Click here to skip to main content.
Discrete CollectionsThe Women's Library
TitleSchaerli, Mrs Vera (known as Vera Craig)
Ref No8SUF/B/201
Box Fetch NoBox 1: Disc 39
Date19 Sep 1984
Extent64:56 mins
Admin Biographical HistorySee biography for Vera Schaerli
DescriptionInterviewee was an employee of Eleanor Rathbone. Also see interview 8SUF/B/140.

Interview summary:
0:00 mins: The interviewer reads at length from letters to Vera Craig from Eleanor Rathbone. Eleanor Rathbone setting up the Parliamentary Committee for Refugees during the Second World War. Vera Craig's dedicated, limitless and very poorly paid work for the Parliamentary Committee. Her flat and office at 35 Marsham Street - former home to the Family Endowment Committee. The move to Cowley Street after the bombings. Recalling an amusing anecdote between Vera Craig and Eleanor Rathbone. Eleanor Rathbone's seemingly unsympathetic and harsh attitudes.

15:00 mins: The different aspects of Eleanor Rathbone's personality: harshness, unreasonableness, lack of understanding, warmth, generosity. Her difficult personal relationships. Eleanor Rathbone and Vera Craig's disagreements and differences. The effects of the intensity of the job on Vera Craig. Vera Craig's near breakdown and recuperation on holiday in Snowdon. Harold Nicholson's astute remark about Eleanor Rathbone. Eleanor Rathbone's ability to terrify certain people. Her influence on Members of Parliament. Eva Hubback and Eleanor Rathbone's uneasy relationship: Vera Craig meeting them and her memory of them and their relationship.

30:00 mins: Eleanor Rathbone's careless dress: Elizabeth Macadam keeping a check on her appearance. Vera Craig's office at Marsham Street: the other workers and facilities, the vast amount of case files and records and what happened to them. Vera Craig's move to the International Red Cross at end of 1944. Rumours about Vera Craig being in the Communist Party - her thoughts about Communism. Vera Craig's description of doing case histories.

45:00 mins: How the work with refugees operated. Vera Craig's desk. Liaising with Eleanor Rathbone. Details of one particular case. Elizabeth Macadam being protective of Eleanor Rathbone - guarding her against Vera Craig burdening her. Mrs Wilson, the tough cockney housekeeper. Vera Craig's raw deal - being impoverished. Her friends' opinion that she was being exploited. Vera Craig's perspectives on her work: and attitude to being Jewish. Her humanitarian drive. Her thoughts about Eleanor Rathbone's emotional maturing. Eleanor Rathbone's personal involvement with Vera Craig and Elizabeth Macadam.

60:00 mins: Eleanor Rathbone's rigidity. Her attitude towards homosexuality. Her authoritative voice and dominating presence. Eva Hubback's comparative lack of powerful presence and unsureness. Vera Craig's trips to the restaurants in Soho with Eva Hubback.
Related Record8SUF/B/140
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsInterview recordings are available online and can be accessed at the link provided in this record.
Former Reference NumberTape 78
    Powered by CalmView© 2008-2024