- Historic Sites
Escape From Vichy
One of the most ingenious and least known rescue missions of World War II was engineered by a young American dandy, Varian Fry, who shepherded to safety hundreds of European intellectuals wanted by the Nazis
June/july 1983 | Volume 34, Issue 4
MIRIAM DAVENPORT returned to the United States in 1941, after a complicated and hair-raising detour to Yugoslavia, where she collected, and married, her Yugoslav boyfriend. They were divorced in 1946, after which she married William Burke, an art historian at Princeton, who died in 1961. She now lives with her third husband, Dr. Charles Ebel, a professor of ancient history, in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. She got her Ph.D. in French literature in 1973. She occupies herself now by doing research in her field and by painting, growing roses, hunting ducks in season, and writing lengthy, funny letters all year round.
ALBERT HIRSCHMAN (“Beamish”) was in the Pyrénées checking on the escape route when the police came looking for him at Fry’s office in Marseilles. Fry got word to him in time, and he headed over the mountains rather than back to Marseilles. Settling in the United States, he spent two years at Berkeley as a Rockefeller Fellow in economics and then joined the U.S. Army, serving with an OSS intelligence unit in Italy. By serving in the American army, he became a naturalized citizen, moved to Washington after the war, and worked for the next six years as an economist with the Federal Reserve Board, helping to devise and administer the Marshall Plan. He went on to teach at Yale, Columbia, and Harvard and to write several books on economic development and international trade that have come to be regarded as classics. Today he and his wife live at Princeton, where he is a professor of social science at the Institute for Advanced Study, and his beaming cordiality continues to justify the nickname Fry gave him forty-three years ago.