Pam’s poignant tale of love moves audience

Thursday 5 May 2016

WEB Lady Solti and Pam

Poet and playwright Pam Zinnemann-Hope (OG63) held her audience spellbound at the spring meeting of the OGC London branch when she spoke movingly of her childhood as the daughter of refugees.

During the afternoon she read a selection of poems from her published collection On Cigarette Papers which traced the poignant love story of her parents and their escape from Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

Pam wrote the poems, which were turned into a play for Radio 4 in 2014 by radio producer and fellow LGHS alumna Janet Whitaker (OG65), after coming across a stash of cigarette papers in the attic with Russian recipes pencilled on them.

The discovery followed her mother’s death in 1990 and, intrigued, she began to delve into her German-born parents’ past – from their nine months as political prisoners in 1930s Ukraine (where her mother noted down the recipes from fellow cellmates) to their escape to Leeds.

While the stories were based on her parents’ history, she also infused them with images from her own past. Most notably for OGs, Pam included references to the LGHS library; audience members chuckled as she read from the opening poem in the book ‘where the carved mice lie in wait on each oak chair’, referring to the Robert Thompson furniture that once filled the room at Headingley.

The meeting, which was held at the London home of fellow OG Lady Solti, also played host to a mini-reunion by the class of 1977.

Pam is pictured (right) with Lady Solti.

Or, if you prefer to chat with someone please call our admissions team on 0113 229 1552