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Photograph of Ruth Barnett

I was born in Berlin in Nazi Germany in 1935, daughter of a Jewish judge and a non-Jewish business woman. At age four I came to England on the Kindertransport with my seven year old brother, while my father fled to Shanghai and my mother was trapped in Berlin. Repatriation after the war to Germany at age 14 was a dismal failure and I returned to England, where I have lived ever since.

It was not until I was 54 in 1989, at the fiftieth reunion of the Kindertransport, that I was able to begin to face the past and the trauma I had buried under a false self. About 1,000 of the 10,000 Kinder who were rescued and brought to England, attended this conference and were telling their stories. I had totally rejected and denied mine and realised at that conference that, with a supportive marriage, a good career and three amazing children, I had regained my self-confidence and trust and wanted to sort out my identity to find my true self.

As a former teacher I became involved in Holocaust education as a speaker in school Holocaust education and beyond. I began writing books to challenge young people to think more widely and deeply. I had never thought of myself as an author, even though I had always enjoyed writing and had written umpteen letters to papers and journals, given many papers at conferences and contributed chapters to therapy journals and books.

I wrote the first ever school text book on child development, People Making People, in 1986. In 2010 my autobiography for schools, Person of No Nationality, was published, followed by Jews & Gypsies, Lies and Reality in 2013, and two more, Love, Hate & Indifference in 2015 and Quality & Inequality: the Value of Human Life in 2017.

I had never thought of writing a play but I was always interested in live theatre of any sort – going back to pre-television days when winter evenings were famed for charades. For a number of years, I wrote the annual school pantomime for staff to entertain the children on the last day of the Christmas term. I accumulated a shelf of play-scripts numbering over 50 as I used to indulged in reading the script, if available, of any play I enjoyed and watching it again on the stage in my mind.

This enabled me to write the story of my family as a play, What Price for Justice?, for my son to direct with his amateur drama group in Liverpool in May 2018. It was very successful but few people in London who wanted to see it were able to go to Liverpool. Therefore I have been trying to get it staged in London, and I welcome any ideas and help in this direction.

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