Suffolk editor translated Vincent Van Gogh's letters

Erica helped to set up the Polstead Community Shop

Erica helped to set up the Polstead Community Shop - Credit: MIKE CONSTANCE

Tributes have been paid to a "very English" Suffolk editor who helped her husband to translate many works into English, including Vincent Van Gogh's letters. 

Erica Pomerans was also prominent in her home village of Polstead, where she was chair of the parish council and helped to set up the still-thriving Polstead Community Shop, as well as raising money to replace the ageing village hall.

Erica Pomerans helped to translate Vincent Van Gogh's letters

Erica Pomerans helped to translate Vincent Van Gogh's letters - Credit: JAN POMERANS

She died on Easter Sunday at Ipswich Hospital aged 84, and a memorial service to her will be held at Polstead Church on Saturday July 23 at noon. 

However, Liverpool-born Mrs Pomerans was perhaps most well-known for helping her husband Arnold to translate important writings, which included neurologist Sigmund Freud’s correspondence and diaries, in addition to Van Gogh's letters. 

Mr Pomerans was born in Germany to a Jewish family, but left the country due to growing antisemitism, heading first to Yugoslavia and then South Africa, before eventually arriving in England in 1948. 

Apart from her translation work, Erica also excelled as a swimmer, and had trials for the British Olympic swimming team. 

Erica also excelled at swimming.

Erica also excelled at swimming. - Credit: MIKE CONSTANCE

During the second world war, she was evacuated to the USA before returning to live in Hampstead in London, where she met her future husband. 

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During this period, she also attended Francis Holland School in London, alma mater of celebrities including the actress Joan Collins and her sister, the novelist Jackie Collins. 

The couple moved to Edwardstone in Suffolk in the late 1950s and then to Polstead, while they had two children- Matthew, who died aged 38 and Jan, 63 - and three grandchildren. 

Jan said: “She was very English, proper and ‘old school’ if you like, but also an extremely kind and warm-hearted person who was deeply involved in her local community. 

“As a team with my father, they made an important contribution to translation, because many of the works that they participated in are of historical significance.”