I was deeply saddened to hear that my friend Beryl Cheetham died in a nursing home in Erding, Germany, on June 30th. I knew Beryl since 2000, when I began research on Savitri Devi with the aim of writing a new biography. Beryl knew Savitri from 1961 to 1982, and she had a sense of responsibility to history. She kept all of her correspondence, many volumes of photographs, and files of magazines and clippings.
Beryl was enthusiastic about my project,
and very generously shared her papers, photos, and contacts with a far-flung network of friends and comrades. Her help was absolutely crucial. More than 90% of my research and subsequent discoveries would not have happened without her.
I visited her in Erding in 2001, 2003, and 2006. We usually talked monthly, exchanged letters and gifts on our birthdays and the Winter Solstice, and talked about meeting again in Europe. The bitter financial struggle to start Counter-Currents made that impossible for some years, but since last Fall, I had been able to travel in Europe again, and I was hoping to finally visit her this year.
I had not spoken to Beryl for several months. She last called to tell me she was going into the hospital the next day to have surgery for bladder cancer. She did not have a number where I could reach her at the hospital or rehab center she would go to after her hospital stay, so I was hoping she would call me once she got settled. I called her home from time to time, hoping to find her there. Today, when the phone call did not go through at all, I feared the worst and found an announcement online.
I will write a fuller remembrance of Beryl when I have time to collect my thoughts. I am posting this brief announcement simply because I would like her friends to contact me. I want to know if any sort of memorial for her is being planned. She also wanted to make sure that her politically important books, papers, and photographs are preserved.
Beryl was the center of a network of individuals, and now that she is gone, I have no easy way to contact the many people I met through her. She did give me contact information for some of them, but my file of correspondence with her is in storage thousands of miles from my present location. So, if anyone can put me in touch with the executor of her will, or Alex in England (we met once at The London Forum), or Arthur M., or Hazel and Manfred T., please contact me at [email protected]. I would be most grateful for any news and assistance.
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