Philip Britts (1917-1949) was an Englishman who joined the Cotswold Bruderhof community. The Bruderhof was (and is) a faith community who live together and share all land and possessions. They are also pacifists. Consider the plight of Britts, who is living and farming in rural England when World War II begins. Some members of the community are German; the Bruderhof started in Germany. The British government and local authorities weren’t terribly impressed by both pacifists and Germans living in rural England when Britain was fighting for its survival against Nazi Germany. The British could accept the pacifists, but not the Germans.
The community was given a choice – the Germans had to be interned or leave, or the entire community had to emigrate. The Cotswold Bruderhof choose emigration, and eventually settled in Paraguay, the only country which would accept all of them. It wasn’t an easy life; farmland had to be tilled, crops planted and harvested, locusts fought, strange diseases encountered (one would eventually kill Britts when he was 31).
Britts kept a journal, wrote essays, and also wrote poetry.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.