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Janet Wolff

took with some gratitude. Excluded by culture and language, as well as by natural inhibition and reticence, he was more than content to leave all the Important Things (which included the children) to my mother and her ample extended family. There’s only one photo of him holding the baby (me), in which he looks embarrassed and nervous (but with the same shy smile as in this photo). Someone must have told him that for once he had to take a turn in front of the camera. The photograph is a scene from one year in his life, when he was interned with other refugees in the

in Austerity baby
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Janet Wolff

6: Tante Leonie I had always assumed that my sister Eleanor was named after Eleanor Rathbone, to whom my father was always grateful for her role in support of refugees in Britain in 1940. Rathbone is best known for her long campaign for family allowances. A special issue Royal Mail stamp (56p) in her honour was issued in 2008, together with stamps for five other ‘Women of Distinction’, describing her as ‘Campaigner, Family Allowance’. Leonie Kahn It was a campaign that she pursued for many decades, beginning in 1917 and culminating in the Family Allowance Act

in Austerity baby
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Janet Wolff

’s Hour, broadcasting later on Radio Manchester as well. After the death of her second husband she stayed at Rose Hill, turning it into a refuge for unmarried mothers and their babies in the 1960s, and later, in the late 1970s, for Vietnamese refugees. With a national profile, and a job that took her to London frequently, Shapley retained her deep love for Manchester, and particularly Didsbury. This is from her autobiography, published in 1996, three years before her death: A lot of the attractiveness of Didsbury lies in its proximity to the river and its abundance of

in Austerity baby
Open Access (free)
Janet Wolff

. The Sayle Gallery exhibition, articles about it in the local press, and the stamp issue seem to have changed that to some extent. As for the stamps themselves – I have never particularly taken an interest in stamps, but I have recently come to see how fascinating they can be and what stories they can tell. William Kaczynski, another refugee to Britain from Nazi Germany, interned at the age of four with his parents on the Isle of Man, has put together over many years a unique collection of postal history artefacts, all relating to the lives of refugees in the 1930s

in Austerity baby
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Janet Wolff

of her years of anxiety, her feeling that she had to protect her parents, her inability to separate from them (especially her mother) and the need to be good and do well in school. My father was a refugee, not a concentration camp survivor, but many of his relatives died in the Holocaust, including his mother’s brother and sister and their spouses, and his father’s two siblings, one with her hushand. It seems very likely that the same disturbances pervaded our postwar lives. From some of the studies Karpf reviews: The Holocaust, it was claimed, had become the

in Austerity baby
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Janet Wolff

to see another cousin. The handwriting is beautiful, and the thoughts of a young visitor to Europe just over a hundred years ago never less than fascinating to read. In particular, it seemed important for once to be somehow in touch with my mother’s family history. For a number of years it had been my father’s life, in Germany in the 1930s and as a refugee in England, interned for a year in the Isle of Man, which had preoccupied me. On my mother’s side, the dramas of persecution and flight were less immediate, a prehistory to her own life and experience. Even her

in Austerity baby
Open Access (free)
Janet Wolff

visual imagination radically reorganised by photographs and the movies. The introduction of colour television in Britain in 1967 no doubt reinforced the effect. I think there is another, more personal, factor in my emergence into Technicolor. Just before we moved house in 1956, my grandmother, my father’s mother, had moved into a retirement home. She had lived with my parents since their marriage, and therefore with me for my whole life. Widowed within six months of her arrival as a refugee from Germany in 1939, far from any members of her family apart from her son

in Austerity baby
Open Access (free)
Janet Wolff

of an expat, a visitor, an immigrant than that of a refugee. The travel was entirely voluntary. So I had to consider why such a word would occur to me. I think it has to do with Annunciation [ 235 ] [ 236 ] another kind of expulsion, not politically but internally motivated. Despite the unwavering attachment to my city, somehow I had to leave, and even eventually travel quite far, to the fantasised place. There is nothing very surprising about this, after all. In California I met several people who told me they simply had to get away from the east coast – even

in Austerity baby
Open Access (free)
Janet Wolff

. Inscribed by Nina Balaban to Kathleen Cunningham To my dear friend Cathleen – with love from Nina. 5.Feb.36 New York. With the printed dedication for Emanuel Balaban. Text in Russian. Kathleen Cunningham is, of course, Kathleen McEnery, under her married name. Provincial matters [ 37 ] [ 38 ] German-Jewish refugees from Manchester in internment camp, Isle of Man, 1940 or 1941 Austerity baby

in Austerity baby