the industrialist Martin Bitzer and his wife Elise are found on the list of supporters.

At least ten more people beyond those who took in others, such as the farmer and church warden Jakob Berstecher in Kuppingen who helped with essential food, were involved in the parsonage chain.

Source / title

  • Krakauer, Lichter im Dunkel, 82f. © Calwer Verlag, Stuttgart