Gilda Haber, PhD

Montgomery College, Rockville, MD

Curriculum Vitae
Manuscripts Completed
Cockney Girl Synopsis
Cockney Girl Chapter 1
Public Speaking

“Cockney Girl” relates my tumultuous life, 1934-1945, aged 5-16 beginning in rowdy bawdy gas-lit East London when I was five, ending in 1945 World War II peace when I was 16. Eight chapters of Cockney Girl have been published as articles or stories.


This coming of age eye-witness, zeitgeist story relates intimate pre-war East End scenes of my parent’s Ladies and Gents Hairdressing shop, frequented by East London's finest dockers and laborers while outside, the local active Fascist hoodlums parade and smash our shop windows. Nevertheless, I love the endless variety of East London.


When I was five, my joyful life vanished when Mummy dropped me in a Dickensian orphanage for two years.  When the orphanage closed for child neglect, I joyously returned to East London witnessing the famous 600,000 participant Fascist-Anti Fascist “Cable Street Battle” (published in The Iowa Review, 2007), King George V’s Silver Jubilee celebration and my wicked aunt Mitzi’s first marriage to a chemist later blown up in his lab while doing (still) secret war work, leaving Aunt Mitzi pregnant. With government compensation, she then had the required dowry to marry her real love.


Rumbles of war appeared with battleships bristling with guns in Portsmouth in “The Last Summer of Peace” and with barrage balloons looming over London. In 1939 we East End London children were sent away from expected blitz to country foster parents, where I lived with 17 different foster parents ranging from kind to concupiscent. Mummy sent weekly letter about the blitz and her war-work in a VD hospital where she wrote that British condoms were too small for newly arrived American troops.


I ended the war aged 14-16, the only British girl in a Jewish refugee orphanage, where contemporaneously with Anne Frank I began my diary. There, I found my identity which, however, on my return home after peace, conflicted so severely with my mother that I secretly applied to emigrate to American and for post-graduate study at Columbia and later, NYU.   I sailed alone from Dover to Manhattan and into a new life.


Fifteen chapters of “Cockney Girl” have been published as stories besides 35 other works. I teach English and sociology at Montgomery College and have a small business.