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Anorak | Judith Kerr: The Artist Who Came From Nazi Germany To Write A Wonderful Book About A Tiger Who Liked Tea

Judith Kerr: The Artist Who Came From Nazi Germany To Write A Wonderful Book About A Tiger Who Liked Tea

by | 26th, November 2013

ALAN Yentob’s Imagine focuses on Judith Kerr, the author of such children’s books as Mog, My Henry, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and most famously of all The Tiger Who Came to Tea. Kerr’s 90 and living in London. But she wasn’t born in England. Judith Kerr was born in Berlin. She fled Nazi Germany aged nine. Her father, Alfred Kerr, the dramatist and writer, had spoken out against the Nazis. The family should leave. A policeman told her father his passport was about to be seized. After they left, the Nazis burnt his books.

 

 

Children’s author Judith Kerr signs books for fans during the Tingle Creek Christmas Festival at Sandown Park.Date: 03/12/2011.

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There a plaque at the station where she and her brother set off for swimming: “From this station the Berlin Jews were transported to Auschwitz.”

They settled in Paris. And then in 1936, her parents decided to move to England.

In Britain, she worked for the Red Cross, helping wounded soldiers. A talented Artist, Kerr was encouraged by her lover and soon-to-be-husband scriptwriter Nigel Kneale (creator of Quatermass ) to find work at BBC television scriptwriter.

 

 

 

Judith Kerr proudly holds her Order of the British Empire (OBE) medal, after it was presented to her by the Prince of Wales during the Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in central London. Picture date: Friday January 25, 2013.

 

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* By the start of the second world war, she was living in a grim residential hotel in Bloomsbury with parents who carried suicide pills in case of a German invasion. Her father made propaganda broadcasts for the BBC, while her mother became the main wage-earner as secretary to a wealthy socialite.

That period ended when the hotel was bombed with the Kerr family inside it: only a wardrobe prevented the ceiling in her father’s room from falling on his head. Her brother Michael, by then a law scholar at Cambridge, was interned on the Isle of Wight. “This is a good country, you know,” she says, not for the first time. “Germans were classed as enemy aliens, but people like us were officially called friendly enemy aliens. We had to report to the police if we went more than five miles away so we knew them well. My mother went straight to them when we heard Michael was interned and they tried to get a call through to him.”

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Posted: 26th, November 2013 | In: Books Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink