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Friday, 21 June 2013

Stories Crossing Over – where “Clara’s Story” meets “The House on Schellberg Street”

I’m at the point now where these two stories meet. I’m actually going to recreate many of the “Hani” thread scenes in The House on Schellberg Street from Clara’s point of view. I’ve also got to build up more of the background to that. So I’m revisiting much of the research I did for the first novel.
I’ve been unsure about when to introduce Hitler. I know Clara will see through him and dislike him. She will also understand why people want him in power, however. I have to remember there wouldn’t be so many photos around in those days though there may be the wireless so she may hear his voice.      
I now have to handle Clara’s Jewishness carefully. I must also remember that the identity conflict she feels is a big part of the story. Clara is not particularly religious and anyway the whole family have become Lutheran Protestants. She will resist being labelled Jewish. She will see many Jewish friends being humiliated. She has kept cultural links with her roots. The “Blutschutz” rules introduced in 1935 firmly define her as Jewish. She will recognise the threat for herself, her children and her grandchild. A belief in the ultimate goodness of humanity and her care for the children of the special class will keep her at Schellberg Street until she is forced to move to Rexingen.
I’m currently doing a little more research into the exact timings of events leading up to the Holocaust, deciding which to include and also deciding which episodes from The House on Schellberg Street to use and about how best to integrate them.
Up until now I’ve been mainly building up Clara’s character. There have been hints of what is to come. I’ve put a few of them in deliberately but many of them slipped in without me noticing. One of the joys of writing?               

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