Stephen John Fry

This morning I sat down and watched Stephen John Fry, Brittish actor, comedian, authour, writer, film director and television presenter, searching for his family roots.

It was a wonderful programme, taking us to Vienna in Austria and to Surany in Slovakia where Stephen Fry's maternal grandparents came from. He learned, that his central European family members were deported to Auschwitz and Stutthof during the German occupation where they also died.

Stephen Fry also learned, that on his father's side of the family, his grandmother, Ella, came out of a very, very poor family who'd spent most of their lives at the local workhouse. Which was a great shame 100 years ago. Many of the family members had suffered from tuberculosis, and Stephen Fry went to the seaside resort, Margate in the Eastern of Kent, where they'd been recovering from the disease. Tuberculosis was quite common in the Victorian England in particular among poor people.

In Margate, Stephen Fry visited a local museum where one can see the different treatment methods. Some of them rather barbaric.

When surrounded by his closest family, presenting the family tree to them, Stephen Fry spoke out a reflection. He said that nowadays we think that life is tough but in reality we live a rather cosy and easy life, compared to the lives that people had to live 80-100 years ago. We do have the possibility to make choices for ourselves. And we don't have to suffer from poverty diseases like tuberculosis or undergo horrifying treatments.

Stephen Fry also said, because he was very moved by the faith of his family members, that he would have liked to be able to tell them, that everything would be better for the family. That they eventually succeeded in putting poverty and dispear behind them.


Christopher Raun Leth said...

And he is so right when he compare our lives with our ancestors. Our lives are not hard compared to the past; we're just a wee bit spoiled. Stephen Fry is obviously not only a great actor, but also a great thinker.

Asta said...

He's just great in my opinion. He's really grown in my respect. He's fantastic.