From St. Gallen in the north-east we travelled diagonally south-west through Switzerland to Caux, a village high above Montreux on the Lake of Geneva. I was amazed at such beauty as I fought my nausea on the sharp bends of the railway. During the war Switzerland was visited by very few tourists. Many hotels stood empty or were used as refugee homes. We were put up in the Esplanade, which, known as the Caux Palace, had earlier been the most luxurious hotel in Switzerland.

Unfortunately, conditions inside the Esplanade fell far short of its magnificent external appearance. Although there were many large bedrooms they were so overcrowded that some of us had to sleep in the bathrooms. There was no heating in the middle of winter. An unscrupulous Jewish supplies manager sold food stocks delivered for us for his own profit. There were more quarrels, serious illnesses and suicides than there had been in Bergen-Belsen. The euphoria over our liberation had soon faded away as more and more terrible news arrived about the Holocaust. When the Swiss government decided to deport us to Algeria there was an outcry both in Caux and in the press beyond. In the ball room of the Esplanade noisy protest meetings were held at which those present unanimously refused to obey the deportation order. Somehow I had got hold of a toy pistol and at every rhetorical climax fired a capsule into the general hubbub. Finally the government gave in to public opinion and we were allowed to stay in Switzerland at least for the time being. I returned to my favourite occupation of exploring the jumble in the cellars or crawling around the ornamental turrets on the roof.