Sandy is a young girl full of life, pious, living in a loving family. She dreams of marriage, of true happiness, while she is a teenager. This day of June 1976 will create a turning point in the life of the girl...

Hello, my name is Sandy Schäffer, I was born on 21 April 1960 in the town of Lahr, in the district of Ortenau, in theregion of Baden-Württemberg, in Germany not far from the French-German border, about 30 km south-east of the French city of Strasbourg. I am a 16 year old girl, I love nature, I love learning, I love school, I love life. I am one of the best behaved children of my parents, obedient, I make my parents proud with my brother and sisters.


I was born into a loving middle-class family, if I may say so, neither rich nor poor, an in-between... There is my father, Rudolf Schäffer, born on May 24th 1926 in the town of Rust, about 20 km from Lahr. He is a tall man, I think he is about 2.07 m tall, strict but good to his family and to others. Always ready to help when he can. He works at the airport in Lahr/Schwarzwald.


Hildegard Ruder Schäffer, my mutti*, was born on 12 December 1933 in Lahr, into a family of resistance fighters against National Socialism. She is a beautiful woman, very gentle, loving and very pious. She has an enormous love for her fellow man and is always the first to help others.


Birgit Schäffer, my older sister, was born on 24 August 1958 in Colmar, while our parents were on holiday in France. She is a studious, reserved, even shy girl, but above all she is a generous person. For me, she is the ideal big sister!


Julian Schäffer, my little brother, was born on 24 January 1963 in Lahr and is the only boy in our family. He's a bit of a daredevil in the family, always ready to try without thinking too much. And he is the one who is often punished, unfortunately...


Hilda Schäffer, my little sister, the last one born on 31 October 1965 in Lahr too. She is the last one, the little brat. For her age she is a very intelligent child, she is at the same school level as Julian, which annoys my brother...


Now I will tell you my story. It is the 24th of June 1976, I wake up, I pray as I do every morning before going to wash. After this action towards the one I believe in, I wash myself, I am quick, it is an almost military ritual. I comb my long blonde hair. I dress in a decent way.


Birgit asks me to bring her jacket when I go downstairs for breakfast. I put on my shoes, navy blue converse that my parents gave me for my last birthday. I go downstairs with Birgit's jacket, give it to her and Hilda gives me a hug.


    • Dydy, my big sister!

    • Hilda, did you sleep well? I thought you were still asleep, you're up early today!

    • I couldn't sleep much, I dreamt you were gone. It was so real.

    • But don't worry, thank God it won't happen!


Birgit," called Mum, as she had something to ask her. Our mother, who was in the garage, is coming.


    • Yes, Britta, what did you want to ask me? Because I was preparing the car to drop you off.

    • Would you mutti, 5 Marks so I can eat with Valentina?

    • I don't have any change on me Britta, I'm sorry. Otherwise the college canteen is already paid for...


I went back to my room and took 5 Marks that I had in my things. I immediately went back downstairs to give them to Britta.


    • Here you go Britta, I still have a lot of Marks left over.

    • Thanks Dydy, I'll pay you back very soon!


I put on my coat, I prefer to walk to the Gymnasium*. It's Dad's day off, and Julian is sick, lucky him, he'll get a break. But like every day we all pray together before leaving the house. We finish, I walk about half a mile to the school. On the way I meet my best friend, Ottilie, we have done all our classes together since we received our "Schultüte*" when we entered the Gymnasium.


Ottilie and I are very good friends. "Tillyis not religious but she respects what I believe in! We arrive at the Gymnasium.


The day went very well. I got a 16/20 in French, we had a test in German, I think I passed it quite easily. The two hours of maths knocked me out a bit. In the afternoon, I took part in a photography workshop with one of my teachers, Mr Hammerstein, my French teacher.


After this workshop, I go to church as I do every Thursday. I go to pray, to meditate in order to commune with God and I stayed there as always, for two and a half hours. Everything went well, I feel happy, joyful, after this meeting.


I decide to walk home. The prayer house is not far from home, about four hundred metres. I don't mind because it's not far from my house.


I never arrive late, I always respect the instructions left by my parents, I always make them proud!


I see a van coming in the distance. It approaches me, the vehicle stops near me and I see that there are two men inside. The two men offer me cigarettes and alcohol. They also ask me if they can take me home. I am young, only 16 years old, but I am far from being stupid. And thanks to God and my parents' education, I didn't do anything foolish!


I refuse all their proposals and continue on my way, while activating my step, I do not know these individuals.


I feel I am being grabbed, it is one of the two men whose advances I refused, he throws me into the Van. He ties my arms behind my back, I struggle but the man is very strong... He ties my legs... And over my mouth he places a gag... I hear the car speeding up, I understand that we are on the motorway not too far from my home town. I start to pray, I put my life in the hands of my Lord, these men have gone mad, they have lost their minds... They stop the car...


One of them starts to undress me, I struggle, I do not want to be touched by these men. I have always saved myself for my future marriage... I try to scream, but my mouth is blocked, the one who undressed me is raping me... I'm in excruciating pain... I cry... The second one takes over... I still pray to the Lord to stop it... But these two men have been defiling me for hours already...


As always I put my love for God first. This time I pray out loud. The first man who raped me hears me praying and then he starts choking me. But he looks at my face, our eyes meet, he starts to vomit next to me. I have finished thanking my God, I forgive these two men for what they have done to me and what they will do to me. Now I am ready to die, my soul is at peace, the second man grabs a coat hanger and wraps it around my neck and squeezes the object. I feel my spirit leave my body, before it leaves for good, the two men have thrown me on the side of the highway, not far from my home, I am dead!










Mutti = comes from the German word "mutter" (mother) and can be translated as mother.

Schultüte = composed of the words "Schule" (school) and "Tüte" (cone) and can be translated as school cone. It is a cardboard or plastic cone full of sweets, toys, school supplies and other surprises for children. In Germany, parents give them to children to mark their entry into primary school.

Gymnasium = the equivalent of high school in German-speaking countries.

Submitted: May 23, 2021

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