Rudi Holzapfel 1938-2005

poet, scholar and bookdealer

America 1947-1956
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At the outbreak of war when Rudi was two, he was sent with his mother and baby brother Theodore to an internment camp in Besançon (they had English passports). His memories of this time are enshrined in his poem “Winter 1940.’

His father was an antiques dealer with a great love of Shakespeare and the habit of reading aloud and reciting classical poetry. He had an American passport. Eventually, he managed to get Rudi and his mother and brother out of the internment camp – but that was far from the end of their problems, as successive troops marched across France.

Later, Rudi was sent to London to learn English with his beloved Aunt Veronica before joining the rest of the family in California, where he went to Catholic Santa Barbara High School. Here, he met an assembly of very non-Wasp American kids: Irish, Italian, Middle Eastern Christians and immigrant Mexicans, and being a gregarious character he made a lot of friends and opened up to all sorts of different cultural experiences.

After his father’s conversion to Catholicism in 1952 — his mother had held the family together during tough times in wartime France and the turmoil after the war through her simple Catholic faith – Rudi found his first spiritual and global homeland in the Church.

Early Years

Rudi, born in Paris, 1938

Rudi's passport photo for America