Witcop, Rose, 1890-1932

British-based Communist


[221] Rose Witcop was born in the Ukraine in 1890 to an orthodox Jewish family.  Her sister Milly who went to England became an anarchist and lived in a free union with the anarchist Rudolf Rocker.  She eventually sent for the family and influenced Rose to become an anarchist. Rose, at the age of sixteen, entered into a free union with the dissident Marxist Guy Aldred. Witcop was opposed to Parliamentary government and did not see the vote as a solution to women’s problems.  In March of 1907, she wrote a letter to the Voice of Labour arguing that women must free themselves by their own efforts.  Both she and Aldred contributed to the feminist journal The Freewoman which argued for greater sexual freedom for women.  By 1920 she was deeply committed to the birth control cause.  In 1923 both published a revised edition of MS’ pamphlet Family  Limitation containing illustrations and a vague reference to abortion.  The work was seized and they were charged with publishing [222] obscene work.  An appeal was implemented which they lost but the pamphlet was allowed to appear without the illustrations.  With help from the Fulham Labour Party and finance form MS, Witcop opened her own People’s Clinic which she was unable to maintain for very long. To avoid  deportation, she married Aldred. Witcop died at an early age in 1932. No address is given.

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