Baby through the window

One of my Austrian colleagues told me that her cousin’s mother was on a train being taken to a camp in the war.  She knew she would not survive so, as the train slowed down in a village station, she threw her baby out of the window of the train into the arms of a German nurse, saying, ‘Look after him!’


The nurse looked after the baby and brought him up.


After the war relatives within the child’s family tracked him down and demanded him back.   The nurse did not want to give him up as she had looked after him for 8 years.  The relatives took her to court and won.  They argued that the family had been almost entirely wiped out and it was essential to bring him back into it.


My colleague told me this story…she wondered whether we could use it in our workshop on the use of stories in language teaching.


Here was my dilemma.


Such a story would certainly ‘stimulate authentic and meaningful discussion and offer opportunities for language development’.  But it would also dredge up human bilges of emotion, better for driving the pulling of triggers than articulating a search for understanding.


One faction would see the child as a part of a genetically determined group as much as a cog is part of an engine.

The other faction would see the child and the woman as two individuals who created a group through years of shared and worked on experience.


I knew which side I would be on and I felt appalled at how my finger was quivering to start the conflagration.


I asked the teacher to forgive me. ‘Its a wonderful, wonderful story but I don’t think I can cope with what it might reveal if you were to tell it.’




8 Responses to “Baby through the window”

  1. 1 Themba January 9, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    I’ve gone through the story,its very good, relevant to us as Preachers. As a good Preacher, you can use this story referring to the story of Moses in the bible. This lady deserved a reward after she did a wonderful job like this. To raise a child is not a child’s play. In the bible (exodus 2:9) Pharo’s dauter went to swim and saw a baby floating in the water. She called Mosses sister to call a somebody who can raise up this child. She said to Moses mother take this child and breast feed, I will give you a reward. Same thing applies here.


    • 4 Andrew Wright August 11, 2012 at 4:11 pm

      Presumably your motivation in submitting this under ‘comment’ is to express your negative perception of the story…the site as a whole…or your own life on this earth.

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