Article by Claudine Zap for The Lookout, October 12, 2012:
This love story involves a man sent to a Nazi labor camp in World War II, his family back in France, and an antique letter collector—and die-hard romantic—in the United States who reunited the lost notes with the family.
Here’s the story: Marcel Heuzé, a French tool worker, was deported to a German work camp in 1942 during the war. He built engines, armored vehicles and tanks at the Daimler-Benz factory, from where he sent letters back home to his wife and three daughters.
Many apparently never made it to their intended recipients, probably intercepted by German censors. By chance, an American, Carolyn Porter, spotted the French missives in an antiques store in Minnesota. What caught her eye were the French terms of endearment—so she bought the batch and had them translated.
According to the Telegraph, the amateur sleuth, with the help of a genealogist, tracked down Heuzé’s family, contacted them and turned over the letters to the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Heuzé, who was released from the camp in 1944 and returned to his family, died 20 years ago.
Tiffanie Raux, 24, Heuzé’s great-granddaughter, said the family was grateful to Porter for her “altruistic” gesture. “It’s very American,” she said. “I’m not sure people in France would have gone to all that trouble.”
For her part, Porter told the publication she had hoped for a happy ending, which she herself delivered.