|| Person of No Nationality
by Ruth Barnett
Introduction by Dr Stephen Smith
Postscript by Martin Michaelis
Berlin-born Ruth Barnett was sent to Britain in 1939 at the age of four by her parents to escape the Nazis as her father was Jewish.She grew up in rural southern England in foster families. Despite some ill-treatment, she was desperate to be adopted and to be accepted as British. Then, in 1949, her parents unexpectedly reappeared and forced her to return to Germany...
Ruth Barnett's autobiography portrays the struggles of a displaced person growing up in England in the 1940's and 1950's. Her story is full of insights about Britain then and now with vivid descriptions of farm life and post-war Germany.
Her search for her identity, her battles to become British and, later, Jewish, against her parents wishes, and her account of how her early experiences shaped her career, make for a fascinating and moving story. She shows how it is possible to recover from trauma and become an inspiration to others.
Ruth Barnett is a former teacher and psychotherapist. She has been working as an educator around genocide for the last 25 years and has coined the term 'genocide footprints' - which we leave when we turn against each other for reasons that may include religious intolerance or xenophobia.
"A compelling book that shows the complexity of identity, the struggle with confusion and dislocation, callousness and the self-awareness little children have about who they are."
Stephen Smith, Director of the Shoah Foundation Institute, University of Southern California.
Paperback - 292pp - March 2010