Curious George creators escaped Nazis, landed in US

December 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Before his pedal into mischief in “Curious George Rides a Bike,” the monkey took a much more harrowing ride when his creators escaped the Nazi invasion of France. The manuscript that would later launch their beloved series of children’s books was among the few belongings that Margret and H.A. Rey took with them when they fled Paris in June 1940, just days before German troops marched into the city. Both German Jews, the Reys cobbled together 2 bikes out of spare parts and pedaled to Orleans. Trains carried them through Spain and Portugal, where they boarded a ship to the US. 18 years later, the Reys built a summer cottage in New Hampshire, where an exhibit about their wartime escape now is on display at a nonprofit center. To complement the exhibit, which was created by the Institute for Holocaust Education in Nebraska and features illustrations from a 2005 children’s book about the Reys’ trip, the Margret and H.A. Rey Center plans a series of lectures about the Reys and immigration during World War II. “Kids are drawn in because of George, but they’re also inspired by the story because these people were ordinary citizens in a wartime situation,” said Louise Borden, author of “The Journey That Saved Curious George.” The Reys became U.S. citizens and settled in New York and later Cambridge, Mass. H.A. Rey died in 1977; Margret lived until 1996. (daily me)


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