My friend Eric told me the following story, which he heard directly from one of the two heroines.
The Countess of Somewhere lived with her husband in an enormous apartment near the Champs de Mars. She was charming, intelligent, and open-minded. Her husband was an old, unpleasant scrooge, and an anti-Semite.
A new couple moved into the floor above. Their name was Blumenthal, the only clue as to their identity. The count was enraged. Each time he came across his new neighbors on the stairs he would mutter racist remarks just loud enough to be heard. Soon, the count began to find dog poop left on his doormat, a gift from Mr. Blumenthal no doubt. The count’s anti-Semitic attacks increased, so too did the dog poop.
Finally, one night, the countess returned home to find a veritable pyramid of dog poop in front of her door. She climbed the stairs and rang the bell. Mrs. Blumenthal opened the door.
“Listen, madam” the countess began, “Our husbands are ridiculous, mine with his offensive attacks, yours with the dog poop. Must we too be at war over this? I know your family died in the concentration camps, killed by the Nazis. You should know that most of my family was guillotined, killed by the revolutionaries of 1789. We should understand each other.”
Mrs. Blumenthal, who had been unaware of these atrocities, opened her eyes wide, then opened her arms and held the countess close to her heart. The two have been best friends ever since.