The Painter and the Politician Ernest Neuschul and D.R. Grenfell M.P by Kathy Talbot In March 1939 a man, fleeing Hitler's Germany, was crossing the Channel with his wife and young son. It was the young boy's birthday. Unable to give a usual present, the man turned to his son, as the cliffs of Dover came into view, and said, "I give you England". The man was Ernest Neuschul, the artist, and it was through the help of D.R. Grenfell, M.P. for Gower for thirty-seven years, between 1922 and 1959, that Neuschul found himself and his family, not in England, but in Wales, in Mumbles. Neuschul was born in 1895 in Aussig, Bohemia, now in the Czech Republic. His parents ran a hardware business. Neuschul studied art, travelled widely in the U.S.A. and Far East, for a time as an exotic dancer. He was searching for a focus in life and eventually returned to Berlin to continue with his art. In 1929 he attained the prestigious position of Professor at the Kunsthochschule, Charlottenberg, Berlin. In the years after the First World War many artists used their skills to criticise the ruling classes. Artists such as Otto Dix and Georg Grosz, as well as Neuschul, had faith that socialism would be the way forward for Germany and was the only means to suppress the rising Fascism. As the decade moved on, and the Nazi Party came to power, Neuschul, as a Socialist and a Jew, was ousted from his work; many of his paintings were destroyed. His art did not find favour with the art-dictatorship of the "Reichskammer" of the Nazis. Neuschul returned to Czechoslovakia. For a while his life was more secure, he set up home and studio and his first son was born. Then he received an invitation to visit the Soviet Union, which he hoped might be a happier climate for his art and political beliefs. Despite initial success, Neuschul once again found himself at odds with the diktat of the State. The reality of the conditions of the working man in Stalin's Russia which Neuschul painted, was not the image of the happy State worker that the Communist powers wanted portrayed. One can try to understand how desperate Neuschul must have been when the Socialist ideal he had espoused rejected his work. He had met and painted many of the famous people of the 1930s, including Thomas Masaryk and Dr Benes, successive Presidents of Czechoslovakia, as well as Stalin and Dimitrov (then head of the Communist International) in a double portrait. As Dimitrov fell from Stalin's favour however, the portrait was cut in half. Neuschul fled Russia before he too could suffer the same fate as many of