Many immigrants find they fail to fully escape the contols that they fled their country for London, to escape from. Young western Europeans, who arrive in London, trying to escape the smothering affections of their mothers, are successful in putting some physical distances in between themselves and their mothers, but are only ever a phone call away, and can never rid themselves of the guilt and emotional obligations they continue to feel, can never get rid of that panic and neuoroses they experience, whenever they hear their mother’s voice on the phone. Furthermore the long arm of mother doesn’t want them to forget, often being the harbinger of suitacses full of chorizo and cheese. As if mama, that controller, is determined not to to allow them to forget about Spain, about her, as if she is determined to leave her tentacles, the tentacles of Spain, draped around her progency, even though resting in London.
Russians, who think they can escape the cold hands of Vladimir Putin, should no better, many of his most vocal critics have found themselves dead in their Surrey mansions, or in hospital beds, withering at the vine, watcthing their hair fall around them, counting the days. With the old KGB effectively running a new capitalistic Russia, the mutual animosity and suspicion for the west has remained the same. Furthermore, in recent years, however, Russian power, which has grown off the back of the exploitation of mineral wealth, has led to the Russian state sending spies into London to effectively root out and kill those dissidents. Alexander Litvinienko, resident of Muswell Hill, was most famously killed in 2009, after a radioactive substance was sprayed on to his food whilst he was eating in a restaurant in Mayfair. Litvinienko, aged, sickly and dying in a hospital bed, claimed the author of his murder was none other than Vladimir Putin, and that the murder was in retaliation for Litvinienko having previously criticised Putin. More recently, in 2013, billionaire businessman Boris Berezovsky, resident of London, who had for a long time been a public critic of Putin, and who had tried, unsuccessfully, to sue Roman Abramovich in a British court, and who had been a long time socialite on the London scene, was found dead in his Surrey home. No one has adequately explained the death, the police have lacked interest in a rigorous investigation, and although it has been claimed that the Russian committed suicide, in all likelihood he was either murdered or prompted into a suicide attempt by the aggression and psychological violence imposed on him by the Putin regime. Vladimir Putin is very interested in London, and the presence of his tentacles, whether delivering gas or cold blood, are frequently felt on the streets of the capital city.
The Jews of the East End of London, also experienced a similar feeling during the Second world war. During the late 1930s and early 1940s, Jewish immigrants lapped upon the shores of Great Britian and upon the banks of the Thames effecting to to escape the persecutory effects of the German state. Fronted by Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist Party, ther German state sought to restore some feeling of strength, having been defeated in World War I, by systematically humiliating, enslaving and murdering the entire Jewish people of Eastern and Western Europe. In September 1939, approximately 282,000 Jews had left Germany and 117,000 from annexed Austria. Of these 40,000 were welcomed into Great Britain. Part of the contingent of Jewish immigrants were several thousand children, who were put on trains from Germany destined for ferries to England, and many then took trains to central London. They were known as the Kindertransport refugees. Such children were lucky enough to have escaped the gas chambers, but were nevertheless bewildered, at such a young age, having been split up from their parents, often never to see them again, and arriving in London. However, Jewish people arriving in London were to find, that like the rest of the British population, they were not totally safe from Hitler either. The German airforce, known as the Luftwaffe, rained bombs on large parts of East London, destroying many of the houses, in which Jewish immigrants had fled to, to avoid that very same man. Lawrence Joffe recalls the memoirs of Esther Kreitzman, raised in Poland, who wrote in Yiddish, who made London her home in the 1930s, and whose account of The Blitz was recounted in Blitz and Other Stories, published in 2004 by David Paul Books. Says Joffe, “…[she] tells of a Shabbat afternoon in September, when the “sun poured its cruel heat over the black city” and canaries in cages “were singing cheerfully, oblivious of the war taking over the world”. According to Joffe, “Economic with her prose, Kreitman deftly reveals vivid impressions of a real community, Jews and Gentiles inhabiting the narrow streets around Commercial Road. Suddenly the fragile, deceptive peace is broken when German planes descend on London out of the blue, “birds of prey with their flashing steel… and the little black houses are blown in all directions, like shards of coal under a miner’s hammer”. Fire spreads all around, bricks rain down, ordinary citizens desperately rummage through destroyed homes to rescue their children and neighbours, but only succeed in burying themselves. Perhaps the single most powerful image is that of tall Simon, a Jewish boxer, who having saved numerous victims suddenly goes crazy, breaks down a stable and releases still-burning panicked horse. They gallop through the streets “like running torches”… and then “collapse in mid-flight, stretching out as if in silent protest, with their hooves raised to the blazing sky”.