Pauline Essig, Sexton

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Not only Otto Mörike organized new quarters for the Jewish Krakauer couple from time to time but his wife and he were also willing to take in the two of them when there was no longer anywhere else for them to stay. Somehow room always seemed to be available in the parsonage in Flacht – even when tightly packed – or a lodging could be found in the vicinity, for instance at the sexton’s, Pauline Essig. Max Krakauer recounted:

Christmas was approaching, for us an occasion to look somberly into the future for lodging us anywhere over the holidays appeared hopeless. There wasn’t a parsonage anymore anyway, which had not already taken in people who had been bombed out, and now children who attended secondary school in the cities were also coming home to one and relatives had announced their intention to recover somewhat over the holidays in the villages to others. …

At the last moment, the parsonage in Flacht stepped in. We snaked with the streetcar as far as Weilimdorf, went on foot to Korntal and took the Strohgäu train there to Weissach. For we had been told that this short railway had never been policed so far. We arrived safely in Weissach, too, and hiked over to Flacht – with heavy hearts, for we knew that we had been allowed to go there because, despite every effort, there had been no other option. So we feared we would be regarded as a nuisance and were all the more pleasantly surprised at the kindness with which we were received.

My wife was allowed to live in the parsonage, whereas I was lodged at the sexton’s. Apart from five children, a daughter of the house and the lady of the house’s mother as well as her brother and the wounded foster son were visiting in the parsonage. We strangers however – and of a different religion – were treated almost even more affectionately than their own relatives. We were allowed to take part in all of the Christmas preparations, something quite new to us in many respects, and the bond that joined us with the married Mörike couple grew stronger and stronger (Krakauer, Lichter, 99, 100f.).

Source / title

  • © Adolf Leger; Abdruck: Krakauer, Lichter, 100 © Calwer Verlag, Stuttgart

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