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Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Desider Stern - From Sept. '39 until Dec'39/Jan'40

A mechanical engineer who knew Mr. Stern from his time in Budapest,  rang him to ask what he plans to do.

Mr. Stern wanted to try to reach Spain.

The engineer asked if he could join him, and Mr. Stern agreed.

On the 6th of September, they travelled to the French/Spain border where they were told they needed an emigration visa, because of the state of war.

On the claim form, one had to prove that one had work in France... 

... Desider Stern could only prove he received money on his bank account.
(A strike of Luck! In 1939, he was advised by a friend to store money on an account in Palestine. As he arrived in Paris, he needed some money. So he sent a telegramm to the palestinian bank... after a few days: no answer... so Mr. Stern sent a second telegramm. Some time later, he got a phone call from his french bank, the 2 transactions took place successfully and he can retrieve the money when he wishes!!!) 

But after 6 weeks in Hendaye (at the french-spain border) for the matter to be resolved, and although both were granted their emigration visa, the situation was different again.

The engineer was suspected of being french because of his good pronunciation.

Finally, both could settle next to Bilbao (Basque Country, Spain) which was still wearing the scars of the 3 years civil war (anti-Franco socialists were locked up in schools).

There was nothing to eat.
Desider Stern didn't know spanish.

In the neighborhood, there was a factory that manufacturer electric appliances... To demonstrate the "Grillux" to the manager he asked for a pork chop. There was no pork chop around. So Desider Stern grilled "the kind of meat you would give to your dog"... the manager was very impressed and Mr. Stern could sell the license to manufacture the "Grillux".
(Thanks to the Papers Vilém Grab sent him in Nov. '39)

Here, the spanish patent for the cooking appliance:

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