|Book in focus|
The convent had not prepared me for these kinds of choices. If any decisions needed to be made, my Sister Superior made them. I naively assumed that if I were somehow given the power of choice, it would simply be a matter of choosing the obvious good and rejecting the obvious evil. The options were black and white, like our habits. Thus, it was a distressing surprise to discover that having freedom of choice drops you into a world of moral ambiguity. Evil may be wrapped in goodness, and good may have evil buried inside.
… Of course, I might let Sister Ursula carry the entire moral burden of choice. I could escape responsibility by claiming that … I was just obeying Sister Ursula’s orders. I am sure, however, such a rationalization would not have eased my troubled conscience much.
In the fall of 1941, persecution of the Jews increased. As a result, Sister Ursula quickly agreed with [Father] Cyril’s request to give refuge to Jews.
We had built a delicate house of cards based on complete silence, and it would entirely collapse if the Abwehr heard we were knowingly sheltering even one Jewish girl. A mere rumor could trigger a full-scale invasion of the convent and school by Abwehr agents.