[From NPR’s website]
In April 1945, Madame Roos wrote a letter to French authorities describing her piano she was hoping to get back. Roos, who was 72, was Jewish and her piano had been stolen when Nazis emptied her apartment in Paris.
A similar fate befell many of the 75,000 French Jews deported to concentration camps during World War II.
“It would take me too long to list piece by piece what was taken,” said the letter, which only showed the author’s last name. “But it seems to me if my piano is still in Paris, perhaps my furniture is, too.”
Roos described “a brown piano of the brand Hanel,” with a piano stool and dust cloth for the keys covered in the same yellow fabric.
Roos, who described herself as infirm, had to vacate her apartment in June 1943 when her two daughters were denounced and deported, according to the letter. “I was unable to get food or survive alone so had to leave everything behind,” she wrote.
Her note is among thousands of letters that French archivist Caroline Piketty studied while researching Paris’ pillaged pianos.
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