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Émigré Voices: Conversations with Jewish Refugees from Germany and Austria

I am delighted that twelve of the interviews I conducted 20 years ago for a film installation in the Continental Britons exhibition at the Jewish Museum, are now published in a book, the 21st Yearbook of the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies, entitled Émigré Voices: Conversations with Jewish Refugees from Germany and Austria.

I remember all the interviews very fondly and am grateful for the time I spent with the interviewees. I am particularly pleased that the publisher of the Yearbook Brill agreed to publish this very different Yearbook. It is very rare to have a publication consisting of entire interviews (with as little editing as possible). Having worked with interviews for many years, I must admit that I found it very moving to see the interviews in print. While extracts of the interviews had appeared in the original film installation in 2002, the rest of the interviews were safely stored on mini dv tapes on my shelf. The process of digitisation, transcription, and editing was immensely time consuming but in the end very rewarding. The written record validates the interviews in a unique way and makes them so much more accessible to researchers and the general public.

I am so pleased that for the book launch I will be joined, in-person and digitally, by some of the children of my interviewees and that I will have the opportunity to have a conversation with Tacy Kneale, daughter of writer and illustrator Judith Kerr, Julia Donat, daughter of photographer and cameraman Wolf Suschitzky and Tony Balacs, son of Dorice Balacs, who was the owner of the famous Dorice restaurant on the Finchley Road.

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