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Romola Garai shares her great-grandfather's story


Romola Garai shares her great-grandfather's story

19 June 2015
Bert is second from the right standing up.

“Bert is second from the right standing up. I tried to identify him by writing that he had a moustache…until I realised that they all do!

It was taken in Hungary at the beginning of the century and before war and persecution exploded across Europe. Bert crossed Europe, built a life in America but finally settled in England. He founded a business, Keystone Press Agency, that supplied images on Fleet Street to all the major newspapers. As the business grew they expanded to include offices in America, Paris and as far away as Brazil. As you can imagine, those left behind were not so lucky and war and persecution decimated the family. Businesses were lost, homes destroyed and, of course, many were murdered.

But Bert was fortunate and I, his great-granddaughter, am a product both of his flight and of the society that nurtured him and I feel tremendously proud of both. I will be remembering him and his brothers and their families on World Refugee Day and thinking of every family who has through war or persecution been forced to flee their lives in search of a better future.”

Romola Garai

British actress Romola Garai is best known for her roles in films such as Amazing Grace, Atonement and Glorious 39.