Ilse

To yet another anti-Brexit rally in TrafalgarSquare, this time in support of EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU. (Although to write the initials UK is absurd as we are now so disunited; but then GB is even worse – we are now  simply LB in the eyes of  the world.) The reason we at Persephone Books are so passionately anti Brexit is because the EU was our one hope for preserving peace and unity and ensuring there could never be a re-run of the first or second world wars. That hope is fast diminishing. Today on the Post: an ancestor of us girls at Persephone Books. She would of course have been a massive support (she wrote a PhD on Plato and was an avid reader of English fiction – think Tauchnitz). But Ilse Abramczyk was not at as lucky as her contemporary Anna Freud (she didn’t have a famous father) and LB wouldn’t give her a visa. On 29 November 1941 she was shot in a mass grave in Kaunas in Lithuania. We sometimes look at her picture if ever we are tempted not to go on marches holding the Women Writers for Europe placard or attend rallies in support of our European neighbours. But time is running out for rational, kind, humane ideals to prevail in the world as it is in the autumn of 2017.

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