Great story. Had no idea!
"...the story of Curious George’s creators is a fascinating one."
"Hans Augusto Rey (née Reyersbach) and Margret Waldstein first met in Hamburg in the 1920s. Margret, who had studied art at the influential Bauhaus school and whose father was a member of the German parliament, left Germany for Brazil in 1935 to escape the rising tide of anti-Semitism. Hans had been working in Rio de Janeiro as a bathtub salesman. The pair, who had met over a decade before in Germany, married that year and moved to Paris."
"Hans worked as a cartoon illustrator for a newspaper, and Margret wrote copy. A French publisher was impressed with some of Hans’ animal drawings and suggested they work on a children’s book. Their first work was “Raphael and the Nine Monkeys,” and one of those monkeys would later become George."
"By June 1940, the situation in Paris looked grim as Hitler’s troops began to close in. Millions of people flocked to trains heading to the south of the country, and the Reys could not get a ticket.
They didn’t own a car, so they decided to flee by bike, as Louise Borden explains in “The Journey That Saved Curious George.” The only problem: They couldn’t find a bike anywhere, either."
"Somehow, Hans did something that sounds like a plot point in a children’s fantasy book: He made two bikes that night using spare parts. That incredible act likely saved their lives, as well as the future of the monkey that would become Curious George."