New Zealand academic and activist with peace and women’s rights movements in New Zealand, Germany, Eastern Europe and GB, 1964-2010
REEL 1: Background in Wellington, New Zealand, 1942: German Jewish background of parents and emigration to New Zealand, 1939; problem of cultural differences; number of Jewish refugees in New Zealand; question of anti-Semitic attitudes within New Zealand government; education; reason for sense of isolation at school; attitude to speaking German; story of incident on tram; relations with Jewish refugee community in Wellington; relations with non-Jewish neighbours; effects of Holocaust on family. Aspects of period in Germany, Eastern Europe, New Zealand and GB, 1964-1983: first visits to Germany, 1964-1965; university education and training as language teacher in Berlin.
REEL 2 Continues: daily life in East and West Berlin during Cold War; research for doctorate on East German literature; meetings with East German authors; growing interest in gender studies; opinion of treatment of women in East and West Germany; awarded scholarship to study gender equality issues in Eastern Europe, 1989-1990; opinion of East German regime; comparison of lifestyles in East and West Berlin.
REEL 3 Continues: attitude to western image of East Berlin; social and cultural life in East Berlin; censorship; opinion of novel ‘The Quest’; comparison of East and West German authors; critical reaction to own book ‘Cinderella Goes To Market‘; awarded research grant to work in Eastern Europe, 1992; research methods and restrictions; role of women in fall of communist regimes; involvement with CND and peace movement in New Zealand; parents’ political beliefs; story of conscientious objectors at Riverside Community.
REEL 4 Continues: further memories of Riverside Community; moved to GB, 1973; involvement with Peace Movement; husband’s political activities; activities with European Nuclear Disarmament movement; support for Women for Peace group in East Germany; story of arrest at East German border, 12/1983.
REEL 5 Continues: Aspects of period in East Germany, 1983: activities in support of Women for Peace group against compulsory military service; reaction to location of nuclear weapons in East Germany; story of being arrested on East German, 12/1983; interrogations by state prosecutor and Stasi officer; problem of consular representation as New Zealand citizen; description of journey to Hohenschoenhausen prison; opinion of female guards; issued with prison clothes; description of cell; opinion of food; reaction to imprisonment; charged with treason; relations with Stasi interrogator.
REEL 6 Continues: allowed access to exercise yard; problem of cold weather and lack of contact with other prisoners; further description of interrogation methods; story of being released and taken to railway station under armed guard; reaction to loss of attaché case and interview notes; problem of communication with family in GB; reaction of family to arrest and campaign for release; arrest of other women in East Berlin; role of Canon Paul Oestreicher in securing release; further comments on period of imprisonment and interrogations. Aspects of period in GB and Germany, 1994-2010: story of making film ‘Betrayals’ about arrest and meeting former Stasi interrogator, 1994
REEL 7 Continues: further comments on film ‘Betrayals’ and opinion of interrogator; academic research and published works; oral history project with German Jewish refugees; current research projects; comparison of male and female German Jewish refugees Germany; reaction to end of Cold War and German re-unification.
REEL 8 Continues: further comments on re-unification of Germany and effect on Jewish community; growth in anti-Semitism after re-unification; problem of cultural differences between East and West Germans.