By Mary Benson
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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Extra resources for A Far Cry: The Making of a South African
Loudspeakers order the crowd into the train, where they pack every window. The band plays 'God Save the King', followed by the Polish national anthem; a whistle blows and, waved off by us from UNRRA, cheered by the Polish staff, away they go, mothers waggling babies' arms in farewell, young men saluting, many iin tears, a few smiling. This was but one of the weekly repatriation trains. Their destination - countries which had fhllen under Russian donina tion. After those months in Vienna I wondered: to what have we encouraged them to return?
One Sunday morning while we were having coffee - a bitter brew of acorns - in one of Vienna's famed coffee-houses, we noticed crowds gathering in the street. For a military parade? we wondered, joining the throng. But no music sounded, nor marching feet. Suddenly from around a corner a brightly clad bicyclist flashed, followed by another and another -- a bicycle race. As we too cheered and applauded, we marvelled at this sign of vitality when rations were pathetically low and fbod, even on the Black Market, so scarce that people could barely struggle through the day.
Punishment was the great weapon, Itwas a hard and unlovely place; it contained about 6oo native boys, among them sonic of the hardest and unhappi est of human beings,' Step by step he had introduced reforms. ' Now he was throwing away all other activities to write, 'not without fear'. Of course, it would be painful to leave the reformatory, but he was also glad to retire to a life where he hoped never again to command any human being. In July 0948 lie moved with his family to a cottage on the Natal coast.
A Far Cry: The Making of a South African by Mary Benson