South Africa and Italy: Family Histories
Two tales of family valour which throw a light on far wider currents of history. Mark Lowen traces how his grandfather, George Lowen, went from fleeing Nazi Germany (as a Jewish lawyer who often defended Communists, he became a Gestapo target) to battling apartheid in post-war South Africa. Physical traces of George's career might be hard to find in today's South Africa, but Mark Lowen finds that memories of him are still vivid - and his spirit and hopes are vibrant and visible in a country no longer ruled by race.
Thomas Carver explores the extraordinary World War II odyssey which his father, Richard Carver, made through Nazi-occupied Italy, a territory rife with danger and informers. Three generations on, people in the Abruzzo still remember who collaborated with the invaders and who resisted - and there is a keen appetite for stories which can assuage the ambiguity and guilt Italy still bears about the era.