Beate Steckhan at the Families of Pastors Gölz and

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Max and Ines Krakauer were not the only Jewish refugees furnished with forged papers to find refuge in the parsonage in Köngen for brief periods. Another was the social worker Beate Steckhan, née Hecht, from Berlin.

Her husband had been an officer killed in World War I. When her deportation from Berlin to one of the extermination camps was imminent in February of 1942, the Gestapo desisted after learning of the fate of her “Aryan” husband. This happened a second time in August of 1942. Since a third time presumably would not have ended as well, friends from the Confessing Church persuaded her to accept forged identity papers and to go underground.

She thus first went to the family of Pastor Richard and Hildegard Gölz in Wankheim near Tübingen. Richard Gölz was a well-known church musician and member of the Church-Theological Society in Württemberg. Like the Stöfflers, the Gölzs also sheltered several Jews with false identities. After being denounced, Richard Gölz was arrested by the Gestapo on December 26, 1944 and taken to Welzheim concentration camp until the war’s end.

Beate Steckhan also changed her quarters frequently during her time as an illegal and was also sheltered by the Stöffler family in Köngen for a while. Eventually, Ms. Steckhan was sought by the Gestapo under her alias Edith Juckeling. Since she managed to get herself a new false identity, though, and found open doors – in Baden, Bayern and Brandenburg as well – time and again, she was able to survive.

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  • © Photo: Private collection of Heiner Gölz

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