Literally and figuratively the amazing sea voyage with Ali Baba was all part of a youthful quest to discover Europe in the aftermath of World War II. Watching it with horror from Canada everyone asked, “What will be left of Europe?” After closely following it by radio, and the press, then working my way to France by sea with Ali, on a federal government contract in December 1950 I was able to enjoy two fascinating and illuminating years. I had arrived in time to savour the popular, early postwar era in Paris before the winds of change issued in the modern European world.
This book is written in remembrance also of all those teenagers, as we were in 1939, taken as slave labour from school to produce armaments for the Nazis. We had been shocked at the time by such news. Even before 1939, the Nazis were persecuting, imprisoning and exterminating Jewish teenagers and their entire families as we looked on.