The Wild Place
by Kathryn Hulme
This work won the 1953 Atlantic Monthly Non-Fiction Award, and received much critical praise, but only 8200 copies were sold.

Unfortunately the book is not on sale anymore. But if you click on the images on the right you can take a look at the original front and back-cover of "The Wild Place"


Short biography of
Kathryn Hulme
the writer of "The Wild-Place", a book that deals with her personal experiences while working as a UNRRA officer at the Displaced-Persons-Camp Wildflecken, from 1945 - 1947

Kathryn Hulme in her early  yearsKathryn Cavarly Hulme was born in San Francisco on July 6, 1900, the daughter of Edwin Page and Julia Cavarly Hulme. After her graduation from high school in 1918, Hulme attended the University of California at Berkeley for three years. In 1922 she moved to New York City, where she studied journalism, wrote freelance articles, and worked as publicity director for the Ask Mr. Foster Travel Service. Hulme spent much time in Europe during the 1930's, and her early books reflect her interest in travel. Her first critical success, however, was her 1938 memoir We Lived As Children

During her time in Wildflecken, GermanyHulme worked as an electric arc welder at the Kaiser ship yards during World War II. After the war, she spent six years in Germany as deputy director of United Nations Relief and Refugee Association field teams. The Wild Place, which won the 1952 Atlantic non-fiction prize, describes conditions at the refugee camp of Wildflecken. While there, Hulme met and befriended Marie-Louise Habets, a Belgian nurse and former nun. Her experiences were the basis for Hulme's best-seller, The Nun's Story (1956), which was both a critical and a popular success. Hulme followed this with Annie's Captain (1961), a fictionalized account of her grandparents' lives. Her final works were both non-fiction. Undiscovered Country (1966) is a memoir centered on her years as a pupil of Gurdjieff. Look a Lion in the Eye (1973) describes Hulme's 1971 safari in East Africa.

The late yearsFrom 1960 until her death, Hulme resided on the island of Kauai with Marie-Louise Habets. She hoped to write a novel with a Hawaiian background, but never accomplished this goal, perhaps because of increasing ill-health in her late years

Kathryn Hulme married Leonard D. Geldert in New York City on August 25, 1925. The couple were divorced in 1928; there were no children. Hulme died in Lihue, Kauai, on August 25, 1981.


Copyright 1986 by the Yale University Library.
Thanks to Yale University Library for the permission of non-commercial use of the information about Kathryn Hulme


Kathryn Hulmes UNRRA - Career

Before joing the UNRRA, Ms. Hulme travelled extensively thru-out Europe, and spent several years living in Paris.

Kathryn Hulme in WildfleckenShe was appointed an assistant director of the UNRRA, and arrived in August 1945 with her team to Wildflecken. Early in 1947 the UNRRA reduced its staff of 25,000 in preparation for the closeout of the organization. The IRO was to take over the unfinished DP business.

In March, Ms. Hulme was promoted to Post of Director of the Aschaffenburg Camps, replacing two male directors who had been moved to other areas.The Aschaffenburg camps were "static camps" populated mainly by Ukrainians, Estonians, and (Bel) or White-Russians, all unrepatriables whose homelands were now in Stalin's communist pocket.

In the fall of 1948, she was transferred to Wurzburg to take over a new consolidated area that stretched all the way to the Russian Zone in the East and to the Tyrol in the South with some 65,000 DP's living in seventy-three scattered installations. She was promoted to The Chief of Care & Maintenance which included in its duties the setting up of Vocational-Training schools to prepare the DP's for jobs that might make them acceptable for emigration to the States under a Displaced Person Act which the eightieth congress finally passed on June 25, 1948.

Kathryn Hulme in WildfleckenBy the end of 1949 the IRO promoted Ms. Hulme once again to The Chief of the U.S. Desk, responsible for overall supervision of operations of the U.S. emigration program in the entire U.S. Zone. She stayed in this position till the last eligible DP in the zone had been covered by a case number for the states - in the spring of 1951.

After returning to the states, she settled in Arizona where she wrote "The Wild Place" which won the Atlantic Nonfictional Prize Award in 1953. She is the author of several other books:
Arab Interlude
Desert Night
We Lived as Children
The Nun's Story
Annie's Captain
Undiscovered Country
Look A Lion In The Eye

Pictures of Ms Hulme during her time in Wildflecken from her personal Picture-Album
Kathryn Hulme in Wildflecken
Kathryn Hulme in Wildflecken


  Kathryn Hulme in Wildflecken Kathryn Hulme in Wildflecken


  Kathryn Hulme in Wildflecken Kathryn Hulme in Wildflecken


  Kathryn Hulme in Wildflecken  


Source: Yale Collection of American Literature, Beineke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, all rights reserved.


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