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Maria Jolas
Unpublished war diary
1940
Eugene and Maria Jolas Papers

When the Germans invaded France in 1940, Maria Jolas, founder of the École bilingue de Neuilly, moved her school and its students to the French countryside. In her war diary, Jolas recounted the day-to-day struggles she faced in providing for the students and faculty in her care: “The weather is mild and sunny and the flowers are all in bloom and one is sometimes tempted to forget under the spell of the great trees that this is a defeated, unhappy land faced with hunger and misery. For hunger is the part of thousands here to-day. There is a shortage of all food supplies and it is hard to see just how the problem will be solved. We go from farm to farm for butter, potatoes, etc. and are lucky to find anything, particularly potatoes which are a great scarcity. As for coal there is none, and I wonder how long I can find food and cook it for my fifty people.”1

1 Maria Jolas, unpublished war diary, 25 June 1940, p. [34,] Eugene and Maria Jolas Papers.

 

 

 

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