Breakfast again on the patio. Small talk with Mrs. Schäfmann, similar to the morning greetings as before all the other mornings, but this time I have added a few short sentences. I described the natures’ beauty as it comes to view on the patio in this sunny morning. Also forecasting that we will have today a beautiful day. While talking I am also gesturing with my hands. She doesn’t understand English, not even one syllable that I said. In reply, she gestured toward the horizon saying: Ein schöner Tag! (A beautiful day!) I couldn’t argue with that. Then I helped her to transfer back the leftovers and the dirty dishes to the kitchen. With a “Danke” she thanked me for helping and I replied with “Danke schön”, thank you (very much) for the breakfast.
Soon Elisabeth Weinhandl arrived. We put all the baggage into the trunk of the car, and then came the emotional good-byes.
It is time to end our visit to St. Anna and return to Vienna. But first, we must return to Mr. Lippe to see if he's found any old photos. He hasn't, though Mayor Weinhandl will find one later that clearly confirms Apu's recollections. But Mr. Lippe has brought a gentleman named Leo to meet us. Leo is also in his 80's. Before the war, Mr. Lippe explains, Leo worked for his grandfather. We learn that it was Leo who built the fence! Here, standing before us, is the man who built the wire-link fence that figures so prominently in my father's memory that it helped us pinpoint the exact site where he was housed 60 years prior. Leo was not around in 1945 when Apu was there. He had been drafted and was fighting in the war, fighting for the Germans. But today, he wanted to shake my father's hand and wish him well. This journey is full of surprises
(Leo was fighting the war for Germany in Africa. But luckily for him, in the early time of the fighting, the British captured him as a prisoner of war. In the wartime he was held in P.O.W. camp in Egypt.)
As we are packing our bags into Mrs. Weinhandl's car for the drive to the train station, Mrs. Kikelj pulls up suddenly. In a quick break between classes, she decided to race over to say one more goodbye. With tears in her eyes, she thanks us for our visit and promises to try my father's math program. I sense that this was her way of saying thank you to us for helping lift the burden from her mother's shoulders.
At the train station, Mrs. Weinhandl tells me that in less than a week, she feels like I have become her brother and Apu is like a grandfather to her. Apu jokingly says: "why not like a father!" At 80, my father is far from old. He handles the rigors of travel better than me.