- Hits: 5464
Constance Seifert was born on January 20th 1911 in the east end of London to a Polish Jewish family, which had emigrated to evade pogroms. Whilst enormously fond of Jewish culture, she was repulsed by the downgrading of the role of women by Orthodox Judaism and the bigotry of Zionism. On a visit to Palestine in the early 1930s, she was disgusted with the anti-Arab racism she encountered.
In 1935, she and her future husband, Sigmund Seifert, joined the Communist Party, she remaining a member until the dissolution of the CPGB. During the Second World War, she was active on the evacuation of children from London. In the post-war period, she was active in the National Assembly of Women, the British Peace Committee and the British-Soviet Friendship Society. Later, she was active in campaigns for nursery education.
From the early 1950s, Connie and Sigmund Seifert placed their comfortable north London home in Highgate at the disposal of the Communist Party, of which they were both members. It became a social centre for the next half a century for the great and good of the left. Paul Robson sang there, to raise funds for Cheddi Jagan’s Progressive Peoples Party of Guiana. Nigeria’s Prince Oyekan II Oba `dropped in’ for a couple of nights, complete with entourage, and stayed for three months whilst engaged in a case before the Privy Council.
Connie’s house provided a safe haven for refugees from all over the Middle East and Africa. In the 1970s, Chilean Communist leader, Luis Corvalan stayed there, with armed bodyguards, for several days. She was active in the British Vietnam Association long after the end of the terrible war in Vietnam and died on February 27th 1998, aged 87.
Source: Guardian March ? 1998