Memoir has for some time played a
significant role in the expansion and interpretation of the humanitarian
industry. It was Henri Dunant’s 1862 memoir A Memory of Solferino
that made the case for the first global institutionalisation of
humanitarian work in the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross)
and Geneva Convention, and Moritz Thomsen’s 1969 memoir Living Poor
profiles. Also in this section, we discuss the memoir
of Mario Magri, whose Rocambolesque adventures push to the extreme the dramatic potential of the flight attempts by his contemporaries, Lussu, Rosselli and
Nitti. We organise the remainder of the discussion around writers who don’t conform to the standard models, whether of the dramatic ‘escape from Lipari’ variety
or the more prosaic handcuffs, train ride, and surveillance variety. These authors
resist the received wisdom according to which Lussu, Nitti, and Rosselli teach us
all we need to know about internal
, foster parents or institutions. This phenomenon dates from
approximately the early 1990s with the best-selling memoir A Child Called
‘It’ by Dave Pelzer published in 1995 cited as the trend-setter, although the
1992 work Wild Swans by Jung Chang is sometimes considered an example
of ‘misery lit’. Three features of these books are worthy of note here. First, as
with ‘confessional’ television, they originated in the USA and spread to the
UK and Ireland and thus seem to be significant in, if not exclusive to, AngloAmerican culture. Second, they proved very popular. In
, 1957–63 (Cambridge,
2016) p. 376.
16 T. Dunne, Rebellions: Memoir, Memory and 1798 (Dublin, 2004) p. 55.
17 J.M. Regan, Myth and the Irish State (Dublin, 2013).
18 D. Ferriter, Ambiguous Republic: Ireland in the 1970s (London, 2012). E. Sweeney,
Down, Down, Deeper and Down: Ireland in the 70s and 80s (Dublin, 2010).
19 Ferriter, Ambiguous, p. 2.
20 For the Women’s movement, see L. Connolly and T. O’Toole, Documenting Irish
Feminisms: The Second Wave (Dublin, 2005) pp. 25–45. For the GAA, see M.
Reynolds, ‘The Gaelic Athletic Association and the 1981 H
, though many more are still retained and a far
greater number have simply been destroyed.
9/3/2013 1:03:57 PM
MUP FINAL PROOF – <STAGE>, 09/03/2013, SPi
1 The terms ‘MI5’ and ‘Security Service’ are used throughout as mutually
2 Bernard Ingham, former chief press secretary to Margaret Thatcher, on the
publication of Stella Rimington’s memoir Open Secret: The Autobiography of the
Former Director-General of MI5, London: Hutchinson 2001.
3 Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized
forbidden during the war years.
Sonya’s Report, written long after the events it portrays, has the pace and
mystery of a John le Carré thriller, if little of its literary style.16 It tells the
remarkable story of a dedicated Soviet spy, often operating under the noses
of the authorities. Her memoir is occasionally disingenuous. She claims,
for example, that she was no more than an insignificant cog in the wheel;
she was of course the pivot of the whole espionage chain. Her first meeting
with Klaus Fuchs was probably arranged through her brother Jürgen –
who then distanced
this book was reviewed in The Times under the startling heading
‘The Spy Who Started the Cold War’.4 Then in 2011, Engelbert’s son Paul
Broda published a memoir that combined personal and family recollections
with material from his father’s MI5 file, as well as those kept on his mother
Hilde and the man who became his stepfather, the convicted atom spy, Alan
Nunn May. The involvement of Engelbert Broda in scientific espionage at
the highest level while in Britain appears to be beyond doubt; how did he,
unlike the British scientist Nunn May, unlike the refugee Klaus
.M. Arkin and W. Burr, ‘Where they were’, Bulletin of the Atomic
Scientists, 55 (6), November–December 1999, p. 27.
43 Mirgon memoir, p. 16.
44 Records of HQ USAF (Air staff) incoming and outgoing messages, 22 July 1950,
NARA, RG 341, top secret box 22.
45 Mirgon memoir, p. 17.
46 Norstad to Johnson, 12 July 1950, LoC, Vandenberg papers, Box 86.
47 Defence Threat Reduction Agency, Defence’s nuclear agency 1947–1997,
Washington, DC, 2002.
48 Mirgon memoir, pp. 18–20.
49 W. Barton Leach, Special Consultant to the Secretary of the Air Force, to
Secretary Finletter, 21
as an agent of Soviet military
intelligence (GRU), under the code name ‘Sonya’, a decade she described
over thirty years later in the memoir Sonya’s Report.9 Initially recruited
during a visit to Moscow with her first husband Rudolf Hamburger, ‘Sonya’
had been inducted into the ways of Soviet intelligence at the Lenin School
in Moscow, a training ground reserved for elite party cadres. She was also
trained as a wireless operator, a skill she used regularly to transmit messages to her controllers, known as Moscow Centre.
‘Sonya’ had initially been sent to Shanghai
anthem, ‘The soldier’s song’, as well as ‘Step together’ and ‘The green flag’. Popular Irish-Ireland poet Brian O’Higgins even composed a marching song for the Fianna, which was published in Irish Freedom . 37
Once the Fianna reached their destination, members lit fires, brewed tea and ate an open-air meal. Then they spent the next few hours engaged in scouting exercises or climbing mountains. The sights and sounds of the return journey inspired Prendergast to wax lyrical in his memoir: ‘It was … romance to the soul marching down the