Obituary: ‘Rose Weaver’

When the news was received that Rose Weaver had died suddenly on a brief visit to Spain, comrades were stunned. Few realized that she was sixty-four and seriously ailing. To the last she was enquiring and youthful in her approach to the world.

Rose grew up in Germany between the wars and it is not hard to imagine the difficulties she had in pursuing her studies, being Jewish and a member of the Communist Party. Her husband Howard, though he too had grown up in Germany, was entitled to a British passport, and this enabled them to get into England by the outbreak of war. Prior to that they lived a while in Paris; earlier, Rose had studied medicine in Prague but had to flee from Czechoslovakia before qualifying.

How the Weavers encountered the SPGB is a story in itself. With all their uprootings they had managed to retain a few treasured books. The copy of Das Kapital on their bookshelf caught the eye of a member who was their window-cleaner. His exposition of Socialism was balm to their wounded ideals, and they were soon playing a full part in Party life and work.

For many years Rose did translations and taught German (she was a victim of the recent education cuts). She returned to Germany as an interpreter at the Nuremberg Tribunal and in 1969 when she and Howard jointly represented the Party at a conference of the Augsburg Group, where they circulated a statement putting the Socialist case printed in German.

The Weavers were active in the Kingston and West London Branches, and from 1962 to 1965 Rose served ably as our General Secretary. Howard’s ill-health led to early retirement and their taking up residence in the warmer climate of southern Spain. After his death she returned home and began to re-shape her life, in which regard the Party both helped and benefitted. For a stop-gap period she acted as General Secretary again, and subsequently played a full part as a member of the Executive Committee. All of us who were enriched by her comradeship extend our sympathy to her daughter and son-in-law and her beloved grandchildren. The next generation too carries on the work for a Socialist future.


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