CREDOS: The miracle — II
On Christmas eve, Elisabeth and Fritz tried to block out the distant sound of gunfire as they sat down to their supper of oatmeal and potatoes.
“At that moment, I heard human voices outside, speaking quietly,” Fritz remembered.
“Mother blew out the little candle on the table and we waited in fearful silence. “There was a knock at the door. Then another. When my mother opened the door, two men were standing outside. They spoke a strange language and pointed to a third man sitting in the snow with a bullet wound in his upper leg. We knew they were American soldiers. They were cold and weary.
“My mother motioned the soldiers into the cottage, turned to me and said, ‘Get six more potatoes from the shed.’” Elisabeth and one of the American soldiers were able to converse in French, and from him they learned news about the German offensive. The soldier and his comrades had become separated from their battalion and had wandered for three days in the snowy Ardennes Forest, hiding from the Germans. Hungry and exhausted, they were so grateful for this stranger’s kindness.
A short time later that evening, four more tired soldiers came to the cottage. However, these men were German.
“Now I was almost paralyzed with fear,” Fritz recalled. “While I stood and stared in disbelief, my mother took the situation into her hands. I had always looked up to my mother and was proud to be her son. But in the moments that followed, she became my hero.”