Braunthal Bertha (Clark)

Bertha Braunthal (Clark)

Born on February 1, 1887 in Vienna as the daughter of a Jewish accountant, Bertha was one of three siblings who all became well-known socialists.

During the First World War she was employed as a clerk in a factory in the Netherlands and then in Berlin.  A member of the Independent Socialists (USPD), a short-lived left-wing social democratic formation in Germany, she was a member of the Central Committee Secretariat. From March 1920 she served as Secretary for propaganda work among women and she worked on the USPD newspaper, The Woman Warrior.

Being on the left wing of the USPD, she was supportive of the Unity Congress of the Communist Party (KPD) and the USPD Left in December 1920. She now became based in the headquarters of the KPD and was responsible for the Women’s Secretariat. She participated in the Third World congress of the Comintern in Moscow.

In Berlin, she was on the editorial board of the Inprecorr journal, with her husband, Willie Norby Clark, a Scot, who was an employee of International Press Correspondence (Inprecor) in Vienna (1929), Berlin (1930-1932) and thereafter London for the English edition.

Both Bertha and her husband relocated after the Nazi takeover to London, where she joined him in becoming a member of the British Communist Party, as well as the exiled KPD. Whilst there, the couple were under constant surveillance by MI5, suspicious that they had a lot of friends on the continent and the multi-lingual character of their correspondence. Nothing of substance can be discerned in the voluminous observations.

After dissolution of the Comintern in 1943, Bertha worked as a translator for the British Communist Party.

Bertha died in 1968 in Islington, London. 

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