Scouring the Vienna papers, my mother has learnt that a lady with the highest references is prepared to offer coaching in various subjects to private pupils of good family. Correspondence has revealed that this lady is Fraülein Hertha von Kaminsky, a former governess to some family of a distant branch of the Habsburgs, and Gabi has gone to Vienna (staying illegally with Helena before her marriage) to supplicate her help.
Acutely conscious that hers is not what a von Kaminsky might consider a good family, Gabi has abandoned subterfuge this time. Hoping that this dependent of the royal family will be no friend of the upstart Nazis, she has laid her petition frankly and humbly before Fraülein von Kaminsky, who is about as broad as she is tall, in her comfortable apartment on the Ring.She has ended with the words “I feel so guilty. It’s all my fault that my children are being treated like this.” Yes, Gabi like Ilse feels guilty. Guilty for being the victim that makes her children victims, while the Führer and his cronies who have brought her to this pass are proudly pinning medals on each other’s chests and dreaming of a new Berlin—Germania, the Jew-free capital of their Jew-free Reich. (Most of them are also kind to dogs.)
Fraülein von Kaminsky is not a connection of the Habsburgs for nothing. She possesses a sense of noblesse oblige as well as that aristocratic disdain of the Nazis which Gabi had hoped for. So in the New Year she will be coming to teach the older children.