"Here's looking at you kid...": a Czech girl in wartime Casablanca
If the film Casablanca had not been fiction, perhaps Sam would have played "As Time Goes By" for the Prague-born writer Lenka Reinerova. In 1941 she was one of many thousands of refugees who found themselves trapped in the Moroccan port as they tried to escape occupied Europe for the New World. Lenka Reinerova was born 88 years ago into a German-speaking Prague Jewish family.
"It was involuntary also - I was on my way to Mexico from France, and the boat I was on stopped there and didn't continue. So I was stuck there. First I was in some camp and then I somehow I managed to get a "laissez-passer" for 48 hours, and of course I never came back to this camp.
"And then I was half a year - a full six months - living in Casablanca, and that is to this day one of my greatest adventures in life. I was completely alone. I had almost no money. I had to make some money even just to be there, and somehow I managed. Not only did I manage, but I am - if it is possible - kind of grateful to myself that even in this very complicated situation, I enjoyed being there. I somehow felt - this is an adventure and take it!"