The number of coincidences, through people I’ve met, books I’ve read, the information that has come to me unbidden—or only bidden in thought— as I’ve been doing the research for Two Suitcases was already extraordinary when we met Monique Lagard a few days ago, courtesy of Montalbanais friends, Ian and Janet Milligan. 

In 1993-1994, Monique and her lycée students made a short film about Adèle Kurzweil, a young Austrian refugee who came to Montauban at the same time as my parents, in 1940. Surely Adèle’s parents knew mine. They were active Austrian Social Democrats. Adèle’s mother worked for Ernst Papanek at Montmorency, outside of Paris, between 1938 and 1940, at the same time that my mother did. Her father was interned with mine. And the film project began with the discovery of three suitcases (not two) filled with the family’s memorabilia.

Now that I am writing about this, vague memories of hearing my parents talking about Adèle and her family are returning. 

Thank you so much, Ian and Janet. Thank you so much, Monique.

The film, which is only thirteen minutes long, is subtitled in English.

Click here to see it.

5 thoughts on “Adèle

  1. Eve, your excerpts drew me right in! Your book seems to be moving along with so many interesting and relevant coincidences falling into place.

  2. Hello Eve,

    I would like to get in contact with you per email, as we have something in common. We both seem to like the past and the story of our family! But more specifically, your mothers name appears in my grandmothers telephone directory – my grandmother’s name was Josephine or Fini Stein, married to Franz Stein. They fled from Austria and lived – as your parents – for 7 years in Montauban.
    Looking forward to hearing from you!

  3. Hi Eve,
    Just realized it’s been a long time since we’ve heard from you. Hope all is well. Please post a little something or reply and let us know how things are in Cordes.
    Much love to you both!

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