chapter  13
Enculturation of a semi-alien: Journeyings in the construction and reconstruction of identity
Pages 12

I do not know when I first noticed that I was different from my contemporaries. I do not mean just the ordinary uniqueness of being a person distinguishable from another, but a more telling difference in that I did not belong, in that as the offspring of refugees from Nazi Germany I was an alien in the cosy comfortable world of shared meanings that all others around me took happily for granted. As a refugee family, mine had become isolated from others of a German background: there is a complex story here of my parents’ flight to what was then Czecho­ slovakia, then a fraught escape during the final moments before the outbreak of war, and my father’s internment in Britain as a ‘friendly enemy alien’ during the war.