Sunday, November 22, 2009

Knittin' Crap: More Anti-Nazi Knitting

I just watched Cinema's Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood, a PBS documentary about European filmmakers who became refugees during the Third Reich.

The Nazis had placed very strict limits on the amount of cash that a person could take out of the country, and German bank accounts could not be accessed internationally. Paul Kohner, who had been born in what was then Austria-Hungary and had gone to Hollywood long before the Nazi regime, still traveled frequently with his wife, Mexican-born actress Lupita Tovar. Now 99 years old, she recounts in the film how, one time as they were leaving Berlin for Paris in the mid-30s, he handed her a wad of cash to take to impoverished refugees of the Berlin film industry in Paris and told her to hide it. She was knitting a sweater at the time, so she unrolled her ball of yarn and rewound it with the cash inside. When the guards inspecting the departing train looked in, all they saw was a woman knitting from a very large ball of wool. When they got to Paris, he told her to get the money out so he could return it to its owners. She told them they would have to wait while she unraveled the large ball of yarn again.

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