After lunch, another reporter interviews Apu. She takes pictures of my father shaking hands with Mayor Weinhandl in front of the war memorial. And she comes with us as we return to the Lackner house. Once again, Mrs. Lackner insists on serving us food. Yesterday: those delightful little sandwiches. Today: scrumptious cakes and fresh strawberries. And Mrs. Lackner’s niece, Martha Zöhrer, joins us. In 1945, she was 12 and was in the house with Mrs. Lackner and the one-legged man. More memories are exchanged, but my father has something important to tell Mrs. Lackner. He wants her to know that he now believes he was in this house. He now believes that she is one of the women who gave him food. Also Martha Zöhrer was the young girl who opened the door for the strangers and spied on the street before the strangers left the house. And he tells to Mrs. Lackner that she has no reason to feel any guilt. That without her kindness, he might not have survived. The very fact that he is sitting in her house today is proof that she has nothing to feel guilty about. I point out that Apu went on to marry my mother and start a family of his own. That my brother and I each have children. And that Apu's granddaughter Stacey has just given birth to a baby girl, Abby Rose. The kindness of Mrs. Lackner and the other women of St. Anna have now yielded three more generations. "See what one apple can do?" I said.
Beneath the tears, there were expressions of gratitude from Mrs. Lackner. I truly believe a weight has been lifted off her shoulders. My father's visit brought back a flood of memories for her. But it has also brought her peace.
Later, recalling the picture-taking event with Mrs. Lackner, Martha and me, I composed the following poem with photo number 6: