Sabine was born in the
service of Clothild’s family. Her mother was the attendant to
Clothild’s step-mother, and she grew up with the von Pressen
children, playing with them and being schooled alongside them.
Sabine, who was called ‘Bina,’ was a little slow, but much
So, when Clothild was
married off, she took Bina with her. She wanted to be sure of
what would happen to her, and she wanted a piece of her home
with her. The only way she could have either was by taking a
helper who was an integral part of her original household.
Clothild and Sabine
stuck together no matter what Friedrich did. She was far more
than a helpmate, she helped and supported Clothild, giving her
the strength to carry on and hold her head high.
Unaware of the profound
effect she had, Sabine considered herself to be a burden on
Clothild, forever grateful for the kindnesses of her mistress.
After Clothild died,
Sabine came under Frau Blücher. Clothild had warned her that
Frau Blücher was not to be trusted, but Sabine had no one to
turn to, and fell in with Blücher’s plans. It was a long time
before Otto found out what had been done. Then Sabine could see
she’d been duped, and was contrite.
She had liked Luise
when Clothild was alive, but she couldn’t bear to have her in
Clothild’s things. When Otto ordered her to be an old auntie to
Luise, a life-long attachment to the girls started.
Luise called her Tante
Bina, which reminded her of her childhood. As they talked about
Clothild as she had been, Sabine was as happy and fulfilled as
she had ever been. She also became fond of Kirsten, not as
Luise’s companion, but for her own self, which pleased them
The staff looked after Tante Bina, keeping her in clothes and
listening to her at meals. With their attention her final years
were comfortable, even if she didn’t recognise it.