Monday, 30 October 2017

The Steiner School is evacuated

Renate gets to live at the seaside. The whole school is evacuated. However, the beach isn’t necessarily a place you would want to go. These children have braved it however. Here is a picture of what it looked like:

Here is an excerpt from The House on Schellberg Street:
She took a deep breath and felt the sea air fill her. She was aware of her body getting stronger.
Eva took a deep breath too. “Hmm,” she said. “It is so wonderful to breathe this fresh air. And listen.” She cupped her ear. “No noisy bombs and sirens.”
“Will you keep your voice down?” hissed Frau Edler. “You with you über-Yiddish accent. You’ll give us away.”
What on earth did Mutti mean?
“If they recognise us as being Yiddish,” said Eva, “surely they’ll realise that we hate Herr Hitler as much as they do.”
“Not so much of the us,” said Frau Edler. “I am certainly not Yiddish. I am married to a respected German Catholic, my parents were Lutheran and my mother is still Christian. The whole family has never spoken anything but Hochdeutsch.”
“You’re still Yiddish,” said Eva. “Jüdische Deutsche. Yiddish.”
“You don’t really care what people think do you?” asked Renate. 
“Of course not,” said Frau Edler. “But you see … we never got permission to be so near to the sea. There wasn’t time to get the extra paperwork done. So I think we should be a bit careful.”
“So, why didn’t you say when Mrs Williams suggested coming here?” asked Renate.
“Your mother could see you really needed some fresh air,” said Eva. “And with the two of us to prop you up …   Mrs Williams wouldn’t have had time to do that.”
Renate suddenly remembered that she had meant to like being English. If she didn’t they’d won, Herr Hitler and his lot. But could liking being English include breaking the rules sometimes? She remembered how Sergeant Clarkson had said that these particular rules were a bit daft. That was a good enough reason to like being English, wasn’t it?
And there were Mutti and Eva as well, being naughty, going to the seaside when they shouldn’t.

What was it like for Renate being at the seaside?
The whole of Renate’s school was evacuated together but the children lived with separate families. What were the advantages and disadvantages of this?
Note: German children were also sent from the big towns to the countryside. However they all lived together. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this?       

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