Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Paul Joseph

Paul Joseph was totally committed to the struggle against apartheid and remains dedicated to social justice in South Africa and throughout the world.  As a young man he worked for Julius First, Ruth's father.  Below is a letter that he recently sent me about Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the War Against Apartheid.

Paul & Adelaide Joseph

Dear Alan,
Thank you very much for the copy of your biography on the lives of Ruth First & Joe Slovo ‘In the War Against Apartheid.’
In the course of convalescing I managed to finish the book. I found it absorbing, enriching in which there were so many facets that were new to me.
The way you sketched out these two characters with such poignancy, sensitivity & fascinating details brought out such vivid recollections of our association with Joe & Ruth over years of friendship.
As I was getting towards the end of the book I was listening to Nigel Kennedy performing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at a Proms night. He was accompanied by some musicians from Gaza.
He played with gusto. When he finished there was a tremendous applause. He made a short statement of how pleased he was with the end of apartheid. There was an explosion of applause.
At that very moment I was reading your description of how Joe’s life was seeping out.
I choked and cried at the way you described Ruth & Joe who gave their lives to end apartheid.
It was well after 1 a.m. I got up to go to Adelaide’s room. I wanted to talk to her about what you wrote about Ruth & Joe.
She was sound asleep. Her health is also not too good. I left her.
The next morning as she was preparing the coffee I briefly told her but could not continue as I broke down. She embraced me saying she understood how I felt about Ruth & Joe.
My sincere appreciation to you for describing the lives of Ruth & Joe as well as that of Tilly, Julius, Ronnie & the grand-daughters.
I think this book should be considered for a textbook for universities of South Africa which encompasses the CP, ANC, the Congress Alliance and MK.
The book will also benefit scholars, students and activists in Africa, Europe and the Americas & the Caribbean & Asia.
Many thanks for a work of true scholarship.
Sincere Regards,
Paul Joseph