The Award by Danielle Steel Just before Christmas, Gaelle was biking to her friend Rebekah Feldmann’s house to pick her up for school but just a safe distance away she saw her and her family being loaded on a truck at gun point. It was the 1940’s when Germany occupied France. Gaelle’s father had told her to stay away from the soldiers and he had given her identification so that if she was stopped they could see she was Catholic. All the Jews were being sent to detention camps.
Gaelle found out one day where Rebekah could possibly be held so the next day she took her bike and it took 2 hours to get there. She saw one of Rebekah’s brothers and he went to his sister to tell her she was there. Gaellle continued to go there after school and she brought things like a coat for Lotte and food which they badly needed. She had been going to see Rebekah for 5 months and she continued to see her till March 1942 and they had been there for almost a year and a half. Rebekah had a cold that month and Gaelle gave her a kiss through the fence on her cheek and it was hot. The next week Gaelle had a bad cold as well and her mother told her to stay in bed. When she was well again she went back to the detention camp and they were all gone. She cried all the way home.
One day her brother Thomas came home for a visit and he wanted to see his friends so he sneaked out at night despite being told not to. One morning she woke up after hearing her mother scream. She ran in to her mothers room and saw her father consoling her. Thomas had been killed. He wasn’t watch where he was riding his bike and he ran into a truck with soldiers around his age and was killed immediately. They buried him on the estate after mass was said at the church.
The worst time came when she heard shouting but could not see anything so she ran down some stairs and looked out a window in time to see them shoot her father and 2 farmers. She heard the word “Resistance”. She went upstairs thinking they may come and kill her and her mother. But nothing happened immediately. She was called to the commandant’s office later and was asked if she knew of her father’s activities with the resistance group. She said no and the commandant believed her and told her ‘she and her mother could stay in the house due to her mother’s health.’ He also told her she could bury her father on the property but to do it quick and quietly which she did.
She was coming home from going to the pharmacy to pick up her mothers sleeping powder when she saw a family being put on the truck and taken away with 3 younger children and out of the corner of her eye she saw a fourth climb out a window in the back of the house. After the truck drove away she took her bike and went to find him and he was small enough to hid in her bicyles basket with a blanket over him. She hid him in a small shed they had by the grave yard and he gave her a piece of paper with an address on it. The next morning she took him to the address that had been on the piece of paper. She met a rather tall man there and told him she had a package for him. She found out that he was a member of the OSE and after that she joined them and brought a lot of children to them.
The story goes on till Gaelle reaches the age of Ninety Five. So get the book at Amazon or your closest thrift store and enjoy the rest of the story.
The Award by Danielle Steel. Thank you. (c) Erma Friesen 2020