In to my inbox landed an email about an academic study into the role of nurses in the immediate aftermath of the liberation of Bergen Belsen. The research, conducted by Manchester University’s Dr Jane Brooks for the Journal of Clinical Nursing, was fascinating in and of itself; as Dr Brooks explained to me, very little is known about the work of these woman, because many never spoke of it. Indeed, the sense was that they were discouraged from discussing their experiences, because a warzone was not considered an approporaite place for a women.
It’s fascinating research, heartbreaking at times. I was already interested and keen to report on it, but I asked Dr Brooks if she knew of any Jewish women among the delegation. As it turned out, there was one, a woman called Jane Levy who was a social worker. Digging deeper, I looked through the Jewish Chronicle’s archives; we hadn’t written much about her, but what did emerge was that she was the aunt of Esther Rantzen. And who better to ask about her than her niece? A really enjoyable and different piece to work on.
Also this week, I enjoyed editing a comment piece on harvest festivals by Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu. If nothing else, it’s the first time I’ve ever had a missed call from an Archbishop’s office!