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Holocaust Memorial Documentary: The Escape of Curious George

Clifton Park Chabad
Event organized by Clifton Park Chabad

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Commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day, Clifton Park Chabad presents the feature film Curious George’s Great Escape From The Nazis at the Clifton Park Halfmoon Library 475 Moe Rd,
Monday, April 9th 6:30pm

Discover the inspirational true story of H.A. and Margaret Rey's narrow escape from the Holocaust 78 years ago with their manuscript of Curious George.

America’s favorite monkey, the irrepressible Curious George, is always in trouble! In a great turn of fate, he helped his creators get out of life-threatening danger. Curious George, the beloved, irrepressible monkey of children’s book lore, is famous for his ability to “save the day.” Interpreting the role he played in safeguarding his own creators in times of danger as symbolic, this film delves into the remarkable lives and works of Margret and H. A. Rey. The couple fled Paris in 1940 with a Curious George manuscript in their suitcase. During a tense inspection of their belongings by a border official, children’s illustrations were found and they were allowed to continue on their way, eventually reaching the United States.

At dawn on June 12, 1940, H.A. and Margaret made their escape on the rainy Paris roads by bicycle. Their dangerous journey and narrow escape is nothing short of miraculous. The Reys traveled roughly 493 miles to Bayonne, France, close to the border of Spain. Freedom was finally in their grasp, after weary days of travel and nights spent on the floors of barns, schools, and restaurants. Yet the borders had all-been secured, and their lives rested in the hands of one man.

Aristides de Sousa Mendes was the Portuguese consul-general in Bayonne during World War II. Defying the Portuguese prime minister, Sousa Mendes ordered thousands upon thousands of visas and false documents to Jewish refugees. For the sake of “saving innocent lives,” Sousa Mendes later became the first diplomat to be honored by Israel as one of the Righteous Among Nations.