David P. Boder Interviews Jean Kahn; August 21, 1946; Paris, France

var transcription = { interview: [ David Boder

[In English] Now, will you speak in English? And if you can't, you speak in French. All right. I will ask you the questions in English and you can answer them. [aside] All right. I am here at the home of Admiral Kahn, in the presence of three generations. There's the grandfather, the father of Mrs. Kahn, who spoke to us before, and the Admiral, his wife and here now with me on the sofa is his young son. Now tell me, what's your name?

Jean Kahn

Jean.

David Boder

Your name is John. John what?

Jean Kahn

Jean Kahn.

David Boder

John Kahn. And how old are you, John?

Jean Kahn

I am fifteen now.

David Boder

You are fifteen.

Jean Kahn

Yes.

David Boder

Now, that's nice English. And any time you are look for words, just speak French. You are now fifteen. And how old were you when the war started?

Jean Kahn

It was in 1940.

David Boder

So how old were you?

Jean Kahn

I was ten.

David Boder

You were ten, yes. Now, start talking French. And tell me what do you remember about the start of the war. Go ahead in French.

Jean Kahn

[In French] Eh bien, tout d'abord j'ai vu beaucoup de monde courir dans les rues, allant à l'encontre des nouvelles, car à la radio beaucoup de speakers, ne sachant pas eux-mÃmes les nouvelles, avaient livrà la radio à des spectacles de musique et de chansons. Et la premiÃre chose que je vis le matin en m'Ãveillant, ce sont des cars de troupes qui montaient au front par le Nord à l'approchÃe de Sedan . . . et tout le monde Ãtait affolÃ, entourant la radio.

David Boder

[In English] Now tell me. What month was it? Were you in school then? What month was it when the war started?

Marcelle Kahn

[In French] [Interpreter intervenes] Quel mois c'Ãtait?

David Boder

[In English] Do you remember?

Jean Kahn

[In French] C'Ãtait en juin. En juin.

David Boder

[In English] Were you in school then?

Jean Kahn

[In French] Oui, j'Ãtais en classe, au lycÃe de Lorient.

David Boder

[In English] And what did you think about the war? What did you think it would be? Did you like it?

Jean Kahn

[In French] Je ne pensais pas que cela durerait trÃs longtemps.

David Boder

[In English] Uh huh. Now, tell me what then happened?

Jean Kahn

[In French] Eh bien, nous avons Ãtà obligÃs de nous enfuir devant les Allemands qui avaient rÃussi à faire une percÃe dans l'Est et à ce temps-lÃ, nous ne pensions pas qu'ils allaient avancer rapidement. Et alors, dÃs le 18 juin 1940, nous avons Ãtà forcÃs de parcourir la France du Nord au Sud et de l'orient d'arriver à Marseille.

David Boder

[In English] Bon. Who was with you in Marseille?

Jean Kahn

My grandfather, my mother and my brother.

David Boder

And where was your father?

Jean Kahn

He was at the war.

David Boder

Your father was in the war. All right. Now, what happened then in Marseille? Speak French.

Jean Kahn

[In French] [conversation with interpreter] C'est à Marseille que j'ai appris que l'armistice avait Ãtà signÃ.

David Boder

[In English] All right. And where did you go from Marseille? Tell me. [aside to someone else: "It was a great pleasure and thank you very much."]

Jean Kahn

[In French] [conversation with interpreter] A Marseille, c'Ãtait en dÃcembre 1942, nous avons entendu un message à la radio de Londres, message qui avait Ãtà convenu avec mon pÃre à son dÃpart: le canari est bien arrivà et il attend ses petits. C'Ãtait le signal que nous attendions pour partir pour aller le rejoindre. En octobre 1943, nous avons pris le train pour Perpignan, et c'est de là que nous passions faire toutes nos recherches et prÃvoir tous les embarras que nous aurions en traversant la frontiÃre. Et de la fin d'octobre 1943 nous avons pris le train, sans les papiers qu'il fallait pour traverser la zone interdite, longeant la frontiÃre espagnole. Et . . . mon frÃre et moi avons cherchà le passage dans diffÃrents petits villages qui se trouvaient sur des sommets.

David Boder

Et votre mÃre?

David Boder

[In English] And where was your mother?

Jean Kahn

[In French] Et ma mÃre attendait à Perpignan les rÃsultats de notre enquÃte . . . Pour les enfants, il ne fallait pas de papiers spÃciaux pour entrer dans la zone interdite. Et nous avions tous les deux moins de dix-sept ans à ce moment-là et nous pouvions passer assez facilement à travers les haies de police allemande qui contrÃlaient les papiers des autres personnes. Voyant que tout Ãtait impossible devant le refus de tout le monde de nous aider, mÃmes des guides qui avaient Ãtà questionnÃs, sans idÃes totalement de voir seulement ce que nous pourrions faire, nous sommes retournÃs à Perpignan dÃcidÃs à partir seuls, sans guide, avec l'aide de personne. Mon frÃre acheta une boussole et une carte d'Ãtat-major de la rÃgion, et vers midi, nous sommes partis de Perpignan, pour une petite ville qui s'appelle OssÃja, situÃe à combien d'altitude? situÃe à 1200 mÃtres d'altitude. Nous n'avions Ãvidemment rÃussi à avoir aucun papier permettant le passage de la zone interdite, et cependant, dans le village d'OssÃja, nous Ãtions dÃjà dans la zone interdite. Par consÃquent, à tout contrÃle, les Allemands auraient pu dÃcouvrir que nous n'avions pas de papiers et nous empÃcher d'aller plus loin. Ceci ne s'est pas passà heureusement, mais à la sortie de la gare d'OssÃja, nous avons remarquà qu'il y avait deux agents allemands qui demandaient les papiers permettant l'entrÃe en zone interdite. Nous sommes restÃs quelques instants sur la voie, et lorsque nous avons vu les deux agents partir, nous avons franchi la gare, et nous sommes sortis. Nous avions laissà deux sacs de montagne assez lourds et une valise à la consigne en vue de pouvoir plus librement faire nos recherches, nos derniÃres recherches et explorations du pays.

David Boder

Et puis?

Jean Kahn

Et puis nous sommes partis d'aprÃs . . . en suivant un trajet qui nous avait Ãtà vaguement indiquà par quelques personnes dans le petit village mÃme. L'ascension commenÃa vers la fin de l'aprÃs-midi, et la pluie tombait en faisant des mottes de gadoue. Nous Ãtions enfoncÃs dans la boue, traÃnants, glissants, nous n'en pouvions plus et n'avancions pas. [Question off mic from interpreter] On n'osait pas sortir la carte d'Ãtat-major de peur de la tremper et de la perdre. De temps en temps nous regardions la boussole pour voir si nous Ãtions dans la bonne direction, et nous entendions les chiens des policiers allemands. Nous ne savions pas s'ils Ãtaient à nos trousses ou aux trousses de quelqu'un d'autre, mais on se taisait pour nous faire rater. Mon frÃre cependant nous exhortait et nous poussait comme il pouvait, car nous Ãtions les deux plus fatiguÃs, ma mÃre et moi. Et enfin, c'est lui qui remontait le moral du trio, et qui nous a toujours tenus dans la bonne voie avec sa boussole. A la sortie du village, nous avons vu une caserne allemande, qui . . . dans laquelle logeaient des douaniers, et nous avions vu un de leurs gros chiens policiers qui servent à dÃpister les gens qui essayent de passer la frontiÃre. Enfin, aprÃs avoir marchà pendant environ 5 heures, nous sommes tombÃs à pic sur une voie de chemin de fer au fond d'une vallÃe et nous avons aperÃu une petite gare trÃs semblable à nos gares franÃaises, et nous nous demandions si nous Ãtions dÃjà en Espagne et non pas toujours en France. Il commenÃait à faire nuit, et nous n'osions pas nous dÃcouvrir et aller demander des renseignements, mÃme approcher de la gare. En descendant, nous sommes tombÃs . . . comment s'appelle? un remblai . . . sur un remblai et nous avons Ãtà obligÃs de passer au dessous d'un tunnel, de contourner la voie et nous sommes descendus enfin sur une route qui semblait une route d'assez grande importance, malgrà qu'il n'y ait pas beaucoup de circulation dessus. Enfin nous nous sommes approchÃs de la gare, et nous avons vu une inscription qui semblait bien ne pas Ãtre franÃaise. C'Ãtait [Filbas?], Ãquivalent de [biffure?] en espagnol. Et puis peu à peu nous nous approchions sans nous en douter de la gare et nous avons entendu des jeunes filles chanter. Elles ne chantaient pas en franÃais, mais en espagnol. AussitÃt, nous nous sommes approchÃs. Elles sont montÃes peut-Ãtre un peu effrayÃes chercher leur pÃre. Leur pÃre a tout de suite compris. Beaucoup de gens nous ont aidÃ, nous ont essuyà les pieds, nous ont donnà à manger dans cette petite gare. Et le lendemain matin - ils nous avaient Ãvidemment donnà leurs lits pour passer la nuitâle lendemain matin, nous sommes partis de trÃs bonne heure pour gagner la province de Barcelone, qui nous avait-on dit Ãtait moins dangereuse, et de lÃ, on ne pouvait pas nous renvoyer en France. De l'aube mÃme, nous avons marchà certainement toute la matinÃe, et une bonne partie de l'aprÃs-midi, et nous allions prendre un car dans un petit village situà encore dans la montagne, lorsque nous avons vu deux carabineros habillÃs d'uniformes kaki et entourÃs de ceintures jaunes, avec de bas chapeaux [? de cire]. Ils sont venus vers nous, nous demander les papiers d'identitÃ, documentation, et nous n'avons Ãvidemment rien pu fournir. Ils nous ont fait monter dans un hÃtel qui avait Ãtà rÃquisitionnà entiÃrement par eux, et là a commencà l'interrogatoire, ainsi que la fouille. L'interrogatoire s'est prolongà toute l'aprÃs-midi. Ils posaient de temps en temps une question, nous ont prÃsentà quelques fiches, nous ont confisquÃs tout ce que nous avions. On ramassait une part ou tout des choses qui Ãtaient restÃes dans nos poches, et que nous avions essayà en vain de cacher. Et enfin, le soir, on nous a apportà un dÃner trÃs copieux, avec . . . pour la somme modique de 25.000 francs qui avaient Ãtà confisquÃs pendant l'interrogatoire. La nuit, ils nous ont fait passer dans une chambre dont les fenÃtres avaient Ãtà grillagÃes, et avant de se coucher, ils nous ont enlevà nos chaussures.

David Boder

[In English] Were you all together?

Jean Kahn

Yes, we were all together in the room.

Jean Kahn

[In French] Et alors, ils ont enlevà nos chaussures, et le lendemain matin, ils ont frappÃ, ils nous ont rÃveillÃs, et ont de nouveau procÃdà à un interrogatoire plus dÃtaillÃ.

David Boder

[aside, unintelligible]

Jean Kahn

Le surlendemain, nous avons Ãtà sortis de cette chambre et emmenÃs à Barcelone au quartier gÃnÃral de la police espagnole. Nous sommes restÃs là pas mÃme cinq minutes. Nous avons Ãtà ramenÃs au poste de police, puis de nouveau à l'hÃtel oà nous avions passà les deux nuits prÃcÃdentes, et enfin, deux carabineros nous ont emmenÃs en prison à Barcelone. LÃ, bref interrogatoire, et puis nous avons Ãtà jetÃs en prison, un peu comme des bÃtes, dans de grandes cages dans les sous-sols de la prÃfecture de Barcelone. Le surlendemain, nous sommes sortis miraculeusement et avons rÃussi à faire partie d'un convoi qui devait gagner l'Afrique du nord, et nous mener enfin en terre libre. Nous avons atteint Casablanca au bout de deux jours et enfin nous avons su sur le bateau qui nous menait à Casablanca que mon pÃre Ãtait à Alger. Et alors, au bout d'une semaine, passà des difficultÃs de transport entre Casablanca et Alger, nous avons rejoint mon pÃre.

David Boder

[In English] Well, were you afraid during this whole trip?

Jean Kahn

A little bit, yes, but I really didn't know the danger we could . . .

David Boder

that you were in.

Jean Kahn

Yes.

David Boder

You didn't know the danger.

Jean Kahn

Yes.

David Boder

What were you afraid of?

Jean Kahn

Of being arrested by the Germans, in the mountains.

David Boder

Yes. What month were you in the mountains? What month was it?

Jean Kahn

October.

David Boder

Was it cold in the mountains?

Jean Kahn

Not really cold, but the rain . . .

David Boder

It was raining.

Jean Kahn

Yes.

David Boder

Did you have good clothes?

Jean Kahn

No, we didn't have good clothes. Only very bad shoes.

David Boder

Yes.

Jean Kahn

[In French] Et des vÃtements dÃcousus, des chaussettes dÃchirÃes par les ronces et trempÃes dans la boue. Et pour toute nourriture, nous n'avions qu'un kilo de sucre, qui fondait dans nos poches, et une gourde de rhum.

David Boder

[In English] Oh, did you drink rum?

Jean Kahn

No, I didn't drink rum. Only with a piece of sugar.

David Boder

[laughing] Now, where did you get from Spain then? From Spain you came where?

Jean Kahn

In North Africa.

David Boder

To North Africa. All right. And when did you see your father again?

Jean Kahn

Just a month after our departure.

David Boder

From Marseille.

Jean Kahn

From Perpignan, from France.

David Boder

Just a month after your departure from Perpignan, you saw your father.

Jean Kahn

Yes.

David Boder

Well, did he look well?

Jean Kahn

Yes, just a little bit tired.

David Boder

Well, and then what were you doing in Africa?

Jean Kahn

I went to school there with all the little Arabs.

David Boder

Little Arabs.

Jean Kahn

Yes.

David Boder

And did you learn French or Arabian? What did you learn?

Jean Kahn

I learned French, yes.

David Boder

You studied in French.

Jean Kahn

Yes.

David Boder

All right. And are you now in school?

Jean Kahn

Yes.

David Boder

In what grade are you?

Jean Kahn

I'm in the second degree.

David Boder

Is that the lycÃe?

Jean Kahn

LycÃe, yes.

David Boder

So how many years do you need to be through?

Jean Kahn

[In French] Quatre ans?

Jean Kahn

[In English] Three years.

David Boder

Three years more, and then you will be . . .

Jean Kahn

Three years of lycÃe.

David Boder

Yes. And what will you do after that? What do you want to study?

Jean Kahn

I don't know.

David Boder

You don't know. Well, that is good. You are young. Do you want to be an Admiral?

Jean Kahn

No.

David Boder

No? [laughing] You don't want to go to sea? Well, and now, do you feel good at school? Do you have a lot of friends?

Jean Kahn

Yes. A lot of friends. I had a lot of friends in England.

David Boder

Oh? Where were you in England?

Jean Kahn

At the French LycÃe of London.

David Boder

At the French LycÃe of London. Well, uh huh. Did you speak there more French or did you speak English there?

Jean Kahn

I spoke much French.

David Boder

Yes.

Jean Kahn

And some English in the evening.

David Boder

What subjects are you taking in school? Are you taking Latin?

Jean Kahn

Latin.

David Boder

Yes.

Jean Kahn

And math.

David Boder

Mathematics.

Jean Kahn

Mathematics.

David Boder

What do you have in mathematics now? [aside to interpreter] Algebra, geometry?

Jean Kahn

[In French] GÃomÃtrie et algÃbre.

David Boder

[In English] Uh huh. And you take French literature?

Jean Kahn

French literature, history, geography, physics.

David Boder

Physics.

Jean Kahn

Chemistry.

David Boder

Do you have much to study when you go to school?

Jean Kahn

Yes, I have much. Too much!

David Boder

Too much. Well, John, you are an awfully good boy, and it was really a pleasure to have met you. And I think you told us a good story. And I think the children there, if we translate it, will have a lot of fun in listening to your story. We will translate it into English and have another little boy read it for us, make a record. Will you write to me sometimes?

Jean Kahn

Yes. Certainly.

David Boder

All right. I'll write you a letter, then you will know my address. And then if I can, we make another wire and we send you one and then when you have a machine, then you can listen to it.

Jean Kahn

Thank you.

David Boder

Well, it was awfully good . . . [ends abruptly]

var english_translation = { interview: [ David Boder

[In English] Now, will you speak in English? And if you can't, you speak in French. All right. I will ask you the questions in English and you can answer them. [aside] All right. I am here at the home of Admiral Kahn, in the presence of three generations. There's the grandfather, the father of Mrs. Kahn, who spoke to us before, and the Admiral, his wife and here now with me on the sofa is his young son. Now tell me, what's your name?

Jean Kahn

Jean.

David Boder

Your name is John. John what?

Jean Kahn

Jean Kahn.

David Boder

John Kahn. And how old are you, John?

Jean Kahn

I am fifteen now.

David Boder

You are fifteen.

Jean Kahn

Yes.

David Boder

Now, that's nice English. And any time you are looking for words, just speak French. You are now fifteen. And how old were you when the war started?

Jean Kahn

It was in 1940.

David Boder

So how old were you?

Jean Kahn

I was ten.

David Boder

You were ten, yes. Now, start talking French. And tell me what do you remember about the start of the war. Go ahead in French.

Jean Kahn

[In French] Well, first of all, I saw a lot of people running in the streets, looking for news, because on the radio, a lot of the announcers, not knowing themselves what was happening, had turned the radio broadcasts over to music programming and songs. The first thing I saw in the morning when I woke up was busloads of troops who were going to the front through the north near Sedan and everyone was panicked, huddling around the radio.

David Boder

[In English] Now tell me. What month was it? Were you in school then? What month was it when the war started?

Marcelle Kahn

[In French] [Interpreter intervenes] What month was it?

David Boder

[In English] Do you remember?

Jean Kahn

[In French] It was June. In June.

David Boder

[In English] Were you in school then?

Jean Kahn

[In French] Yes, I was in school, in the Lorient Secondary School [high school].

David Boder

[In English] And what did you think about the war? What did you think it would be? Did you like it?

Jean Kahn

[In French] I didn't think that it would last very long.

David Boder

[In English] Uh huh. Now, tell me what then happened?

Jean Kahn

[In French] Well, we had to escape from the Germans who had succeeded in making a breakthrough in the East, and at the time, we didn't think that they were going to advance quickly. And so, starting on June 18, 1940, we were forced to travel throughout France, from the North to the South and the East, to arrive in Marseille.

David Boder

[In French] Good. Who was with you in Marseille?

Jean Kahn

[In English] My grandfather, my mother and my brother.

David Boder

And where was your father?

Jean Kahn

He was at the war.

David Boder

Your father was in the war. All right. Now, what happened then in Marseille? Speak French.

Jean Kahn

[In French] [conversation with interpreter] I was in Marseille when I heard that the Armistice had been signed.

David Boder

[In English] All right. And where did you go from Marseille? Tell me. [aside to someone else: "It was a great pleasure and thank you very much."]

Jean Kahn

[In French] [conversation with interpreter] In Marseille, it was December, 1942, when we heard a radio message from London, a message that we had arranged with my father at the time of his departure: The canary has arrived safe and sound and he's waiting for his little ones. This was the signal that we were waiting for, in order to go and be reunited with him. In October 1943, we took the train to Perpignan, and from there we did all our research and preparations for all the difficulties we would have in crossing the border. And at the end of October, 1943, we took the train, without the papers required to cross into the "forbidden zone" along the Spanish border. And . . . my brother and I looked for a way through various little villages up in the mountains.

David Boder

[In French] And your mother?

David Boder

[In English] And where was your mother?

Jean Kahn

[In French] And my mother was waiting in Perpignan for the results of our investigation. Children didn't need special papers to enter the forbidden zone. And we were both under the age of 17 at the time and we could cross the German police barriers fairly easily where they were checking other person's papers. When we saw how impossible it was, since everyone refused to help us, even the guides who had been questioned were totally without any ideas as to what we could do, we returned to Perpignan, having decided to go it alone, without a guide, with no one's help. My brother bought a compass and an administrative road map of the area, and around noon, we left Perpignan for a small town called Osseja, located at.. what was the altitude? Located at 1200 meters above sea level. We had of course not succeeded in obtaining any papers giving us permission to be in the forbidden zone, and nevertheless, in the village of Osseja, we were already in the forbidden zone. Consequently, at any checkpoint, the Germans could have discovered that we were without papers and stop us from going any further. This didn't happen, fortunately, but coming out of the train station at Osseja, we saw two German agents who were checking papers for entrance into the forbidden zone. We stayed a few moments near the train tracks, and when we saw the two agents leave, we crossed through the train station and came out. We left behind two rather heavy backpacks and a suitcase, at the luggage checkroom, so that we would be less encumbered to look around, take a last look and explore the area.

David Boder

And then?

Jean Kahn

And then we left . . . following a route that was vaguely indicated to us by some people in that same little village. We started our climb towards the end of the afternoon, and the rain was falling, turning the ground into clumps of slush. We were sinking into the mud, dragging our feet, sliding. We were exhausted and not making any progress. [Question off mic from interpreter] We didn't dare take out the map, for fear it would become soaked and useless. From time to time, we looked at the compass to see if we were going in the right direction, and we would hear the German police dogs. We didn't know if they were tracking us or someone else, but we kept quiet so as to be missed by them. My brother, nevertheless, drove us on and pushed us as best as he could, because both my mother and I were more tired than he. Ultimately, he was the one who boosted the morale of the three of us, and who kept us on the right path with his compass. Coming out of the village, we saw a German barracks . . . where customs agents were housed, and we saw their big police dogs that were used to track people who tried to cross the border. Finally, after having walked for about 5 hours, we suddenly came upon train tracks at the bottom of a valley and we saw a little train station that looked very similar to our French train stations, and we wondered if we were already in Spain and not in France anymore. It was beginning to get dark and we didn't dare show ourselves and ask directions, or even approach the train station. Coming down from the mountain, we came up to a . . . what is that called? An embankment. An embankment, and we had to cross under a tunnel, to go around the tracks and we finally made our way down to a highway that seemed like a major road, despite the fact that there wasn't much traffic. Finally, we approached the train station and we saw some writing [an inscription] that didn't seem to be French. It was [Filbas?], the equivalent of [biffure?] in Spanish. And then, little by little, we cautiously approached the train station and we heard some girls singing. They were not singing in French, but in Spanish. They ran off, a bit frightened, to find their father. Their father understood right away. Many people helped us, wiped our feet, gave us something to eat in this little train station. And the next morningâthey obviously had given us their beds for the nightâthe next morning, we left very early to go to the province of Barcelona, which we were told was less dangerous, and from there, we couldn't be sent back to France. Starting at dawn, we had most likely walked all morning and a good part of the afternoon, and we were going to take a bus in a little village which was still up in the mountains, when we saw two Carabineros [in Spanish: customs officers], dressed in khaki uniforms with yellow belts and [rain?] hats. They came towards us, to ask for identification, documentation [in Spanish?] and we obviously had none to give them. They made us go to a hotel, the whole hotel having been requisitioned by them, and that's where the interrogation began, and where we were frisked. The interrogation lasted all afternoon. They would ask a question from time to time, show us some papers, confiscated everything we had. They collected everything we had in our pockets that we had tried unsuccessfully to hide from them. And finally, in the evening, they brought us a very copious dinner . . . for the modest price of 25,000 Francs, which was what they confiscated from us during the interrogation. At night, they put us in a room with bars on the windows, and before going to bed, they took our shoes.

David Boder

[In English] Were you all together?

Jean Kahn

Yes, we were all together in the room.

Jean Kahn

[In French] And so, they took our shoes, and the next morning, they knocked and woke us up and proceeded with a more detailed interrogation.

David Boder

[aside, unintelligible]

Jean Kahn

[In French] The next day, we were taken out of this room and sent to Barcelona to the headquarters of the Spanish police. We didn't even stay five minutes. We were taken to the police station, then again to the hotel where we had spent the previous two nights and finally, two carabineros took us to prison in Barcelona. There, we had another brief interrogation, and then we were thrown into jail, a little like animals, in big cages in the basement of the Barcelona Prefecture. The next day, miraculously, we got out and managed to join a convoy going to North Africa and to finally take us into the free zone. We reached Casablanca after two days, and we finally learned on the boat to Casablanca that my father was in Algiers. And so, by the end of the week, once we got past the difficulties of the journey from Casablanca to Algiers, we were reunited with my father.

David Boder

[In English] Well, were you afraid during this whole trip?

Jean Kahn

A little bit, yes, but I really didn't know the danger we could . . .

David Boder

. . . that you were in.

Jean Kahn

Yes.

David Boder

You didn't know the danger.

Jean Kahn

Yes.

David Boder

What were you afraid of?

Jean Kahn

Of being arrested by the Germans, in the mountains.

David Boder

Yes. What month were you in the mountains? What month was it?

Jean Kahn

October.

David Boder

Was it cold in the mountains?

Jean Kahn

Not really cold, but the rain . . .

David Boder

It was raining.

Jean Kahn

Yes.

David Boder

Did you have good clothes?

Jean Kahn

No, we didn't have good clothes. Only very bad shoes.

David Boder

Yes.

Jean Kahn

[In French] And our clothes were falling apart, our socks torn by brambles and soaked in mud. And all we had to eat was a kilo of sugar [cubes] which melted in our pockets, and a flask of rum.

David Boder

[In English] Oh, did you drink rum?

Jean Kahn

No, I didn't drink rum. Only with a piece of sugar.

David Boder

[laughing] Now, where did you get from Spain then? From Spain you came where?

Jean Kahn

In North Africa.

David Boder

To North Africa. All right. And when did you see your father again?

Jean Kahn

Just a month after our departure.

David Boder

From Marseille.

Jean Kahn

From Perpignan, from France.

David Boder

Just a month after your departure from Perpignan, you saw your father.

Jean Kahn

Yes.

David Boder

Well, did he look well?

Jean Kahn

Yes, just a little bit tired.

David Boder

Well, and then what were you doing in Africa?

Jean Kahn

I went to school there with all the little Arabs.

David Boder

Little Arabs.

Jean Kahn

Yes.

David Boder

And did you learn French or Arabian? What did you learn?

Jean Kahn

I learned French, yes.

David Boder

You studied in French.

Jean Kahn

Yes.

David Boder

All right. And are you now in school?

Jean Kahn

Yes.

David Boder

In what grade are you?

Jean Kahn

I'm in the second degree.

David Boder

Is that the lycÃe?

Jean Kahn

LycÃe, yes.

David Boder

So how many years do you need to be through?

Jean Kahn

[In French] Four years?

Jean Kahn

[In English] Three years.

David Boder

Three years more, and then you will be . . .

Jean Kahn

Three years of lycÃe.

David Boder

Yes. And what will you do after that? What do you want to study?

Jean Kahn

I don't know.

David Boder

You don't know. Well, that is good. You are young. Do you want to be an Admiral?

Jean Kahn

No.

David Boder

No? [laughing] You don't want to go to sea? Well, and now, do you feel good at school? Do you have a lot of friends?

Jean Kahn

Yes. A lot of friends. I had a lot of friends in England.

David Boder

Oh? Where were you in England?

Jean Kahn

At the French LycÃe of London.

David Boder

At the French LycÃe of London. Well, uh huh. Did you speak there more French or did you speak English there?

Jean Kahn

I spoke much French.

David Boder

Yes.

Jean Kahn

And some English in the evening.

David Boder

What subjects are you taking in school? Are you taking Latin?

Jean Kahn

Latin.

David Boder

Yes.

Jean Kahn

And math.

David Boder

Mathematics.

Jean Kahn

Mathematics.

David Boder

What do you have in mathematics now? [aside to interpreter] Algebra, geometry?

Jean Kahn

[In French] Geometry and algebra.

David Boder

[In English] Uh huh. And you take French literature?

Jean Kahn

French literature, history, geography, physics.

David Boder

Physics.

Jean Kahn

Chemistry.

David Boder

Do you have much to study when you go to school?

Jean Kahn

Yes, I have much. Too much!

David Boder

Too much. Well, John, you are an awfully good boy, and it was really a pleasure to have met you. And I think you told us a good story. And I think the children there, if we translate it, will have a lot of fun in listening to your story. We will translate it into English and have another little boy read it for us, make a record. Will you write to me sometimes?

Jean Kahn

Yes. Certainly.

David Boder

All right. I'll write you a letter, then you will know my address. And then if I can, we make another wire and we send you one and then when you have a machine, then you can listen to it.

Jean Kahn

Thank you.

David Boder

Well, it was awfully good . . . [ends abruptly]