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Susan Einzig

Arrived in Britain:
Place of Birth:
April 1939
Interview number:


Marian Malet

Date of Interview:

Interview Summary:

Susan Einzig’s father was originally from Hungary and worked in the tailoring business. Her mother was originally from Poland without  profession. They met and married in Berlin. She had an elder brother, called Ralph Innes, who came to Great Britain earlier, but Susan lost contact early: they were never close. The family lived in Berlin-Dahlem. She had few friends at school. She left for Great Britain when in Unterprima, so no Abitur. She came on one of the last Kindertransports, to live in Golders Green with a former Berlin neighbour whose family had got away earlier. She called them her ‘foster family’ and she was much closer to them than her own family. She attended the Central School of Art and Design until it closed during the war. She and the ‘foster family’ were evacuated to Yorkshire. She went to Northampton where London art schools were now running a ‘consolidated’ course. She was very happy there – it was her opening to the cultural world. After the course she went to London where she had a precarious existence as an artist. FHK Henrion helped her greatly with work contacts (teaching, illustration, jobs.) She met Bacon, Freud, the Colony room crowd. The Neo-Romantics (John Minton etc) were her greatest influence. She decided to have a child, alone, to ground herself. She had a son. Her parents got false papers to escape, but her father was captured and sent to Terezin, where he died. Her mother got to Switzerland and finally, against Susan’s better judgement, came to London, returning late in life to Berlin. 


Full Interview


I worked for the War Office through a designer called Abram Games. He designed some of the most remarkable and classic posters for the War Office during the war.

I got a bit of teaching at Camberwell School of Art. There I met a man who had a huge influence on my life, John Minton. And because England was so isolated during the war that it turned in on itself and the young artists who came up, went back for their influence to William Blake, Samuel Palmer and Englishness. I became very involved with the whole bohemian scene in Soho in the 40s and 50s.

I feel, to copy Lucian Freud: `We are here because we are here because we are here´. I’m here. I think, `meine Heimat´ is in my heart and my head. I have no deep sense of belonging although I have two cultures I feel strongly about.

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