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July 16, 2016 2:48 PM   Subscribe

It all started with a question, one my parents had been unable to answer for 70 years. What happened to the French doctor they had taken in during the Russian siege of Budapest? He was an escaped prisoner of war. They were just trying to hang on. Together, they hid in a cellar, beneath the feet of German soldiers who had made the home their headquarters.
San Francisco Journalist John Temple follows the threads of World War II into the present.
posted by Rumple (20 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
Reading this made me burst unexpectedly into tears. That's not a bad thing. A really amazing story. I'm really glad you posted this. Thank you.
posted by hippybear at 3:29 PM on July 16, 2016

That was so beautiful, and it's something we all need to hold onto: there really are good people in the world.
posted by easily confused at 3:30 PM on July 16, 2016

That is such a compelling story. So many people have untold stories locked away from family and friends. It's a rare treat to read such a wonderfully told tale.
posted by mightshould at 3:39 PM on July 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah, this was an incredible read. Very vivid, very moving. I cried as well. Thanks for posting.
posted by sockermom at 3:39 PM on July 16, 2016

I can't decide whether to send this to my father or not, which is evidence of how weird and pervasive the generational silence about this stuff is in my family. I'm going to send it to my mom and see what she thinks. Anyway, thanks for posting it. It resonated.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:09 PM on July 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

It also highlights the question of who's story is it to tell....the son didn't push the unspoken truce about pushing his parents for information and now wonders if something more should have been done about their story earlier. Very worthwhile issue for us all to consider.
posted by mightshould at 4:14 PM on July 16, 2016

Oh my, the little elephant at the end.

I am weeping all over myself.
posted by pjern at 4:21 PM on July 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Wow, what an amazing story. Thanks for the post.
posted by languagehat at 5:11 PM on July 16, 2016

Oh. Lovely.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:45 PM on July 16, 2016

Gripping. I had other things to do.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:46 PM on July 16, 2016

Yes, thank you for posting this amazing moving story.

I lived in Bordeaux for a couple of years in the late 1950s when I was a little kid. It was where I first became aware of anti-Semitism. I also remember going to Royan and sitting in a cafe with my parents and younger sisters, there was something fascinating to me about being at the point where a big river met the sea. I also remember lots of old German bunkers.
posted by mareli at 6:57 PM on July 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Really amazing story - wonderful and compelling.
posted by leslies at 7:00 PM on July 16, 2016

Awesome. I remember the thrill of discovery when tracing my family tree, anchoring half-remembered childhood stories to actual dates, names, faces and places. How much more exciting it must be to meet your family history in the flesh.
posted by Autumn Leaf at 8:19 PM on July 16, 2016

Huge fat tears. What a remarkable story.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:55 PM on July 16, 2016

That is one of the most amazing things I've ever read. Thank you so so much for posting.
posted by persona au gratin at 2:04 AM on July 17, 2016

This will be a movie.
posted by persona au gratin at 2:06 AM on July 17, 2016

Reading this in Budapest. So many familiar motifs, patterns, little stories. Thanks for posting.
posted by kmt at 4:11 AM on July 17, 2016

I'm glad the praise of you guys made me read the article. My grandparents on my father's side fled Russia during WWI and met in Yugoslavia, where my grandfather, once a pianist studying under Glazounov in St. Petersburg, became head of an iron mine in Serbia. My father grew up there during WWII, with German troops occupying the mines, before the whole family fled to Trieste and then NYC. I have one dear possession, a toy my father had as a child: a tiny glass elephant.
posted by acrasis at 9:38 AM on July 17, 2016 [8 favorites]

Oh, wow. Just wow. Bless them all.
posted by anitanita at 7:27 PM on July 17, 2016

This is wonderful. Thank you for posting.
posted by cass at 9:02 AM on July 18, 2016

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