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Tudor-Hart Edith (Suschitzky)

Edith Tudor-Hart

Born Edith Suschitzky in Vienna in 1908, she grew up in radical Jewish circles. She was the daughter of an owner of a socialist bookshop, her younger brother being the celebrated cinematographer, Wolfgang Suschitzky, born in 1912. The family were enthusiastic supporters of the Russian Revolution.
 
Edith first worked as a kindergarten teacher but she also studied photography in Dessau and became a highly skilled practitioner in this field. As a talented photographer who also became involved in anti-fascist activism and the Austrian Communist Party, she considered it vital that photography was seen in a social context. She became involved in the Workers Camera Club and worked as a photographer for the Ministry of Education.
 
In 1933, she and Alex Tudor-Hart married and, given his British citizenship, this enabled her to avoid prosecution for Communist activities in Austria and move to safety, her husband practised as a GP in the Rhondda Valley in Wales.
 
                                                                                             Edith had photographs published in  The Listener, The Social Scene and Design Today, dealing with refugees from the Spanish Civil War and the effects of unemployment in the depressed areas of Britain. She produced an especially admirable archive of images of working people the south of Wales (see left) . Some of her outstanding photographs are in the National Gallery.
 
From the late 1930s, she concentrated more on social needs, such as housing policy and the care of disabled children. Her son, Tommy, became an incurable schizophrenic. She separated from her husband after he returned from Spain.
 
She acted as an intermediary with the Soviet embassy in London for Bob Stewart (see separate entry) when there were difficulties in communications during the early days of the Second World War.
 
Although still active as a photographer in the 1950s, the difficulties of finding work eventually, sadly, led to her abandoning it; see below for an example of her exhibited work.
 
Edith died in 1973.