Sabine Pereira-Kägi  Stories * Adventures * Life

Embroidered Memories

Embroidered Memories: Klara & Claire 1939 - 1945

Klara, born in October 1918, is brought up in Eastern Switzerland in the small town of Sankt Gallen. Her family are embroiderers. Times are tough as the most prestigious era of this traditional industry is passé. Thanks to the generosity of her elder half-brother George, who is a pharmacist, Klara has the opportunity to undertake professional training as a kindergarten teacher.
After graduating a dream comes true when Klara starts working for an aristocratic family as a nanny in Paris in April 1939.

Claire, that’s how she is called in France, enjoys the chic Parisian lifestyle. The pretty life comes to an abrupt end, when the German Wehrmacht marches towards Paris in June 1940 and the duke is heavily injured in the battle field. War has caught up with Claire. As the first bombs drop on the French capital she flees Paris together with the duchess and the children. Her family in Switzerland is worried for her well-being and urges her repeatedly to return home. Claire who got very attached to her host family, is unable to leave Madame with the four small children.
Nevertheless, the situation deteriorates and gets tenuous even in the factual free Vichy France.