By Mary Benson

ISBN-10: 0670821381

ISBN-13: 9780670821389

The autobiography of Mary Benson, a white South African author recognized for her paintings opposed to apartheid, whose existence illustrates a public and private drama. She describes her early years spent in Hollywood and her existence as a committed employee againest apartheid.

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From our pleasant [IQ with a balcony looking across rooftops to the distant Parthenon, we worked long hours on the huge task of reconstruction, a task signified oi our sleeve badges by a Phoenix rising from the ashes. German demolition of docks, railways, rolling stock and transport, the blocking of the Corinth canal and the mining of' main roads, had not only brought industry to a standstill but prevented food from reach ing people throughout the devastated country. As for inflation, one cigarette cost oo billion drachmae, From Lavrion in the east to Salonika in the north and Patras in the south, I accompanied Brigadier Palmer on his tours of inspection.

I Ituit itison, C. sell, iot. 'I want to have lived for sonic "purpose'T Icried out to Alan. Not for nothing did close friends find ine too serious. ' 'Don't come back to South Afica unless it becomes a compul sion,' he warned. 'I know quite well what you mean by saying that you want to have lived for sonie purpose. ' He seemed a contented person who had himself lived with a purpose. That was only partly true, he replied, and purpose could cramp and confine. 'If you know Freud, you will remeni ber that life is a compromise between reality and desire ..

It had been assumed that most refugees would gladly return home when they could, but when peace came, millions chose to wait and see. Only a lucky few succeeded in emigrating to the Americas and other remote havens. The rest, human flotsam, survivors of unimaginable horrors, were crowded into barracks or hutted camps, We in UNRRA were an odd lot, a mix of nationalities as well as a handful of British who had evaded military service and now were cashing in on the perks. My job was to liaise with Voluntary Societies attempting to fulfil the lP's cultural and spiritual needs.

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A Far Cry: The Making of a South African by Mary Benson


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