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Orphanage in the French Alps-Close to Zurich

My mom worked in the French Alps at an orphanage in the 1940's. Can anyone help me to know which orphanage it could have been? I'm planning a trip to Zurich in 2021 and would like to arrange a visit the orphanage.

Posted by
433 posts

Zürich, Switzerland is not in or near the French Alps.

Good luck.

Posted by
10648 posts

Sort of rude. Closer than the OPs home town I bet. sums, start googling ....

Posted by
20550 posts

The question is almost impossible to answer without more information. The French Alps is not a small area with dozens if not hundreds of towns. Second, an orphanage in the 1940 could be long gone in 80 years and even from the memory of the residents. Third, in those years orphanage could have been operated by local churches. You really need a lot more information and get map to look at where the French Alps are and where you are going. What you are asking is more than a shot in the dark.

Posted by
3209 posts

Recommend that you Google "orphanage french alps wwii" and "orphanage swiss alps wwii." I tried that and found a few results for each.

From those you may need to adjust the search to make it broader or narrower by changing the date(s) or by leaving out alps or by using france or switzerland instead of french or swiss. Or by any other ways that occur to you as you do the research.

What a great idea for your trip and what a great place for your mother to have worked.

Posted by
10648 posts

5 answers, one on topic. No wonder there are so many who dont hang around.

If you are looking for an orphanage with Jewish children, there will be some other sources.

Susan, actually she does in the title. But still not nice and not helpful.

Posted by
7107 posts

You’re correct James, i missed that, was referring to her post.

Posted by
49 posts

sums, I'd suggest doing a Web search on the French word for orphanage, "orphelinat", plus the name of each alpine "département" (administrative area) in turn. Wikipedia has a good map under "Departments of France". If nothing turned up, you could move on to the names of major towns.

Hint: Search engines like Google don't understand accented letters, multi-word names, or short names. The search term "var" (without the quotes; also note that search engines always ignore capitalization), for example, will not by itself lead to results for that French département. Combining a French search term, like orphelinat, unquoted, and the name of a départment enclosed in quotes, will give you better results.

Posted by
23233 posts

Do you have any photographs of your mother there or any pictures that she may have taken there? There may be a clue in the background.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you all that have responded. Even Beth! :) I mean that! Now that a couple of these comments include articles with pictures I can go back over some old pictures and see if the orphanage is in the landscape. I'm in contact with a second cousin in Zurich that told me today he will call me. Maybe he has answers from a 100 years old aunt that is still in Zurich and knew my mom. I'll keep you all posted. Again...................WOW I never expected this many people to comment. Thank you to Rick Stevens Europe for having the forum.
Be well, stay well.
Karen in California SIP (Shelter In Place) california wine country Sonoma County born and raised.

Posted by
101 posts

I absolutely needed to read something with hope! Please do come back and share what you’ve found.

Posted by
3 posts

I will check back.. Thank you so much. I've been going through old pictures of my mom's hoping for some hints. I'm also waiting for relatives (Almost 100 years old) to send some answers via a cousin in Zurich. Wish me a good historical journey!

Thank you again for all the support, and for info.
Side Note: My mom and her parents trained dogs to scale the Alps during the war, caring messages in their collars to the Allied Forces. Boxers and German Shepherds were the breeds of choice for this mission. I have pictures!
Karen

Posted by
7600 posts

Karen, that is so interesting about the dogs!