I want to share a true story with you today, because it resonated with me so much when I heard about it. I can still see the train, shimmering through the cold, foggy winter morning, appearing, ghostlike on the track…
The young girl in this photo is Isa. She was the daughter of the family who owned the real Schloss that inspired Schloss Siegel in The House by the Lake. Isa, a teenager during the war years, was given the job of taking all the village children to school each morning once cars had been requisitioned by the Nazis. The mode of transport she had to use- the wagon you see here.
Isa had to collect the children at 7am, and drive them through the often freezing German winter mornings to the village school, but on one cold, misty morning, visibility was completely cut off. Isa was just crossing the train line, towing the children behind her in the cart, when she heard the boom of a train engine coming straight at her. She was half way across the tracks. The train was almost right on top of her, coming straight at the children through the thick fog.
Isa, who was probably only thirteen at the time, lurched the wagon full of small children across the tracks. Just in time.
It’s one of those war time stories that stays with you. What a brave young person Isa was.