“Guernica” (1937) by Pablo Picasso

In August 1948, Ronald Searle set off with Paul Hogarth to draw the rebuilding of Warsaw. Ludwig Perski, a friend of the war artist Feliks Topolski, persuaded the Polish vice consul in Prague to grant them visas.

“Poland was Topolski’s homeland, from which he had fled thirteen years before. The war, he wrote, hung “like a cloud of bomb dust” over massacred Wroclaw, where they were holding an International Congress of Intellectuals for Peace, and Topolski inveigled Hogarth and Ronald into the throng, so they heard interminable speeches calling for intellectuals to defend peace and culture from the new fascism that threatened in Spain and South America. Also present were the historian A J P Taylor, the novelist Aldous Huxley, the New Statesman editor Kingsley Martin, the writer Richard Hughes, the poet Paul Eluard, and Picasso. It was worth being there, Ronald said, to meet Picasso.”

Grove, V: So Much To Tell (2010)

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