Involvement in the Parsonage Chain

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The Krakauers, a Jewish married couple, were taken in in the parsonage in Flacht twice, from December 19, 1943 to January 17, 1944 and from June 6 to 19, 1944. Extremely circumspect, Otto Mörike was additionally active as one of the coordinators as well.

The so-called Württemberg “parsonage chain”, to which the Krakauers and others owed their survival, functioned solely because there were not only individual parsonages that took the risk of lodging upon themselves but also several intermediaries (moderators) who passed refugees along to quarters, which they had arranged without much ado.

Primarily parsonages on close terms with the Church-Theological Society were on the first stretch of the route in Württemberg; homes were more likely to be affiliated with the Protestant Confessing Church on the later stretch. Otto Mörike, a member of the Council of Brethren of the Confessing Church, was one of the second stage’s moderators, as Max Krakauer recorded in his memoirs:

Over the course of our stay, I became acquainted with quite a number of pastors in Württemberg, including one man who would become the linchpin and the driving force of our further stay in this region, a man who welcomed us with such a winning smile and found such kind words for us that, without knowing why, I sensed he would yet play an important role in our life. This man was Pastor Otto Mörike from Flacht (Krakauer, Lichter, 95).

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  • © Photo: Eberhard Röhm, Leonberg