The Old Lady and the River
At the urging of her daughter in law, eighty-four-year-old Liesel Halston visits her hometown with the hope of finding closure from Nazi persecution, and the pain of losing loved ones. Sitting on a wooden bench, Liesel watches the water of the mighty Rheine-River rushing downstream. The bench dates back to her childhood and is an old familiar friend. She traces the outline of the heart carved into the backrest. Her beloved grandfather had carved it a long, long time ago. The mesmerizing, rushing water turns the clock back on Liesel. She remembers when tormenting fear replaced her sheltered childhood. Nazi Storm troopers forced Liesel’s father to join the Nazi Party. Her family fled Germany. Barely staying a step ahead of the hangman’s noose turns Liesel’s life into a flight from hell. Pursued by the ruthless SS Sturmbannführer Heinrich, terrifying fear is their constant companion. With the help of the French underground, they escape to the UK. However, the horror of war follows them. They almost lose their lives during the air raids on London. When Liesel falls in love and marries Tom Halston, an American Army Captain, she, and her family immigrated to the US. Yet, it seems the loss of too many loved ones, and the uncertainty of her grandson missing in the desert of Iraq, is about to break Liesel’s will.