Last Surviving Austrian Who Hid Jews Honored

0
359

VIENNA (AP).- It was 1942 in Hitler’s Austria, a time when a late-night knock on the door could have resulted in deportation or death. Edeltrud Becher shuddered as she heard the rap of knuckles from unannounced visitors. She opened the door — and gasped: Instead of the Gestapo, her Jewish fiance and his two brothers were on the doorstep, looking nervously over their shoulders. The three had fled to Prague after the Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938. But by 1942, that city too was in the hands of Hitler’s henchmen. The three were told to pack essentials for deportation to a concentration camp. They wrote suicide notes to make authorities think they were dead, and then did what no one thought any Jew would do — they took a night train straight to Vienna, back into the heartland of the Nazi Reich. In deciding to protect them from the Nazis that night, Becher — now Edeltrud Posiles — embarked on a dangerous game