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Learning about life in my mother's boarding house


How my father lost all his money to Hitler
Ken Adam Artist
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My older brother had been here, studying at the London School of Economics, and we also had discovered a distant English aunt who was very... quite famous here.  She had the most famous secretarial college, and her name was Mrs Hoster.  And she facilitated very much our coming here, which was not easy, you know, because even though we took some of our furniture and one or two good paintings... but my father had been so German that when Hitler came, made an order that no German was allowed to have money in Switzerland and so on, he brought all his money back to Germany and we lost every penny of it.

Sir Kenneth Adam (1921-2016), OBE, born Klaus Hugo Adam, was a production designer famous for his set designs for the James Bond films of the 1960s and 1970s. Initially, he trained as an architect in London, but in October 1943, he became one of only two German-born fighter pilots to fly with the RAF in wartime. He joined 609 Squadron where he flew the Hawker Typhoon fighter bomber. After the war, he entered the film industry, initially as a draughtsman on This Was a Woman. His portfolio of work includes Barry Lyndon and The Madness of King George; he won an Oscar for both films. Having a close relationship with Stanley Kubrick, he also designed the set for the iconic war room in Dr Strangelove. Sir Ken Adam was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: London School of Economics, Mrs Hoster's Secretarial College, Switzerland, Germany, Adolf Hitler

Duration: 57 seconds

Date story recorded: December 2010 and January 2011

Date story went live: 15 August 2011