The following is a freely-translated excerpt from a letter by the Rebbe dated the “3rd day of Chanukah, 5705” (December 13, 1944):
Your letter awakened memories of the time we were together in Vichy and Nice, under difficult and alien conditions.
From the time that a person is uprooted from his habitual environment until he grows accustomed to the demands and conditions of his new place, in this interim, there come to light certain traits of his inner character as they are in their purity, undistorted by the expectations of society.
Often, these traits reveal hidden virtues of this person—virtues that have been hidden even from himself under the layers of “manners” and social conventions.
Fortunate is the person who does not allow these traits to disappear when he subsequently settles down and finds tranquillity.
Adapted from the teachings of the Rebbe by Yanki Tauber
. Igrot Kodesh, vol. II, p. 14.
. In 1940 and 1941, the Rebbe spent many perilous months as a refugee in these cities.