donderdag 9 oktober 2014

George Orwell -- 10 oktober 1942

George Orwell (1903-1950) was een Britse schrijver en journalist. In 1941-'42 werkte hij voor de BBC's Eastern Service.

10.10.42: Today in honour of the anniversary of the Chinese Revolution the Chinese flag was hoisted over Broadcasting House. Unfortunately it was upside down.

10.11.42: The authorities in Canada have now chained up a number of German prisoners equal to the number of British prisoners chained up in Germany. What the devil are we coming to? [The Germans chained some 2,500 Allied prisoners (mainly Canadian) taken at Dieppe because they claimed that British Commandos had chained their German prisoners. The British War Office denied this. Canada then manacled 1,376 German prisoners.]

10.15.42: A little bit of India transplanted to England. For some weeks our Marathi newsletters were translated and broadcast by a little man named Kothari, completely spherical but quite intelligent and, so far as I could judge, genuinely anti-Fascist. Suddenly one of the mysterious bodies which control recruitment for the BBC (in this case I think MI5) got onto the fact that Kothari was or had been a Communist, active in the students' movement, and had been in jail, so the order came to get rid of him. A youth named Jatha, working at India House and politically OK, was engaged in his place. Translators in this language are not easy to find and Indians who speak it as their native tongue seem to tend to forget it while in England. After a few weeks my assistant, Miss Chitale, came to me with great secrecy and confided that the newsletters were still in fact being written by Kothari. Jatha, though still able to read the language, was no longer equal to writing it and Kothari was ghosting for him. No doubt the fee was being split between them. We can't find another competent translator, so Kothari is to continue and we officially know nothing about it. Wherever Indians are to be found, this kind of thing will be happening.

10.17.42: Heard a "Jew joke" on the stage at the Players' theatre last night -a mild one, and told by a Jew, but still slightly anti-Jew in tendency.104 More Second Front rumours. The date this time is given as October 20th, an unlikely date, being a Tuesday. It seems pretty clear that something is going to happen in West or North-west Africa however.

11.15.42: Church bells rung this morning - in celebration for the victory in Egypt. The first time that I have heard them in over two years.

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